NYS Board of Law Examiners

 
office (518) 453-5990
fax (518) 452-5729
TTY: Call 711 (nyrelay.com)
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm Eastern Time

Frequently Asked Questions

"When is the bar exam given and when do I apply?"
"How do I apply online?"
"Where is the bar exam held?"
"When will I receive information regarding my seat assignment?"
"Can I change the test center I was assigned to?"
"How do I withdraw from an exam? Will I lose the application fee?"
"When will I receive my results from the bar exam?"
"How do I transfer my MBE scores to or from New York?"
"How do I change the Department I was assigned to?"
"How do I change my address with the Board?"
"What happens after I have taken and passed the bar exam?"
"Can I take the exam using my laptop computer?"
"Can I take the bar exam with testing accommodations under the ADA?"
"How do I apply for test accommodations?"
"How do I become a proctor for the bar exam?"
"Which foreign educated students need to request an evaluation?"
"What are the fees collected by the Board?"
"How do I request a duplicate Notice/Letter of Certification?"
"How do I find out about the LSAT?"
"Where do I find out more about attorney registration?"
"Where do I find out more about CLE requirements?"
"Do I need to register with the Board before or while still at law school?"
"Can the Board provide a list of those schools which are ABA approved?"


Exam Dates and Deadlines


"When is the bar exam given and when do I apply?"

The bar exam is held twice a year, on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July.

Dates of Examination Application Filing Period
February 25-26, 2014 November 1 – November 30, 2013
July 29-30, 2014 April 1 - April 30, 2014

There is no provision for late filing.

REPEATED WITHDRAWAL FROM THE EXAM/ FAILURE TO APPEAR : Pursuant to Board Rule 6000.6(i), any applicant who has withdrawn from or failed to appear for two or more bar examinations must apply to the Board for permission to re-apply before taking another bar examination. Applications to re-apply must be received in the Board's office two weeks before the filing deadline of the exam you wish to take. The filing deadlines cannot be waived or extended (see Board Rule 6000.10[b]).

Creating an Online Account

"How do I apply online?"

In order to apply online, you first create a user account by clicking on "Online Application" on the Board’s homepage. You must have a valid email account, which will be used for all email correspondence by the Board. You will then be assigned a BOLE ID #, which you should have available whenever contacting the Board either by phone or by mail.

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Exam Sites

"Where is the bar exam held?"

The bar examination is always held in Albany, New York City and Buffalo and may also be given at other locations based on a variety of factors including the availability of test sites. As test sites are confirmed, the locations will be posted on the Board’s website. The Board suggests that you contact your travel agent or visit the Visitors and Convention Bureau of the location where you will be taking the examination for information concerning hotel and travel arrangements.
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Seat Assignments

"When will I receive information regarding my seat assignment?"

Seating Tickets will generally become available by email to qualified applicants approximately two weeks before the date of the scheduled examination. At that time, Seating Tickets are also made available to view and print from the home page of the Board’s website. Applicants will need their BOLE ID Number to access their Seating Ticket online. Applicants must present their Seating Ticket to security in order to enter the examination. Therefore, it is important to print and bring a copy of the Seating Ticket to the exam. The seat number assigned in the Seating Ticket is the only means of identification throughout the grading process. Each seat at the examination has a number prominently displayed on a sticker. It is critical that applicants sit in the correct seat, and include the seat number on all examination materials.

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Changing Test Center Location

"Can I change the test center I was assigned to?"

There are no waiting lists for test centers and changes to test center assignments are only made in rare instances and only upon a showing of good cause. Such requests must be mailed to the Board’s office and must be in the form of an affidavit showing the location requested, the reason for the request, and supporting documentation if applicable (i.e., medical necessity verified by a doctor's certificate). Mere convenience or geographical proximity is not considered good cause. Requests will be decided based on good cause shown and the availability of seats and decisions are completely within the discretion of the Board.
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Withdrawing from an Exam

"How do I withdraw from an exam? Will I lose the application fee?"

