The New York State Board of Law Examiners ,Corporate Plaza, Building 3 – 254 Washington Avenue Extension Albany, NY 12203-5195

 
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Uniform Bar Examination, New York Law Course & New York Law Exam

Upon recommendation of the Advisory Committee on the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE), the New York Court of Appeals adopted the UBE effective with the July 2016 administration of the New York State bar examination. 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. 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.

INFORMATIONAL GUIDE FOR NEW YORK APPLICANTS

  1. What is the Uniform Bar Examination?

    The Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) is a high quality, uniform battery of tests that are administered contemporaneously in every other jurisdiction that has adopted the UBE. It consists of the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), the Multistate Performance Test (MPT), and the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE).

    The UBE tests knowledge of general principles of law, legal analysis and reasoning, and communication skills – essentially, it tests the fundamental knowledge and lawyering skills that are needed to begin the practice of law. The UBE is uniformly administered, graded and scored, and it results in a score that can then be transferred to other UBE jurisdictions.

    More information regarding the UBE, including the list of jurisdictions that have adopted the UBE, is available at the website of the National Conference of Bar Examiners at: https://www.ncbex.org/exams/ube/
     
  2. When will the UBE be administered in New York?

    The UBE will be administered in New York beginning in July 2016.

  3. How do I register to take the UBE in New York?

    Applicants will be required to create an account on the Board's website in order to register for the UBE. In order to create an account, an applicant will be required to provide the applicant's name, date of birth, email address and NCBE number. For information on obtaining an NCBE number, visit the website of NCBE at https://accounts.ncbex.org/php/ncbe_number/goDashboard.

    After creating the account, the applicant will receive an email with a Board of Law Examiners identification number (BOLE ID) and a password, which the applicant will be prompted to change. The applicant will then be required to complete an Account Profile Page, which will require additional information including information regarding the applicant's legal education. After completing the Account Profile Page, the applicant may proceed to complete the online electronic application to sit for the bar examination (UBE) in New York, provided that it is during the application filing period. The application filing period for the February administration of the UBE is November 1 - 30. The application filing period for the July administration of the UBE is April 1 - 30.

    At the time of application for the UBE, the applicant will be required to certify that they will satisfy the eligibility requirements to sit for the  UBE under Section 520.3, 520.4, 520.5, 520.6 or 520.17 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law. If an applicant has already taken and passed the New York bar examination or is currently admitted to practice law in New York. See question 33.

  4. What is the schedule for the UBE in New York?

    The UBE is administered on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July. During the morning session on Tuesday, applicants are given three hours to complete two Multistate Performance Test (MPT) items. Applicants may work on the MPTs in any order and they are free to decide how to allocate their time between the two MPT items although NCBE develops each MPT as a 90 minute test item. During the afternoon session on Tuesday, applicants are given three hours to answer six Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) questions. Again, applicants are free to answer the questions in any order and they may decide how to allocate their time among the MEE questions. On Wednesday, applicants will take the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), which is a six-hour, 200 question multiple-choice exam divided into two three-hour sessions.
     
    The schedule for the UBE in New York is as follows:
     
                Tuesday: 9:30 am to 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
                Wednesday: 9:30 am to 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
     
  5. What is the passing score for the UBE in New York?

    The passing score for the UBE in New York is 266 on a 400 point scale. An applicant must achieve a score of 266 or higher on the UBE, whether taken in New York or another jurisdiction, in order to qualify for admission in New York. An applicant whose score on the UBE, whether taken in New York or another jurisdiction, is lower than 266 will not qualify for admission in New York. However, an applicant whose UBE score is below 266, whether taken in New York or in another jurisdiction, may qualify for admission in a UBE jurisdiction whose passing score is below 266. The following examples may be useful:

     
    • An applicant takes the UBE in New York and achieves a score of 280. The applicant will qualify for admission in New York, provided the applicant satisfies the other admission requirements.
       
    • An applicant takes the UBE in a UBE jurisdiction where the passing score is 270 and achieves a score of 268. Although the applicant will not qualify for admission in the jurisdiction in which the applicant took the UBE, the applicant will qualify for admission in New York, provided the applicant satisfies the other admission requirements.
       
