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AN OVERVIEW OF THE FUTURE

NEW YORK UNIFORM BAR EXAM (UBE)


Effective July 2016

The UBE consists of the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE),


Multistate Performance Test (MPT) and Multistate Essay
Examination (MEE). It is uniformly administered, graded and KEY BAR EXAM FORMAT CHANGES
scored by user jurisdictions and results in a portable score
that can be transferred to other jurisdictions if you have studied
law in the US. New York is the 16th state to date to adopt the
Current New York Bar Exam
UBE. The following states have already adopted the UBE: AL,
AK, AZ, CO, ID, KS, MN, MO, MT, NE, NH, ND, UT, WA, and WY.

Passing Score: 266 on a scale of 400. This is lower than some Day 1 (60%)
other UBE jurisdictions (which range from 260 to 280) but NY Essays (5 questions worth 40%)
equivalent to the passing score on the current New York bar MPT (1 task worth 10%)
exam. NY Multiple-choice (50 questions worth 10%)
Day 2 (40%)
In addition, for admission to New York you will need to MBE (200 multiple-choice questions worth 40%)
complete the online New York Law Course
(NYLC). The NYLC consists of lectures
interspersed with questions to certify review and
New York UBE (July 2016)
completion.
The online New York Law Exam (NYLE). This open-
book 50-question multiple choice test will be offered
four times annually. It can be taken up to a year prior Day 1 (50%)

to the bar exam or within three years afterward. The MEE (6 questions worth 30%)
passing score is 30/50. MPT (2 tasks worth 20%)
Day 2 (50%)
A passing score on the MPRE of 85 and
MBE (200 multiple-choice questions worth 50%)
50 hours of pro-bono legal work.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE
NEW YORK UNIFORM BAR EXAM (UBE)
Effective July 2016

BARBRI has prepared students for every UBE and for There is significant overlap in MBE subjects tested. The
every MEE since its inception in 1995. BARBRI has prepared MBE used on both the current New York bar exam and
students for the MBE since its inception in 1979 and will UBE covers the same subjects: Constitutional Law,
continue to offer support to students for the new exam format Contracts (including Uniform Commercial Code [UCC]
on which the MBE will represent 50% (compared to the Article 2), Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Federal
current 40%) of each students score. Civil Procedure, Real Property and Torts.

The BARBRI Simulated MBE with Pass Predictor is even The MEE covers the same MBE topics, as well as Business
more valuable now. This 200 question multiple-choice Relationships, Family Law, Trusts and Estates and UCC
practice exam provides the most predictive results of any Article 9. With the exception of Federal Civil Procedure, all
practice MBE and will continue to be a key part of your New of these subjects are tested on the current New York bar
York bar course. exam, through both essays and multiple choice questions.
There are three subjects that are tested on the current
New York essay and multiple choice questions that are not
covered on the UBE: New York Civil Practice and Procedure,
Administrative Law and Professional Responsibility.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: Eligibility requirements for the New York bar exam remain unchanged.
BARBRI advises international students to proceed as planned to take the current New York bar exam.

BARBRI is reviewing all of its New York programs to align with the UBE. This includes the International
Program, LL.M. Extended Bar Review and standard state course. All BARBRI students will be expertly
prepared for the New York UBE in July 2016.

Licensure between UBE jurisdictions is not automatic. Each UBE jurisdiction independently decides who
may sit for the bar exam and who may be admitted to practice. Most UBE states require an applicant to be a
graduate of an ABA accredited law school. There is no indication that the other UBE jurisdictions will be open
to foreign-trained attorneys.

Achieving a certain UBE score does not guarantee admission in another jurisdiction. Each UBE state has its own
bar exam eligibility criteria, which includes how long to accept transferred UBE scores. UBE states may choose
to assess each applicants knowledge of jurisdiction-specific content through a test or course separate from the
UBE (i.e. the NYLC and the NYLE). For details, go to: ncbex.org/exams/ube/

BARBRI.COM | 043-15
The Court of Appeals just announced that as of July 2016, New York will adopt the Uniform
Bar Exam (UBE). This change has brought about confusion as to how this change in the bar
exam will affect students. To help clarify some of the questions and to help ease some of the
anxiety this may have caused law students, here is some pertinent information about the
two exams.
First, the two exams are very similar. Seventy percent of the UBE consists of the Multistate
Bar Exam (MBE) and the Multistate Performance Test (MPT), each of which have been a
part of the New York bar exam for years. The only structural differences are that there will
be six 30-minute essays instead of five 45-minute essays, and the elimination of 50 multiple
choice questions on New York law (though there will be a separate multiple choice test on
NY law that has no effect on students passage of the UBE, but will be required for
admission to practice law in New York).
Second, there are no additional subjects covered on the UBE that were not previously
covered on the NY exam.
Third, the biggest difference between the two exams is that while 50 percent of the existing
New York bar exam tests ones knowledge of New York law, and the other 50% tests on
ones knowledge of generally accepted principles of law (Multistate Law), the UBE tests
entirely on Multistate law (and no New York law). This departure from testing on New York
law will actually make the bar exam significantly easier to prepare for, as many people
studying for the current New York bar exam struggle to remember all of the distinctions
between New York and Multistate law.

So, is this change a good thing for you? Probably. While a greater weighting of the MBE may
work against someone who struggles with standardized multiple choice tests, preparing for
the exam should be easier since you wont have to worry about New York law distinctions.
The UBE also offers score portability, which will enable students to transfer their score to
another jurisdiction for several years after they take the UBE. This is not much of a benefit
if you plan to live and practice law in New York, unless you have a job that allows you to be
admitted in any jurisdiction (e.g. many legal positions in the federal government). In that
case, even if you do not achieve a passing score in New York, you might be able to transfer
you score to another UBE state with a lower passing score and become admitted there.
Drawbacks:
There will now be more competition from job-hungry graduates from other states who are
no longer scared off by the prospect of having to study for what has been considered one of
the most difficult bar exams in the country (because of its emphasis on New York law). If
those graduates take the UBE in another jurisdiction, they can transfer their score to New
York and only have to complete the short, New York-specific multiple choice test to gain
admission to practice in New York.
But dont stress over that. You didnt decide to become a New York lawyer thinking there
would be no competition.You decided to take the New York bar exam because New
York is in many ways the capital of the world, you want to be in the center of the
action, and youve always known that youll be ready for anything that is thrown at
you. A little more competition isnt going to hold you back.
You may see some changes to your law school curriculum next year (perhaps in the form of
decreased emphasis on courses teaching New York law in favor of a more nationalized
curriculum) but it shouldnt be anything earth shattering. You will still be exposed to the
essentials of New York law so that youre prepared to practice when you graduate.
Here at Pieper Bar Review, weve been re-organizing our materials for next summers class,
trimming the coverage of New York law and replacing the essays to fit the format of the
UBE. Between your law school and Pieper Bar Review, you will be fed a steady diet of the
UBE next year. Youll be ready.
The UBE (and more precisely, each of its components) have been around for a long time, so
while this will be a new exam for New York, its less of an adjustment than, for example, the
introduction of Federal Civil Procedure which hit the MBE for the first time this February.
Bottom line: Youve got this. And weve got your back.