Should you decide to withdraw from the examination, notify the Board, in writing, by fax or by mail as soon as possible. The application fee is non-refundable except in extremely limited circumstances. If there are extenuating circumstances causing you to withdraw, you may request a credit. All such requests must be received in the Board’s office within 30 days of the exam from which you withdrew. All such requests must be in writing and accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. The reason for the withdrawal and the supporting documentation will be reviewed by the Board to determine if there is a valid basis to credit the fee. If you applied on-line and paid your fee by credit card, you may be held responsible for any penalties incurred by the Board should you cancel the credit card charge for any reason.

REPEATED WITHDRAWAL FROM THE EXAM/ FAILURE TO APPEAR -

Pursuant to Board Rule 6000.6(i), any applicant who has withdrawn from or failed to appear for two or more bar examinations must apply to the Board for permission to re-apply before taking another bar examination. Applications to re-apply should be received in the Board's office two weeks before the filing deadline of the exam you wish to take. The filing deadlines cannot be waived or extended (see Board Rule 6000.10[b]).

Applications must be in the form of an affidavit which means that you must swear under oath and under penalty of perjury that its contents are truthful and accurate, and your statement must be witnessed by a notary. Applications must include:

(1) Your name, age, residence address, email address and phone number;
(2) The facts which caused you to withdraw from or to fail to appear for each and every bar examination, not just the most recent bar exam; and
(3) The facts which support your request to re-apply including a discussion of what steps you have taken - or what has changed in your circumstances - to make it possible for you to appear for a future exam.

Applications should include supporting documentation, wherever possible, which confirms the reasons why you withdrew or failed to appear for each and every exam. Examples include medical documentation, police reports, death notices, employment letters and the like. Please note that waiver petitions under Rule 6000.6(i) will generally only be granted once absent extremely compelling circumstances.


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Release of Results

"When will I receive my results from the bar exam?"

While the Board does not set a specific date for the release of bar exam results, historically results from the July examination are released by mid-November, and the results of the February examination are released by mid-May.

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MBE Score Transfers

"How do I transfer my MBE scores to or from New York?"

Please see section on MBE score transfers



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Changing Judicial Departments

"How do I change the Department I was assigned to?"

Upon successful completion of the bar examination, applicants are certified to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the Judicial Department where the last residence address the Board has on file for the applicant is located. The applicant is mailed a letter of certification which must be filed with the Appellate Division as a part of the application for admission to the Bar. Once an applicant has been certified by the Board, a change in Department can only be made by application to the Presiding Justice of the Department to which the applicant was certified.

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Change of Address

"How do I change my address with the Board?"

Applicants have a continuing obligation until the release of examination results to notify the Board of any change in their residence, correspondence and/or email addresses.  In addition, any candidate who lives outside the state and works full-time in the state must notify the Board of their New York employment address.  Seat assignments for the examination are based on the address given at the time of application. Change of address requests which affect seating for the bar examination may not be processed until after the bar examination has been administered.   Candidates who pass the examination are certified to one of the four Departments of the Appellate Division based on the address on file with the Board on October 15 for a July exam and April 15 for a February exam. Once you are certified for admission, any change of address MUST be made through the Appellate Division to which you were certified and not through the Board.  Applicants may request a Change of Address by accessing their online account HERE.

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Admission Information

"What happens after I have taken and passed the bar exam?"

Admissions, Swearing In, and Character and Fitness:

Any questions regarding admission to the Bar, swearing in or the character and fitness application materials should be directed to the appropriate Appellate Division of the Supreme Court. Each applicant for admission should visit the website of the appropriate Appellate Division of the Supreme Court by clicking on the link in the box below to learn of their individual requirements or forms. 

The telephone numbers and website links are as follows:

First Department (646) 386-5893
Second Department (718) 923-6360
Third Department (518) 471-4778
Fourth Department (585) 530-3100


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Laptop Information

"Can I take the  exam using my laptop?"

Please see section on the Laptop Program

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Test Accommodations (ADA)

"Can I take the bar exam with testing accommodations under the ADA?"

