The New York State Bar Examination

Visit NY State Board of Law Examiners (NYS BOLE) for detailed information on the New York State bar examination application and requirements.  We encourage you to obtain and carefully review the application materials as early as possible and make careful note of the NYS BOLE filing deadlines as there are no provisions for late filing.

NOTE: The certification process differs slightly for J.D. and LL.M. students. Once you have read this page, please follow the relevant link for additional information based on degree. 

The New York Court of Appeals has adopted the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) that New York adopt the UBE effective July 2016. The Advisory Committee also recommended, and the Court of Appeals adopted, a requirement that applicants for admission in New York be required to complete an online course on New York law (New York Law Course, or NYLC) and take and pass an online examination on New York law (New York Law Exam, or NYLE), as a requirement for admission.

NOTE:  In order to apply for the NYLE, you first must complete the 17-hour NYLC.  The report of the Advisory Committee is available on its website. Get more information and answers to frequently asked questions.

Applications for the July bar examination must be filed with the NYS BOLE between April 1 and April 30.  Applications for the February examination must be filed between November 1 and November 30. The filing deadlines will not change from year to year.

Deadline for Proof of Eligibility and Handwriting Specimen
Pursuant to revised Board Rule 6000.2(b) and (c), as explained in further detail at the New York Bar Exam website, all eligibility proofs (e.g., completed Certificate of Attendance), transcripts and handwriting specimens must be received in the Board’s office by the following deadlines:

  • February Exam: Deadline is February 1​​​. Submit Law School Bar Certification form to Registration Services by January 1.
  • July Exam: Deadline is June 15. Submit Law School Bar Certification form to Registration Services by May 1.

These deadlines will, of necessity, be strictly enforced. Candidates whose proofs are not received by the applicable deadline will not be permitted to sit for that bar examination. To ensure timely submission to the Board, make sure that the Law School’s Office of Registration Services has forms requiring certification by January 1 for the February exam and by May 15 for the July exam.

The Board will not accept a postmark as the method to determine timely filing. All applications and supporting documentation (i.e. – bar examination applications and re-applications, ADA test accommodations applications and re-applications, eligibility proofs, handwriting specimens, etc.) must be received in the Board’s office on or before the filing period deadline.

 

The laptop program allows you to use your personal laptop computer along with Board designated word processing security software to type your answers to MPT and MEE questions. When you apply for the examination, you must indicate whether you will participate in the laptop program.

NOTE: You must elect the laptop program during the application period. No one will be added to the laptop program after the application period closes. 

The Board has changed its policy concerning Test Center assignments. Seating is no longer based on the applicant’s residential address as provided by the applicant on the bar exam application. Test Center assignments will be based on availability and on a first come, first-served basis at the time of the Board’s seating assignment email. First-time applicants who graduate with a Juris Doctor degree from a New York State law school will be given the first opportunity to select a seat assignment. Read additional information regarding test sites.

The New York Court of Appeals has identified five pathways through which applicants for admission to practice may satisfy the requirement to "demonstrate that the applicant possesses the skills and values necessary to provide effective, ethical and responsible legal services in this State."

Review more detailed information on the Skills Competency Requirement.

The Board’s application, instructions, and documentation guidelines for candidates requesting test accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act are available for download from the Board’s website at www.nybarexam.org/ADA/ADA.htm

Note that the Board no longer accepts a postmark date as the method for timely filing of documents; rather, applications for test accommodations must be received in the Board’s office no later than November 30 for the February examination and April 30 for the July examination. Also, the Board’s rule for appealing the denial of accommodations has been modified. Pursuant to Board Rule 6000.4(e), the appeal may not present any new diagnosis or disability that was not discussed in the candidate’s application, nor may any additional documentation that was not originally provided with the application be offered on the appeal. Appeals must be received at the Board's office no later than 14 days from the date of the Board’s determination.  

For assistance in completing Certification of Accommodations History forms, please contact Columbia University's Disability Services office at 212-854-2668 or email inquires to [email protected].