April 1, 2019: New York State Bar Association Forms Task Force to Review NY Bar Exam

The New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) has announced the formation of a task force to review New York’s bar examination in light of the state’s May 2015 adoption of the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE), which is now used by over 30 states.

The mission of the Task Force on the New York Bar Examination is to investigate and report on the experience and impact of New York’s adoption of the UBE. Presiding Justice Alan D. Scheinkman, of the Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department, and Eileen D. Millett, Esq., former co-chair of NYSBA’s Committee on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar, will co-chair the task force.

“There are nuances in New York law that are the difference between being ready to practice and having to learn some vital basics after you come out of law school,” said NYSBA President Michael Miller. “That’s why, when the proposal to use the UBE in New York was introduced, NYSBA recommended a two-year study period prior to adoption. The UBE was adopted here without that study period, and we believe that now is the time for a careful evaluation of its impact upon our profession, legal education, and the clients whom we serve.”

“We are grateful that Justice Scheinkman and Ms. Millett, two exceptional leaders, have agreed to co-chair this task force,” Miller added.

 “New York law has long been the gold standard in American jurisprudence,” said NYSBA President-elect Hank Greenberg. “The bar exam should play an important role in ensuring that newly admitted lawyers appreciate the importance of New York law, and have an appropriate grounding in it. I applaud Presiding Justice Scheinkman and Eileen Millett for leading this effort to assess the impact of the UBE.”

The task force will consider the impact that the UBE has had on applicants; on the qualifications and relevant knowledge of newly admitted New York attorneys; on potential employers; on current members of the bar; and on diversity in the profession. At the conclusion of its investigation, the task force will make recommendations regarding the future content and form of New York’s bar exam.  

The UBE is a standardized bar exam created by the National Conference of Bar Examiners and is designed to test knowledge and skills that every lawyer should have before becoming licensed to practice law. UBE scores can be transferred to seek admission in other UBE jurisdictions.

About the New York State Bar Association
The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Since 1876, the Association has helped shape the development of law, educated and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.

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Contact: Christian Nolan 
cnolan@nysba.org
518-487-5536