The New York State Board of Law ExaminersOperating under the auspices of the New York State Court of Appeals, the New York State Board of Law Examiners is responsible for administering the bar examination to candidates seeking admission to practice law in the State of New York.
The Board has been in existence for over a hundred years, having been created by the New York State Legislature in 1894.
Its five members are attorneys appointed by the Court of Appeals. The Board maintains a business office in Albany, New York with a full-time staff that oversees the bar examination.
The bar examination is administered twice per year, on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July. In 2015, the Board processed 16,273 applications for the bar examination and examined 14,668 applicants.
(1) JULY 2016 BAR EXAM
The application filing period for the July 2016 bar examination is now closed.
Examsoft Registration for Laptop Applicants: By now applicants who applied for the July 2016 examination and selected laptop for the essay portion of the exam should have received an email from barsupport@Examsoft.com with instructions to register. All correspondence is sent by email only to the email address that you supplied at the time of application. If you did NOT receive the registration email, you must contact Examsoft immediately. The Examsoft laptop registration deadline for ALL Applicants is June 2, 2016 at 4:30 PM (ET). There is no provision for late laptop registration. If you do not complete the registration by June 2 you will be required to handwrite the essay portion of the exam.
Change of Address Requests: The Board is currently not processing Change of Address requests. The Board will resume processing such requests on or about June 17, 2016. Please return to the Board’s website on or after June 17 to change your address.
(2) NEW YORK LAW EXAM ON MAY 26, 2016
The deadline to upload the exam file from the NYLE is 4:30 pm ET on Thursday, May 26, 2016. The Board expects the results for the May 26 NYLE to be available within two weeks from the date of the exam. Candidates will be contacted by email when the results are available.
(3) NEW YORK LAW COURSE, COURSE MATERIALS AND FACULTY LIST WITH BIOS, AND NYLE SAMPLE QUESTIONS ARE NOW AVAILABE.
UPDATED APRIL 5, 2016
As previously announced, in conjunction with the adoption of the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE), the State Board of Law Examiners was directed by the Court of Appeals to create an online course, known as the New York Law Course (NYLC), and an online, open book exam on New York specific law, known as the New York Law Exam (NYLE).
The Board is pleased to announce today that the New York Law Course is now available.The first administration of the NYLE will be on May 26, 2016.
Applicants must complete the NYLC before they may register for the NYLE. The Board has prepared comprehensive Course Materials for the NYLC and NYLE.
The Board expresses its gratitude to the many law professors, practitioners and judges who assisted the Board in this endeavor and particularly to the faculty of the NYLC. The New York Law Course, Course Materials, Sample NYLE Questions and the Faculty List with Bios are now available on this website at
(4) UNIFORM BAR EXAMINATION (UBE)
UPDATED MAY 5, 2015
The New York Court of Appeals has adopted the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) that New York adopt the UBE effective July 2016. The Advisory Committee also recommended, and the Court of Appeals adopted, a requirement that applicants for admission in New York be required to complete an online course on New York law and take and pass an online examination on New York law, as a requirement for admission. The report of the Advisory Committee is available on its website at http://www.nycourts.gov/ip/bar-exam/.
The Court of Appeals amended sections 520.2, 520.7, 520.8 520.9 and 520.12 of its Rules to reflect the adoption of the UBE. The Court of Appeals also made a minor change to the Rules not related to the UBE. New language was added to section 520.16, pertaining to the 50-hour pro bono requirement for admission, to clarify the date after which eligible pro bono work must be performed. A copy of the Notice to the Bar and the amended Rules is available by clicking the following link: Court of Appeals Notice & Order Amending Court Rules.
(5) NEW SKILLS COMPETENCY REQUIREMENT
POSTED December 30, 2015
The Court of Appeals has added a new section 520.18 to the Rules for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law (22 NYCRR 520.18). This new provision requires applicants seeking admission in New York to establish that they have acquired skills and professional values necessary to competently practice law. Applicants may satisfy this requirement by completing one of five separate pathways described in section 520.18. For applicants who qualify for the bar examination based upon having attended an ABA-approved law school and having satisfied the requirements of section 520.3 or based upon their foreign legal education alone under section 520.6, this requirement will first apply to those who commence their legal studies after August 1, 2016. As to foreign-educated applicants who are required to complete an LL.M. program at an ABA-approved law school in order to sit for the bar examination under section 520.6, the new requirements will apply to those who commence their LL.M. program after August 1, 2018. A copy of the Notice to the Bar announcing the New Skills Competency Requirement and the newly enacted Section 520.18 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals
For the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law is available at: http://www.courts.state.ny.us/ctapps/news/nottobar/nottobar121615.pdf.
(6) DEADLINE TO SUBMIT SUPPORTING FOREIGN DOCUMENTATION FOR REVIEW:
- July Bar Exam – To meet the six month deadline for review of your documents, you must submit your Foreign Evaluation Form and supporting foreign documentation no later than October 1st of the year preceding the exam you plan to sit.
- February Exam –To meet the six month deadline for review of your documents, you must submit your Foreign Evaluation Form and supporting documentation no later than May 1st of the year preceding the exam you plan to sit.
LLM applicants who fail to meet these deadlines run the risk that they may not receive a decision from the Board on their eligibility in time to take the exam, causing the application to be denied and the application fee to be forfeited.
opens April 1, 2016