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.

All J.D. candidates applying for the New York State Bar must complete the following steps:

The New York Law Course (NYLC )is an online, on demand course on important and unique principles of New York law in the following subjects: Administrative Law, Business Relationships, Civil Practice and Procedure, Conflict of Laws, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Matrimonial and Family Law, Professional Responsibility, Real Property, Torts and Tort Damages, and Trusts, Wills and Estates. Completion of the NYLC is required in order to obtain a license to practice law in the State of New York.

The NYLC consists of approximately 17 hours of video lectures with embedded questions that must be answered correctly before you may continue viewing the lecture. You must view each lecture in its entirety. 

You may complete the NYLC up to one year before or any time after the date on which you first sit for the UBE, subject to the application filing deadline of Section 520.12(d) of the Rules of the Court of Appeals

You must complete the course in its entirety before you may register for the New York Law Examination (NYLE). 

The NYLE is a 50 item, two hour, open book, multiple choice test administered online. It tests important New York rules on the topics of Administrative Law, Business Relationships, Civil Practice and Procedure, Conflict of Laws, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Matrimonial and Family Law, Professional Responsibility, Real Property, Torts and Tort Damages, and Trusts, Wills and Estates.  

The New York Law Exam (NYLE) is offered four times per year. Please note that the failure to take and pass the NYLE before the results of any given UBE are released may result in a delay in admission. Third-year law students taking a July UBE are particularly encouraged to take and pass the NYLE before the UBE results are released in late October. The future dates of the NYLE and the filing deadlines are:

  •         December 19, 2019, 12:00 pm ET (apply by November 19, 2019, 11:59 pm)
  •         March 12, 2020, 12:00 pm ET (apply by February 11, 2020, 11:59 pm)
  •         June 11, 2020, 12:00 pm ET (apply by May 12, 2020, 11:59 pm)
  •         September 24, 2020, 12:00 pm ET (apply by August 25, 2020, 11:59 pm)
  •         December 17, 2020, 12:00 pm ET (apply by November 17, 2020, 11:59 pm)

The deadline to register for the NYLE is 30 days before the test date and there is a $27 registration fee. For a complete list of NYLE test dates and registration deadlines, please check the NYS BOLE website.

The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) is a 60-question multiple-choice examination administered three times each year. A passing score on the test is required for admission to the bars of all but two U.S. jurisdictions (Wisconsin and Puerto Rico). Passing scores are established by each jurisdiction. Applicants are advised to contact the jurisdictions directly for the most current information regarding passing scores, rules, and policies. If you have questions regarding the MPRE, please visit http://www.ncbex.org/exams/mpre/registration/or contact LSAC at 215-504-3886 or at [email protected].

All candidates seeking admission after January 1, 2015, with the exception of admission on motion candidates, will need to file an affidavit showing that they have completed 50 hours of qualifying pro bono work, as required by Rule 520.16 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals. This is different than the 40 hours of pro bono service required for the CLS JD degree.

For more information on the 50-hour pro bono requirement for admission to the New York State bar, visit the Law School's Social Justice Initiatives site at http://www.law.columbia.edu/social-justice/students/pro-bono or the New York State Unified Court System site at http://www.nycourts.gov/attorneys/probono/baradmissionreqs.shtml.

  1. Apply to take the UBE

    In order to apply for the UBE, you must provide your National Conference of Board Examiners (NCBE) number.  For information on obtaining an NCBE number, select the tab "NCBE Account" at the NCBE website or visit https://accounts.ncbex.org/php/ncbe_number/goDashboard. Your application to take the UBE must be filed by the dates below:

    • New York State Bar Exam Date: February 25-26, 2020
      Application Filing Date: November 1-30, 2019

    • New York State Bar Exam Date: July 28-29, 2020
      Application Filing Date: April 1-30, 2020

    • New York State Bar Exam Date: February 23-24, 2021
      Application Filing Date: November 1-30, 2020

    • New York State Bar Exam Date: July 27-28, 2021
      Application Filing Date: April 1-30, 2021

