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New York Releases February 2017 Bar Exam Results
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Summary: New York has released the results from its February 2017 bar exam. 

Yesterday, the New York State Board of Law Examiners announced the state’s February 2017 bar exam results, much to the delight or horror of its test-takers. According to the board’s press release, 4,162 foreign and domestic candidates took the exam, and the pass rate for repeat takers and first timers was 44%, which was an increase of 3% from last year’s test.


February 2017 was the second time that New York administered the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE), and the first time the UBE was administered, the state pass rate for first-time ABA-law school graduates was 83%. The pass rate for first-time New York ABA law school graduates for February 2017’s test was 69%, and the rate for all first-time ABA law school graduate examinees was 71%. Although there was a drop from the first New York UBE to the second, this was still an improvement of February 2016’s pass rate for all first-time ABA law school graduates.

The UBE is a standardized test that consists of the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), the Multistate Performance Test (MPT), and the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE). Candidates who pass the UBE in one state can practice in any of the 27 jurisdictions that also administers the UBE.

Before New York enacted the UBE, it was notorious for being one of the toughest states to pass the bar. After the UBE was adopted, the New York pass rate increased, and experts said that the UBE was an easier exam than what candidates were given before.

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Foreign-educated first-timers and repeaters dragged New York’s pass rate down with only 34% of them passing. However,  New York’s Pro Bono Scholars brought the state average up with a pass rate of 86%. Started in 2014 by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, the Pro Bono program allows 3L law students to take the bar exam in exchange for them to perform pro bono service for the poor through an approved clinical or externship program during their last semester. This year, 96 Pro Bono Scholars took the exam and 83 passed.

The candidates were notified of their exam results on April 26, 2017, and a list of passing candidates was posted on the Board’s website on April 27, 2017.

For the successful candidates, their next step is to become certified for admission to the Appellate Division before appearing before the Committee on Character and Fitness. The Board will also verify that candidates have taken and passed the New York Law Course and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination.

Photo courtesy of Youtube

What do you think of February 2017’s New York Bar Exam Results? Let us know in the comments below.


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