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July 2016 New York Bar Exam Results
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Summary: The New York State Board of Law Examiners has released data about the July 2016 test.

The New York State Board of Law Examiners released the state’s 2016 bar exam results, and examinees were notified electronically of their scores on Friday, October 28, 2016. The test was the first time the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) was used. Based on the increase in New York bar passage rates, it is likely that more states will adopt the UBE in the future.


The New York bar exam was notorious for its difficulty, and the UBE was designed to address the issue of some states having easier or more difficult exams. According to NCBEX, who coordinates the test, the Uniform Bar Exam is a test that is uniformly administered, graded, and scored by test-takers’ jurisdictions, but the scores can be transferred to any UBE jurisdiction. That means that a New York lawyer can now easily practice in another state.

“New York results have been improving since it adopted the UBE, but that may be related to the fact that the UBE is easier than the [former] New York bar exam,” Denise Roy, co-president of the Society of American Law School Teachers’ board of governors, told ABA Journal.

The map below shows which states have adopted the UBE.

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The map of UBE states. Graphic courtesy of the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

For the July 2016 exam, 6,228 first timers took the test, a number which was the lowest for New York since 2004. Last year, the NYSBLE saw 6,733 first time test takers.

The NYSBLE reported that 10,297 candidates took the test in July, and this number includes domestic and foreign-educated candidates. Foreign-educated candidates had a low bar passage rate of 37%, which was an increase from last year but still an unfavorable rate. There were 3,005 foreign-educated candidates who took the UBE in July, and this number accounts for 29% of all candidates.

This year, 374 fewer test takers came out than the previous year, and this number is the lowest number of examinees since 2006. Out of the 10,297 candidates, only 64% of them passed, which is a slight improvement from 2015.

According to the New York Bar, this year’s bar passage rate for ABA accredited law schools was 83%, an increase from last July’s examination. The bar passage rate for New York law school graduates was an equally impressive 82%, which was a 4% increase from 2015.

Below is a breakdown of New York Bar Exam candidates and their pass rates.

Screen Shot 2016-11-20 at 1.37.12 PM

Chart courtesy of NYSBLE.

A full list of passing candidates can be found on the New York Bar Exam’s official website. Successful candidates must then appear before the Committee on Character and Fitness to be examined before their admission the bar.

Source: NYSBLE

What do you think of the UBE? Let us know in the comments below.


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