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) FEBRUARY 2016 BAR EXAM APPLICANTS
An email has been sent regarding seat tickets to all certified applicants for the February 2016 Bar Examination. Applicants may also print seat tickets by clicking on the link below.
The list of test sites for the February 2016 bar exam are now available by clicking Test Sites in the table of contents.
(2) 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.
(3) 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.
(4) AMENDMENT TO SECTION 520.6 OF THE RULES OF THE COURT OF APPEALS (LL.M. Program of Study)
POSTED JUNE 30, 2015
The Court of Appeals has amended section 520.6(b)(3)(vi)(d) of the Rules of the Court of Appeals for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law, which pertains to the LL.M. program of study that must be completed by applicants with a deficiency in their foreign legal education. The amendment clarifies that the LL.M. program must include, among other things, a minimum of six credits in courses that principally focus on subject matter tested on the New York State bar examination or the New York Law Examination, the 50-question exam that will become a requirement for admission once the Uniform Bar Examination is implemented in July 2016. Courses that were previously approved by the Court of Appeals will remain approved after adoption of the UBE unless there has been a substantial change in course content.
(5) NCBE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER:
In order to apply for the New York bar examination, you must have an NCBE Identification Number. If you do not have one, you must visit https://accounts.ncbex.org and complete the brief application to receive your NCBE Number. If you already have an NCBE Number do not request a new number. We will be verifying the validity of the NCBE Number you enter on your application. If you enter an invalid NCBE Number your application will be nullified and you may be subject to misconduct charges for furnishing misleading or inaccurate information.
(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 November 1, 2015