This change means that applicants must pass this new exam if they want admission to the bar in New York. They will also be required to take an online New York law course and pass a multiple choice exam with 50 questions specific to New York law, according to the New York State Bar Association.
The decision to phase out the New York Bar exam was announced by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman of the Court of Appeals in his Law Day address on May 5, 2015. The judge had originally proposed that the first UBE be administered last July but the State Bar Association’s delegates sought an extension to study the matter further and hold public hearings.
Come July, New York will be the largest of 16 states requiring applicants to pass the Uniform Bar Exam.
In his announcement, the chief judge said the transition augured “a new era of licensing lawyers to meet the challenges of our global world.”
An advisory committee on the UBE, appointed by the chief judge and chaired by the Honorable Jenny Rivera, associate judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, heard from attorneys, academic law professors, law school deans, bar associations and other groups before releasing its report recommending the adoption of the new exam.
One of the questions that had to be resolved, according to State Bar President Glenn Lau-Kee, was deciding how much New York law the applicants should still have to know.
“We raised a lot of concerns about the importance of testing on knowledge of New York law,” said Lau-Kee in a statement. “Our big issue continues to be how to make sure that new attorneys are prepared to practice law in New York—both for the protection of the profession and the protection of the public.”
Studying for the bar exam can be time-consuming and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Pieper Bar Review’s Question of the Day is a helpful, fun resource to ensure you’re fully prepared and ready to succeed.