New York adopts the Universal Bar Exam

  • New York adopts the Universal Bar Exam

    For aspiring lawyers, passing the bar exam is one of many hurdles they need to overcome. For many states, the exam grants licensure for lawyers to practice within that state. However, the goal of the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) is to open up more opportunities for lawyers and grant them the ability to practice law in other states across the U.S. One of the most recent states to adopt the UBE is New York.

    “There are 16 states that have adopted the UBE.”

    Sweeping the nation
    Kaplan Test Prep explained that the state is adopting the UBE starting July 2016 as a way to make law practice more flexible. With this adoption, aspiring lawyers in the area would need to take the UBE and complete a 50-question multiple choice test on New York-specific laws. The state joins 15 others in the country that have also adopted the exam.

    According to the UBE website, participating states are as follows:

    •     New York
    •     New Hampshire
    •     Alabama
    •     Missouri
    •     Minnesota
    •     Kansas
    •     Nebraska
    •     North Dakota
    •     Montana
    •     Wyoming
    •     Colorado
    •     Arizona
    •     Utah
    •     Idaho
    •     Washington
    •     Alaska.

    According to past Kaplan research, this decision is well received in the law community, as it doesn’t restrict lawyers to one area of the country. New York’s decision to participate could open doors for other states in the U.S., as New York has a large number of bar exam takers.

    “Our research shows that many aspiring lawyers will welcome New York’s adoption of the Uniform Bar Exam, as it provides a more uniform experience for test takers and allows them greater career mobility,” said Steve Marietti, vice president and general manager, Kaplan Bar Review.

    Things to note
    States’ adoption of the UBE is a major breakthrough for those in law. Because of the impact this has on aspiring lawyers, the UBE has listed some important notes on its website. For starters, a UBE score that does not pass in a certain jurisdiction can be transferred to a different participating state for consideration. However, the character and fitness portion of the exam must be completed a second time for approval in that area.

    While the UBE is meant to make it easier for lawyers to expand their practice across the country, it’s important for test takers to know the facts before moving forward. It’s still a relatively new concept, so researching all of the guidelines for practicing in a new region is crucial. Once more states adopt the UBE, it should translate to more convenience and consistency across the country.

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