State-by-State Bar Exam Information: New York
New Professional Responsibility Requirement
In April 2012, the State of New York made a number of changes to its rules for the admission to practice law. (Those rules can be found here.) Among the changes was the adoption of a new requirement that students take a two-credit course in professional responsibility. The State of New York has approved the following three courses taught at the Law School as satisfying this requirement: Legal Profession, Professional Responsibility, and Law and Ethics of Lawyering. Students who plan to sit for the New York bar exam and who take Lawyering: A History to satisfy the Law School's and the ABA's legal profession requirement should also take one of these three courses in order to satisfy New York's professional responsibility requirement.
New Pro Bono Requirement
In September 2012, the State of New York adopted a new pro bono requirement for applicants seeking admission to the bar. Any student who will be seeking admission to the New York bar after January 1, 2015 will be required to complete 50 hours of pro bono service prior to admission. Because there is no territorial restriction on where this pro bono service may be performed, Pitt Law students will be able to fulfill this requirement while here in law school. In fact, many of the activities that Pitt Law students already engage in at the Law School appear to be eligible to meet this requirement (e.g., work in one of the Law School's legal clinics or in an externship with a nonprofit, a government agency, or a judge).
The text of the rule implementing the new pro bono requirement can be found here. A list of FAQs on the new rule can be found here. Please take the time to carefully read the rules and FAQs to ensure that you meet this requirement prior to seeking admission to the New York bar.
The last Tue and Wed of February and July
Written: Five New York essay questions and one Multistate Performance Test
Multiple-choice: 50 New York multiple-choice questions and the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE)
The MBE tests Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Evidence, Real Property, and Torts.
The New York portion tests the MBE subjects, statutory no-fault insurance provisions, Business Relationships, Conflict of Laws, New York Constitutional Law, Criminal Procedure, Family Law, Remedies, New York and Federal Civil Jurisdiction and Procedure, Professional Responsibility, Trusts, Wills and Estates , and UCC Articles 2, 3, and 9. NOTE: Effective with the July 2014 bar exam, the Board will no longer test UCC Article 3 – Negotiable Instruments – on the New York section of the bar exam. Effective with the February 2015 exam, Administrative Law will be added to the list of subject matters tested on the New York section of the bar exam.
Yes. Information regarding laptop registration is made available on the Board's website to candidates at the time of application. All applicants who request to take the exam on a laptop will be able to do so unless space is limited.
Yes--on the Board of Law Examiners' website at www.nybarexam.org/ExamQuestions/ExamQuestions.htm
The relative weights assigned are 50% to the written portion (40% essays and 10% MPT), 10% to the New York multiple choice, and 40% to the MBE portion.
2012: 76%; 2011: 79% (This statistic includes foreign law graduates, who are permitted to sit for the NY exam. The pass rate for first-time takers from ABA-approved U.S. law schools is higher)
2012: 68%; 2011: 69% (This statistic includes foreign law graduates, who are permitted to sit for the NY exam. The pass rate for all takers from ABA-approved U.S. law schools is higher.)
Yes, but concurrent examination only
Yes, but only if the applicant has practiced law for five of the last seven years in a jurisdiction with which New York has reciprocity. Please consult the jurisdiction directly for more detailed information on admission by motion.
The information for New York comes from the New York Board of Law Examiners' website and response to our survey, as well as the National Conference of Bar Examiners' Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements.