A potential game-changer to the legal profession took place this week in White Plains, New York. The state has decided to adopt the nationally standardized, Uniform Bar Exam (UBE). New York will be the 16th state to adopt the exam.
New York’s Chief Judge, Jonathan Lippman told the New York Law Journal, “New York will be the change-maker, shaping the legal profession nationally, dramatically altering the balance and leading the way to the adoption across the country of a rational, effective system for ensuring that new lawyers are eminently qualified to join our noble legal profession.”
The reason why this is a ‘change-maker’ is evident. So far, the states to adopt the UBE have had fewer graduates taking the bar. They are mainly states in the middle, north and Rocky Mountain sections of the country (Wyoming, Idaho, Missouri, North Dakota, to name a few). Last year, nearly 15,200 people took the licensing exam in New York —more than any other state.
Lippman created a committee to examine if the state should adopt the UBE. They not only adopted it, but also suggested the state adopts it by the July 2016 exam. The UBE is coordinated by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) and is comprised of four sections. New York already had two sections that were congruent. They will be dropping the five-essay section specific to New York and adopting the multistate essay examination.
The committee concluded that adopting the UBE would “fairly assess competency, protect clients, adapt to the geographic and economic realities of 21st century practices and enhance candidate proficiency in New York law.” The required passage score will be 266—similar to other states.
Lippman said the main reasoning to make this switch is to give graduates of New York’s 15 law schools better access to jobs in other states.
Source: New York Law Journal
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