J.D. NYS Bar Applicants
All J.D. candidates for the New York State Bar must complete the following steps:
1. Complete the 15-hour online course on New York law (NYLC)
2. Pass the 2-hour online examination on New York law (NYLE)
3. Pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE)
4. Complete 50 hours of pro bono service (this is different than the 40 hours of pro bono service required for the CLS JD degree)
5. Take the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) – for which there are two key prior steps:
1. Apply to take the (UBE)
2. Provide a handwriting sample
1. Certification of Certificate of Attendance
2. Mailing deadlines
Final Steps (admission to the bar):
2. Moral Character and Fitness
3. Law Related Employment Affadavit(s)
4. Form Law School Certificate
5. Pro Bono Affavdavit
New York Law Course (NYLC):
The 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 15 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).
New York Law Exam (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 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 dates for future NYLE are:
- March 22, 2018, 12:00 pm ET (apply by February 20)
- June 14, 2018, 12:00 pm ET (apply by May 15)
- September 27, 2018, 12:00 pm ET (apply by August 28)
- December 20, 2018, 12:00 pm ET (November 20)
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.
Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination:
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 three U.S. jurisdictions (Maryland, 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/ or contact LSAC at 215-504-3886 or at [email protected].
Complete 50 Hours of Pro Bono:
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.
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.
Apply to take Uniform Bar Examination (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:
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.
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 registrar to partipate 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 on the 5th floor of William & June Warren Hall. Please bring your Columbia ID, or a government-issued picture ID so that your handwriting can be formally witnessed.
- Tuesday, April 3
- Thursday, April 5 (This session will be held in the lower level of William & June Warren Hall outside room L107).
- Wednesday, April 11
- Monday, April 16
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.
Once you have completed your JD requirements, the Office of Registration Services will then review and complete your Certificate of Attendance, which will be sent directly to us by the NYS BOLE, and 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.
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.
The Office of Registration Services will complete the Form Law School Certificate. You may email the form to [email protected] or mail to:
Office of Registration Services
Columbia Law School
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 before submitting.