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 2012, the Board processed 17,692 applications for the bar examination and examined 15,745 applicants.
(1) FEBRUARY 2014 BAR EXAM APPLICANTS
December 3 – Laptop registration Opens 10 AM for Candidates Who Applied or Re-Applied by November 30th.
December 19 – End of Laptop registration for ALL Candidates at 4:30 PM EST.
Note: There is no provision for late registration. If you do not completely register your laptop by the December 19 deadline, you will be required to handwrite the essay portion of the exam.
The New York State Board of Law Examiners has contracted with Examsoft Worldwide, Inc.("Examsoft") to use its security software product, SofTest, for the February 2014 NYS bar examination. Applicants who elected to participate in the laptop program when completing their online application to sit for the bar examination have been sent an email with the dates and deadlines to purchase the software and register their laptop for the essay portion of the bar exam. No requests for extension of the deadline to register a laptop will be granted. If ALL of the steps to register are not completed by the deadline, the applicant will be required to handwrite the essay portion of the exam. All Laptop Applicants must be aware that there are certain risks associated with participation in the Laptop Program. All communications regarding the Laptop Program will be by email only and sent directly from ExamSoft (email@example.com). Please add this address to your contact list. If you did NOT receive the registration email, you must immediately contact the Board.
(2) CHANGES TO CONTENT OF THE BAR EXAM
-POSTED SEPTEMBER 27, 2013
Effective with the July 2014 bar exam, the Board will no longer test UCC Article 3 – Negotiable Instruments – on the New York section of the bar exam. Effective with the February 2015 exam, Administrative Law will be added to the list of subject matters tested on the New York section of the bar exam. The Board is working on an outline for Administrative Law that will be posted to this site in the future.
(3) ADMISSION ON MOTION RULE AMENDED
--POSTED SEPTEMBER 11, 2013
By order dated September 10, 2013, the New York Court of Appeals amended section 520.10 of the Rules for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law (22 NYCRR 520.10), which sets forth the requirements for admission without examination (i.e., admission on motion or reciprocity). The amendment, which is effective October 2, 2013, clarifies that applicants for admission on motion need not demonstrate compliance with the program and course of study requirements of Section 520.3 of the Rules, which apply only to candidates for the bar examination. Applicants for admission on motion must demonstrate, among other requirements, that the applicant attended and graduated with a first degree in law from a law school in the United States that was approved by the ABA at all times during the period of the applicant's attendance. Notice to the Bar and the Order, dated September 10, 2013, Amending Section 520.10.
(4) 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.For more detailed information about the bar examination, application filing periods and application fees please visit The Bar Exam
(5) NEW 50 HOUR PRO BONO REQUIREMENT
-- POSTED SEPT 19, 2012
Beginning in January 2013, a new rule affecting bar admission in New York will be in effect. All candidates seeking admission after January 1, 2015, with the exception of admission on motion candidates, will need to file documentation showing that they have completed 50 hours of qualifying pro bono work, as required by Rule 520.16 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals. For further information regarding the implementation and requirements of the new rule, along with Frequently Asked Questions, please visit http://www.nycourts.gov/attorneys/probono/baradmissionreqs.shtml. The FAQs contain information on the web address and toll free telephone number in the event that you have an inquiry.