    • An applicant takes the UBE in New York and achieves a score of 262. The applicant will not qualify for admission in New York, but will qualify for admission in a UBE jurisdiction where the passing score is 262 or below.
       
    • An applicant takes the UBE in a UBE jurisdiction where the passing score is 260 and achieves a score of 262. The applicant will not qualify for admission in New York but will qualify for admission in the UBE jurisdiction in which the applicant took the UBE and in any other UBE jurisdiction with a passing score of 262 or below

  6. Are there requirements for admission in New York, in addition to taking and passing the UBE?

    Yes. An applicant for admission in New York must also take and complete an online course in New York-specific law, known as the New York Law Course (NYLC), and must take and pass an online examination, known as the New York Law Exam (NYLE).

    Applicants must comply with the 50 hour pro bono service requirement. For information regarding this requirement see: http://www.nycourts.gov/attorneys/probono/baradmissionreqs.shtml 

    Applicants must also take and pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE). For information regarding this test, see: https://www.ncbex.org/exams/mpre/

    Additionally, applicants who commence their law school studies after August 1, 2016 must comply with the new Skills Competency Requirement set forth in Section 520.18 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals. For information regarding this requirement, see: https://www.nycourts.gov/ctapps/news/nottobar/nottobar121615.pdf

    Finally, applicants must satisfy the character and fitness requirements as set forth in Court of Appeals Rule 520.12 and the rules of the various Appellate Division departments. For information regarding the admissions process, see: http://www.nybarexam.org/Admission/Admission.htm
     
  7. What is the New York Law Course (NYLC)?

    The NYLC is an online, on demand course on important and unique aspects of New York law in the subjects of Administrative Law, Business Relationships, Civil Practice and Procedure, Conflict of Laws, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Matrimonial and Family Law, Professional Responsibility, Real Property, Torts and Tort Damages, and Trusts, Wills and Estates. The NYLC consists of approximately 15 hours of videotaped lectures with embedded questions which must be answered correctly before an applicant can continue viewing the lecture.   Applicants are expected to watch, in good faith, each video in its entirety. The time spent watching each video in the NYLC will be electronically audited by the Board.
     
  8. When will the NYLC be available?

    The NYLC was launched on April 5, 2016 and is currently available on the Board's website.  
     
  9. How do I register for the NYLC?

    If an applicant has not already done so, the applicant will be required to create a BOLE Account on the Board's website in order to register for and access the NYLC. In order to create the account, an applicant will be required to provide his/her name, date of birth, email address and NCBE number. For information on obtaining an NCBE number, visit the website of the National Conference of Bar Examiners at https://accounts.ncbex.org/php/ncbe_number/goDashboard
     
  10. How do I complete the NYLC registration?
     
    After creating an account, the applicant will receive an email with a Board of Law Examiners identification number (BOLE ID) and a password, which the applicant will be prompted to change. The applicant will then be required to complete an Account Profile Page, which will require additional information, including information regarding the applicant’s legal education. The applicant will be required to certify that the applicant is a bona fide applicant for admission to practice law in New York, and anticipates being eligible and plans to sit for the UBE within one year. After completing and certifying the Account Profile Page, the applicant may proceed to take the NYLC, by clicking on “New York Law Course” in his/her BOLE account.
     
  11. Is there a fee to take the NYLC?

    There is no fee to take the NYLC
     
  12. When may I take the NYLC?

    An applicant may complete the NYLC up to one year before or any time after the date on which the applicant first sits for the UBE, subject to the application filing deadline of Section 520.12(d) of the Rules of the Court of Appeals. That section requires that a complete application for admission be filed within three years from the date when the applicant sits for the second day of the UBE, whether taken in New York or in another jurisdiction. If an applicant completes the NYLC more than one year before sitting for the UBE, the applicant will be required to complete the NYLC again in its entirety.
     
  13.  Will I be able to access and watch the videos again after I complete the NYLC?

    Yes. After an applicant watches all of the videos and completes the NYLC, an applicant will have unlimited access to re-watch the NYLC videos, without the embedded questions, through their BOLE account.
     
