New York Bar Exam
Our LL.M. program is designed for international lawyers who wish to obtain an LL.M. in American Law and return to their home countries to continue their legal career. The program is not meant to prepare students to take a U.S. state bar examination and become admitted to law practice in the United States. Foreign lawyers who intend to reside permanently and practice law in the United States should apply for the three-year JD degree program, the first degree in law, rather than the LL.M. program.
Nonetheless, you should be aware that our LL.M. graduates are permitted to take the New York Bar examination, which requires only that the school verify satisfactory completion of the LL.M. degree.
Most states do not permit students to sit for their bar examination unless they hold a JD degree. New York and California, however, permit lawyers with an LL.M. degree to sit for their bar examinations if they meet certain other requirements. If you are considering taking the NY Exam, you should carefully read the information on the official website of the Board of Law Examiners of the State of New York (BOLE), http://www.nybarexam.org/.
–> If you plan on taking the New York Bar, you will need to extend your visa with Optional Practical Training. Although this extension is usually for students who wish to find an internship after their LL.M. studies, it is also required for those who are taking the New York Bar in order to extend your visa so that you can stay and take the New York Bar in July.
Exam Dates and Application Deadlines:
The New York Bar Examination is offered twice a year, in February and July, on the final Tuesday and Wednesday of the month. The Application Filing Periods for the examinations are as follows:
|For the February Exam:||November 1-30 prior to the exam|
|For the July Exam:||April 1-30 prior to the exam|
Advance Evaluation of Eligibility for Foreign Educated Applicants:
Prior to sitting for the Exam, all first-time foreign-educated applicants must submit their credentials to the NY BOLE to determine their eligibility for admission to the bar one year in advance of the application period for the examination you wish to take. Carefully review the eligibility requirements and application process for the advance evaluation at http://www.nybarexam.org/Foreign/ForeignLegalEducation.htm for information about how to apply. After submitting the Online Foreign Evaluation Form and submitting all of the required documents, you should receive a decision on your eligibility from the NY BOLE in ten (10) to twelve (12) weeks.
Facts about the NY Bar
Application Fee: $750 for foreign-educated applicants
(There is an additional fee of $100 if you wish to use your laptop during the Exam.
This fee covers the registration, ExamSoft software download, and the qualification
of your laptop for use on the Bar Exam. For more information about the Laptop
Program, go to http://www.nybarexam.org/TheBar/TheBar.htm#laptop.)
Locations of Exam: Albany, New York City, and Buffalo, NY
Exam Components: Each day of the examination will consist of a morning session and an afternoon
session with a lunch break in between.
Day One – 5 essay questions (3 in morning & 2 in afternoon)
50 multiple choice (morning)
1 one Multistate Performance Test (MPT) question (afternoon)
Day Two – 200 multiple choice questions in Multi-State Bar Exam (MBE)
Subjects Tested: Business Relationships, Civil Procedure, Conflicts of Law, Contracts,
Constitutional Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Family Law, Real
Property, Remedies, Torts, Trust, Wills & Estates, UCC Articles 2, 3 and 9, NY and
Fed. Civil Jurisdiction & Procedure
For more details, read the NY Bar Content Outline.
Combined Score Weights: MBE 40% / Essay 40% / MPT 10% / Multiple Choice 10%
Passing Scaled Score: 665 out of 1000 possible points
Click here for Pass Rate Statistics for the last 6 years.
To learn more, check out one of our alumni’s blog entry about her experience preparing for and taking the NY Bar Exam.
Most LL.M. students take a preparation course before sitting for the Bar Exam. Two preparation courses include:
- KAPLAN Bar Review. LLM Info: http://www.kaptest.com/Bar-Exam/Bar-Review-Courses/LLM/llm-ny-complete.html
- BARBRI: http://www.barbri.com/benefits/barreview.html
An alumnus strongly advises those who plan to take the NY Bar Exam to study with one of these preparation courses. She writes “it is near impossible to learn the material on your own.”
The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE):
Applicants must take and pass the MPRE before or after taking the NY Bar. (One of our alumni who passed the NY Bar suggests taking the MPRE before the Bar Exam.) The MPRE is a 60-question, two-hour-and-five-minute, multiple-choice examination administered three times per year (March, August, & November) at established test centers across the country. The purpose of the MPRE is to measure the examinee’s knowledge and understanding of established standards related to a lawyer’s professional conduct. More Information regarding the MPRE is available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.
Timeline for July 2013 Bar Exam
April 2012 or as soon as possible Submit Foreign Eligibility Evaluation at http://www.nybarapply.org/feval
January 31, 2013 Deadline to apply to sit for the MPRE in March 2013
March 2013 Take the MPRE
April 1-30, 2013 Submit application online at https://www.nybarapply.org/intro.aspx and pay
the application fee by Visa or Mastercard credit card. Please visit this website
for application forms and instructions:
http://www.nybarexam.org/forms/forms.htm. APPLICATIONS RECEIVED
AFTER THE FILING PERIOD WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
May 2013 Start studying for the Bar no later than early May and as one of our alumni writes, “commit yourselves entirely to studying over those two to three months and do not take on any work or other commitments.”
June 15, 2013 Deadline to submit the necessary law school “proofs” to support your eligibility to sit for the exam
July 2013 Read Board Rule 6000.9 on Fraud, Dishonesty and Other Misconduct, the Exam Day References, and the Security Policy
LLM Course Requirements:
According to the Foreign Legal Education handbook, applicants must pursue the following coursework during their LL.M. program to be eligible to sit for the NY Bar Examination:
- Professional Responsibility (2 credits)
- Legal Research and Writing for International Lawyers (2 credits)
- Introduction to American Law (2 credits)
- At least six (6) credits in Basic Law courses (see below)
List of Basic Courses:
Section 520.6 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law requires that certain foreign students take at least six (6) hours of basic courses in “American Law” as part of their LL.M. studies to qualify to sit for the New York Bar. The following courses could be used to meet this requirement:
|*All first year courses- Civil Procedure- Constitutional Law- Contracts- Criminal Law- Property- Torts*Antitrust*Banking Law
*Conflict of Laws
*Decedents Estates and Trusts
|*Entertainment Law*Equitable and Legal Remedies*Evidence*Family Law*Intellectual Property*International Business Transactions*International Law*Law, Literature and Culture
*Legal Research and Writing
These courses do not qualify:
*Introduction to American Law
*Law and Terrorism
*Scholarly Writing for International Lawyers