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New York Considering Switch to Uniform Bar Exam
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Summary: The state of New York is considering offering bar candidates the chance to take the Uniform Bar Exam beginning as early as next July.

A debate is occurring in New York surrounding the idea of replacing the bar exam with a nationally administered and graded standardized test, according to The Wall Street Journal.

  
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If the switch is approved, it would occur by next summer.

The switch would also make it easier for lawyers to move in and out of New York without having to take tests anywhere else.

The proposal is known as the Uniform Bar Examination and it is used by 14 states right now. The New York Court of Appeals will weigh the pros and cons of switching to this test.

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A lawyer who passes the uniform test in one state is permitted to transfer the score they earn to another jurisdiction that participates in the test, but there are some exceptions.

Should New York accept the proposal, it would triple the number of people taking the uniform test in the country.



The New York Court of Appeals will vote on the plan following a public comment period that comes to a conclusion in November.

“New York would be a national leader as the first large state in terms of bar applicants to administer this test,” states the proposal by the New York State Board of Law Examiners. The board also wrote in its proposal that the uniform exam would expand “employment opportunities for lawyers throughout the nation.”

The board has suggested a minimum passing score of 266 for the uniform test, should it be approved. This score is lower than the score used by most states currently offering this exam.

The board would require bar candidates to pass a section on New York law that would take one hour to complete and include multiple-choice questions.

Will the Court of Appeals approve this new bar exam? Share your thoughts in our poll below.

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Image credit: New York Court of Appeals



 

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