  14. What is the New York Law Exam (NYLE)?

    The NYLE is a 50 item, two hour, open book, multiple choice test administered online. It tests important New York rules on the topics of Administrative Law, Business Relationships, Civil Practice and Procedure, Conflict of Laws, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Matrimonial and Family Law, Professional Responsibility, Real Property, Torts and Tort Damages, and Trusts, Wills and Estates. 
     
  15. When will the NYLE be offered?

    The NYLE is offered four times per year. The dates and times of administration of the NYLE in 2016 are:

            May 26, 2016, 12:00 pm EDT
            August 18, 2016, 12:00 pm EDT
            October 13, 2016, 12:00 pm EDT
            December 15, 2016, 12:00 pm EST

    The dates for the NYLE in 2017 are:

            March 16, 2017, 12:00 pm EDT
            June 15, 2017, 12:00 pm EDT
            September 14, 2017, 12:00 pm EDT
            December 14, 2017, 12:00 pm EST
     
  16. How and when do I register for the NYLE?

    You may not register for the NYLE until you have completed the NYLC. After an applicant has successfully completed the NYLC, the applicant may register for the next available administration of the NYLE through the applicant's online account at the Board's website. The deadline to register for the NYLE is 30 days prior to the date of the NYLE. For example, the deadline to register for the August 18, 2016 administration of the NYLE is July 19, 2016. The registration period for the next administration of the NYLE will open immediately following the close of the registration period for the preceding administration.
     
  17. How do I complete the NYLE registration?

    The Board of Law Examiners has contracted with Examsoft Worldwide to administer the NYLE. After an applicant has registered for the NYLE, the Board will furnish the applicants contact information to Examsoft. About three to four weeks prior to the date of the NYLE, the applicant will be contacted by email by Examsoft with the instructions for purchasing, downloading and registering the exam software that is required for the NYLE. After purchasing and downloading the software the applicant will be required to perform and submit a mock exam to confirm that the software works on the applicant's computer. A few days before the date of the NYLE the applicant will be required to login to their account with Examsoft and download the exam file to their computer that will be used on exam day. Applicants must strictly adhere to all deadlines and instructions provided by Examsoft in order to complete their registration for the NYLE. Deadlines cannot be extended.
     
  18. Is there a fee for the NYLE?

    There is a $27 fee for the NYLE which is payable to Examsoft.
     
  19. How do I access the NYLE?

    In the days preceding the date of the NYLE, the applicant will be notified by an email from Examsoft to download the exam file required to take the NYLE. A password will be required to access the exam file on the date of the NYLE. The password will be made available to applicants ten minutes before the scheduled start of the NYLE. Applicants will be required to be connected to the internet to enter the password into the software. After inserting the password while connected online, the applicant will then open the exam file, type "begin" at 12:00 pm ET and commence the exam.
     
  20. What happens during the exam?

    The NYLE is an open book test, and applicants will have two hours to complete it, unless an applicant has been granted extended time by reason of a disability. Applicants are permitted to have access to the Course Materials and their notes during the exam. No backward navigation will be allowed, so once an applicant has navigated to the next question, the applicant may not return to the prior question. At the conclusion of two hours, the exam file will close and the applicant will be prompted to upload the exam file to Examsoft. All exam files must be uploaded to Examsoft by 2:30 PM ET on the date of the exam, unless an applicant has been granted extended time by reason of a disability, in which case the applicant should refer to their Test Accommodations Determination Letter. Every applicant will also be required to certify that he or she completed the NYLE without assistance from anyone else and that he or she did not provide assistance to any other applicant. If an applicant fails to timely upload the answer file, the applicant will receive the score of zero (0) on the NYLE and will thereafter need to re-take the NYLC and a future administration of the NYLE.
     
  21. What is the passing score on the NYLE?

    The passing score on the NYLE is 60% (an applicant must answer 30 out of the 50 items correctly). An applicant who fails the NYLE will be required to retake both the NYLC and the NYLE. Results are generally available within two weeks from the date of the NYLE, and applicants will be notified by email when results have been posted to their BOLE Account.

