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3.1 Overview of NY BAR Admission Requirements

Getting licensed to practice law is the goal for virtually every law graduate, but the process can seem daunting at first. There are three exams that one must pass to be admitted. They are:

  • Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) – a two-hour multiple-choice exam usually offered three times a year; it can be taken any time after your first year of law school.

  • New York Law Exam (NYLE) – a two-hour online multiple-choice exam usually given four times a year. It focuses on NY distinctions and NY Practice. You must complete a 17-hour online course, the NY Law Course (NYLC), a month before registering for the exam. It can be taken within one year of taking and passing the Uniform Bar Exam.

  • Uniform Bar Exam (UBE)this is known as THE bar exam. It is given the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July. It is a 2-day exam including essay questions, multistate performance questions, and multiple-choice questions. Applications to take the bar examination must be filed from November 1st to November 30th for the February examination and from April 1st to April 30th for the July examination.

In addition, there are three other requirements for bar admission in New York.

  • 50 Hour Pro Bono Rulealmost every CUNY Law graduate meets this requirement by meeting the clinic requirement. (If your clinical placement is with a for-profit firm, consult with Florence Kerner, Director of Bar Prep and Licensing, about how to meet this requirement.)

  • Skills Requirement – every CUNY Law graduate automatically meets this requirement based on required course work. (If you are a transfer student, consult with the Academic Affairs Office.) The law school must certify that you possess the skills necessary for practice and competence in professional values.

  • Character and Fitness. Application– in New York, this is submitted after you pass the UBE, NYLE and MPRE and are applying for admission. You are reminded that, as noted in your application for admission to CUNY School of Law, you have an ongoing responsibility to notify the Law School of any and all subsequent changes in the information contained in the application and/or during the period of enrollment. This means that, if there are any facts or incidents requiring disclosure (such as traffic violations, arrests, changes in academic credentialing from institutions outside the law school, professional licensing events, etc.), you must notify the Law School to ensure compliance with the continuing disclosure requirement. You are also responsible for determining the possible impact of any such information on your character and fitness application.

The complete admissions application must be submitted within three years of passing the UBE.

For more information:

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