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (as amended) it is the policy of the New York State Board of Law Examiners to provide accommodations in testing conditions to applicants with disabilities who are qualified candidates for the bar examination to the extent such accommodations are timely requested, reasonable, not unduly burdensome, consistent with the nature and purpose of the examination and necessitated by the applicant's disability. Each applicant's request for test accommodations is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Applicants should carefully read Board Rule 6000.4 and the Boards test accommodations hand book which covers the requirements and procedures for requesting test accommodations and the Board's review process.


"How do I apply for test accommodations?"

Please refer to the section on Test Accommodations


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Proctoring the Bar Exam

"How do I become a proctor for the bar exam?"

See section on Proctor Information on this website.


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Foreign Legal Education Evaluations

"Who needs to request an evaluation by the Board?"

All applicants applying to sit for the bar examination under Section 520.6 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals (Study of Law in Foreign County) must complete the Online Foreign Evaluation Form before they may submit an application to sit for the New York bar examination. Applicants should request an evaluation of their eligibility at least one year in advance of the application filing period for the examination which the applicant intends to sit.

For more information please visit the Foreign Legal Education section on this website.


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Fees

"What are the fees collected by the Board?"

The fee for an on-line examination application must be paid with a credit card (Visa or Master Card only). Debit cards are not accepted. An on-line examination application is not complete until successful credit card authorization. All other fees payable to the Board must be in the form of a certified check or money order payable to: "NYS Board of Law Examiners." (credit and debit cards are not allowed for fees other than the online application). Fees are as follows:


Examination Fee (by method of qualifying – see Judiciary Law section 465)

Section 520.3 (ABA approved law schools).................................. $250

Section 520.4 (law office study)................................................ $250

Section 520.5 (unapproved law) ................................................ $250

Section 520.6 (study of law in foreign country)............................ $750

Duplicate Notice of Certification................................................. $10

MBE score transfer.................................................................. $50

Certificate of Legal Education (Admission on Motion ONLY)............. $400

The following are available for 30 days following the release of the results of the exam:

Copies of essay questions......................................................... $15

Copies of above average sample candidate answers....................... $15

Copies of failed applicant’s own essay answers.............................. $40

Note: Copies of the essay questions and above average sample candidate answers are made available on our website approximately one to two months after the results are released.



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Duplicate Notices of Certifications

"How do I request a duplicate Notice/Letter of Certification?"

Requests for a duplicate Notice of Certification must be in writing, and must include the applicant's name, address, Social Security Number, and the month and year of the bar examination taken and passed. The fee for a duplicate Notice of Certification is $10.00, in the form of a certified check or money order payable to "NYS Board of Law Examiners".

NOTE: The sole purpose for a Notice of Certification is for presentation to the Supreme Court, Appellate Division in the appropriate Judicial Department when applying for admission to the Bar in New York State. Anyone who requires information for another jurisdiction, such as confirmation of having taken and passed the bar examination, need only make a written request including the identifying information stated above, and we will prepare an appropriate letter. There is no fee. The Board of Law Examiners cannot confirm admission to the Bar or issue Certificates of Good Standing. Such requests should be directed to the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, in the Judicial Department in which the applicant was admitted.

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Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

For information on this examination, please visit www.lsac.org

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Attorney Registration

For information on New York State attorney registration and the required fee, please call the Office of Court Administration at (212) 428-2800 or visit them online at http://www.courts.state.ny.us/attorneys/registration/index.shtml

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Continuing Legal Education

For information on New York’s continuing legal education requirements, please call the Office of Court Administration at (212) 428-2105, or visit them online at http://www.courts.state.ny.us/attorneys/cle

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Law Student Registration

"Do I need to register with the Board before or while still at law school?"

New York does not require law students to pre-register with the Board. The online application for the NYS Bar exam is available on this website during the appropriate filing period of each exam.

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American Bar Association Information

"Can the Board provide a list of those schools which are ABA approved?"

For information on ABA accredited law schools, please contact the American Bar Association at 750 North Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60611, or visit them online at http://www.abanet.org/legaled

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