    • New York State Bar Exam Date: February 22-23, 2022
      Application Filing Date: November 1-30, 2021

    • New York State Bar Exam Date: July 26-27, 2022
      Application Filing Date: April 1-30, 2022

    • New York State Bar Exam Date: February 21-22, 2023
      Application Filing Date: November 1-30, 2022

    • New York State Bar Exam Date: July 25-26, 2023
      Application Filing Date: April 1-30, 2023

    At the time of application for the UBE, you will be required to certify that you satisfy the NYS eligibility requirements. Applicants will need to answer specific questions about the number of credits they completed in various types of offerings, including clinical coursework, field placement programs, joint degree courses, study of law in a foreign country (i.e., term or year study abroad as a Columbia Law School student), etc.  Please review your transcript before completing this form. 

    Your answers to these questions will be used to generate a Certificate of Attendance form. This form will be sent directly to Registration Services by NYS BOLE, there is no need for you to resubmit the form to Registration Services for processing. We will review the form and make any necessary adjustments in terms of category of points. Read the guidelines for completing the JD Certificate of Attendance.

  2. Provide a handwriting sample.

    You will need to provide a handwriting sample in the presence of a Registration Services Office staff member. Registration Services holds Handwriting Sample Certification events in April of each year (see below). If you are unable to attend one of these events, please make arrangements directly with Registration Services (212.854.2668 or [email protected]). Alternatively, you can arrange to send a notarized Handwriting Sample directly to the bar examiners by their stated deadline. 

    Note: All applicants are required to submit a handwriting sample regardless if they register to participate in the laptop program.

    The deadline for receipt of your handwriting sample and your Certification of Attendance by the NYS BOLE is June 15 for the July examination, and February 1 for the February examination.

    All sessions take place from 12-2 pm in the lower level of William & June Warren Hall outside room L107. Please bring your Columbia ID card, or a government-issued picture ID card so that your handwriting can be formally witnessed.

    • Monday, April 6, 2020
    • Thursday, April 9, 2020 
    • Tuesday, April 14, 2020
    • Wednesday, April 22, 2020

    NYS BOLE will mail this form to applicants after April 30. If you provided a handwriting sample at one of the above sessions, there is no need for you to resubmit the form to Registration Services.

 

  1. Certification of Certificate of Attendance. Once you have completed your JD requirements, the Office of Registration Services will then review and complete your Certificate of Attendance Form, which will be sent directly to us by the NYS BOLE
  2. Mailing deadlines. We will submit all your documentation by the June 15 school certificate deadline.

You will receive email confirmation when this has taken place.

NOTE:  J.D. applicants whose degree will not have been conferred prior to the July bar exam date may still be eligible to take the July exam if they have completed all degree requirements and have grades recorded by June 1.  Their eligibility to sit for the bar will be based on degree completion, and their degree will be conferred in October.

This evaluation will require you to provide current and historical education, employment, residential and financial information. It will also ask questions about criminal and school discipline, as well as disability. In addition, you will have to provide law-related employment affidavits and character references. Failure to be completely honest and display full candor is a grounds for not being admitted or being disbarred.

  1. Application.
  2. Moral Character and Fitness. The New York Lawyer Assistance Trust has prepared a brochure regarding the character and fitness requirements for admission to the practice of law in New York State. All law students and graduates are encouraged to review it carefully and to contact the Law School’s Dean of Students if they need to discuss issues related to their admission to practice law.
  3. Law Related Employment Affidavit(s)
  4. Form Law School Certificate. The Office of Registration Services will complete the Form Law School Certificate.
  5. Pro Bono Affivdavit
  6. Skills Form Affidavit. The Office of Registration Services will complete the Skills Form Affidavit.

The Office of Registration Services will complete both the Form Law School Certificate and Skills Form Affidavit.  You may email these forms to [email protected] or mail to: 

Office of Registration Services
Columbia Law School
Box A-25
435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10027 

Please be sure to sign and date the first page and indicate the correct department on the second page of the Form Law School Certificate before submitting.