  22. What content will be covered by the NYLC and the NYLE?

    The NYLC and NYLE focus on important aspects of New York law that are either different from the general principles and prevailing views of the law tested on the MBE and the MEE or are unique to New York and important for the new practitioner to know. The subjects covered are Administrative Law, Business Relationships, Civil Practice and Procedure, Conflict of Laws, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Matrimonial and Family Law, Professional Responsibility, Real Property, Torts and Tort Damages, and Trusts, Wills and Estates.
     
  23. Are there materials available to prepare for the NYLC and NYLE?

    Yes. Course Materials are currently available on the Board’s website. The Course Materials cover the 12 topics on New York law that are covered in the NYLC and tested on the NYLE. All of the material tested on the NYLE will be found in the Course Materials for the NYLC and NYLE.
     
  24. When can an applicant take the NYLC and NYLE?

        As noted above, the NYLC became available in April 2016 and the first administration of the NYLE was held on May 26, 2016. The remaining dates for the NYLE in 2016 are August 18, 2016, October 13, 2016 and December 15, 2016. Dates for subsequent years will be posted on the Board website as they are determined. An applicant will be permitted to take the NYLC and NYLE up to one year before and three years after the applicant first sits for the UBE, subject to the application filing deadline of Court of Appeals Rule 520.12(d). That section requires that a complete application for admission be filed within three years from the date when the applicant sits for the second day of the UBE, whether taken in New York or in another jurisdiction. It is important to note that a passing NYLE score expires three years after the date on which it was earned (see Rule 520.9[a][3][v]).

    Some examples may be useful. These examples only use years as measuring points; it should be understood, however, that the specific months in which certain events take place will have to be taken into account in each instance:

    • An applicant takes the course and takes and passes the NYLE and the UBE in 2017. The applicant must apply for admission by 2020.
    •  
    • An applicant takes and passes the UBE in 2017, and takes the course and passes the NYLE in 2018. The applicant must apply for admission by 2020.
    •  
    • An applicant takes the course and takes and passes the NYLE in 2016 and takes and passes the UBE in 2017. The applicant must apply for admission by 2020, but unless the applicant applies by 2019, the NYLE score will be stale and s/he will have to retake the course and test.
        
    • An applicant takes the course and takes and fails the NYLE in 2016. The applicant takes and passes the UBE in 2017. The applicant must retake the course and retake and pass the NYLE by 2020, and must also apply for admission by 2020.
       
    • An applicant takes the course and takes and passes the NYLE in 2016. The applicant takes and fails the UBE in 2017, but re-takes and passes the UBE in 2018. The applicant must apply for admission by 2021, but if the applicant does not apply by 2019, the NYLE score will be stale and the applicant will have to retake the course and NYLE.
    •  
    • An applicant takes and passes the UBE in 2017, but does not take and pass the NYLE until 2019. The applicant must apply for admission by 2020, or else the UBE score will be stale.
    •  
    • An applicant takes the UBE in 2017 and fails, and retakes it and passes two years later, in 2019. If the applicant had taken the NYLE in 2016, the score could be stale (depending on the month in which the test was taken.) If the applicant took and passed the NYLE in 2017, the applicant must apply for admission by 2020, or the NYLE score would be stale, requiring the applicant to retake the course and test, even though the passing score on the UBE would otherwise by valid until 2022

    The same rules will apply to applicants seeking to transfer a UBE score in from another jurisdiction. That is, the applicant will have to take the NYLC and take and pass the NYLE within one year before or three years the date of administration of the UBE.
     
  25. When will New York begin accepting UBE scores from other UBE jurisdictions?

    Effective October 1, 2016, an applicant who sat for the UBE in another jurisdiction may apply for admission based on the transfer of a score earned on the UBE taken in another jurisdiction to New York in lieu of taking the UBE in New York, subject to the application filing deadline of Court of Appeals Rule 520.12(d) For example, if an applicant took the UBE in another jurisdiction in July 2014, the applicant must complete the NYLC, pass the NYLE, and file an application for admission with the Appellate Division by July 2017. If an applicant’s UBE score is more than three years old as of October 1, 2016, the applicant cannot seek to transfer that score to New York. See question 24 above.
     
  26. What is the process to transfer a UBE score to New York?

    Applicants seeking to transfer a UBE score to New York are required to satisfy the eligibility requirements for admission as set forth in Section 520.3, 520.4, 520.5, 520.6 or 520.17 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals. An applicant seeking to transfer a UBE score to New York must create an account on the Board's website and file an application for a determination of eligibility for admission to practice by examination and pay the fee prescribed for admission by examination in Section 465 of the Judiciary Law. The applicant will also be required to furnish the Board with (1) proof of compliance with the eligibility requirements of Court of Appeals Rule Section 520.3, 520.4, 520.5, 520.6 or 520.17 on a form prescribed by the Board; (2) proof of a passing UBE score (New York's passing score is 266) in the form of an official UBE score transcript from the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) ); and (3) proof of a passing MPRE score (New York's passing score for the MPRE is 85). Requests to transfer an official UBE score shall be made at http://www.ncbex.org/ncbe-exam-score-services/ube-score-services/. NCBE charges a $25 fee for each UBE score transcript.

     
  27. When must an application for a determination of eligibility for admission upon examination by transferred UBE score be filed?

    The application for a determination of eligibility for admission upon examination by transferred UBE score will be available on the Board's website beginning on or about October 1, 2016. Shortly after an applicant files the application with the Board and pays the requisite fee (see question 30) the applicant will be notified by the Board regarding the proof of eligibility that must be submitted. For Juris Doctor Graduates of ABA- approved law schools the proof will be a Law School Certificate of Attendance Form, which the Board will send to you by email, and which you must submit to your law school to complete and return to the Board. Since Court of Appeals Rule 520.12(d)(1) requires an applicant to submit an application for admission to the Appellate Division within three years from the date when the applicant sat for the second day of the UBE, the Board will require sufficient notice and time to review an application for determination of eligibility for admission upon examination by transferred UBE score. Accordingly, an application for determination of eligibility for admission upon examination by transferred UBE score must be filed online at the Board's website at least 30 days prior to the expiration of an applicant's time to file the application for admission with the Appellate Division. 
     
  28. For how long will a score achieved on the UBE taken in another UBE jurisdiction be accepted in New York?

    A UBE score achieved in another UBE jurisdiction will be accepted in New York for three years from the date the applicant sat for the UBE.
     
  29.  What is the fee to take the UBE in New York?

    The fee is as prescribed by section 465 of the Judiciary Law, $250 for domestically-educated applicants and $750 for candidates educated in a foreign country and qualifying for admission under Court of Appeals Rule 520.6.
     
  30. What is the application fee for admission by transferred UBE score?

    The application fee for admission by transferred UBE score in New York is the fee prescribed by section 465 of the Judiciary Law, $250 for domestically-educated applicants and $750 for candidates educated in a foreign country and qualifying for admission under Court of Appeals Rule 520.6.
     
  31. Is there a charge to take the NYLC and NYLE?

    There is no fee to take the NYLC. The fee to take the NYLE is $27 paid directly to Examsoft.
     
  32. Are there any other requirements that must be satisfied before a UBE score earned in another UBE jurisdiction can be transferred to New York?

    Applicants seeking to transfer a UBE score to New York must satisfy the educational eligibility requirements as set forth in Court of Appeals Rules 520.3, 520.4, 520.5, 520.6, or 520.17. See also question 6 above regarding additional admission requirements.
     
  33. If I have already taken and passed the bar exam, or if I am already admitted to practice law in New York, may I take the UBE in New York?
     
    No. Applicants must certify that that they are a bona fide applicant for admission to the bar in New York in order to sit for the bar exam in New York. Therefore, applicants who have already taken and passed a prior New York bar exam and applicants who are already admitted to practice law in New York may not sit for the UBE in New York. However, you may be able to take the UBE in another UBE jurisdiction. We suggest that you consult the eligibility rules for the other UBE jurisdictions.

 UBE INFORMATIONAL GUIDE