State Bar Admission and Examinations (NJ, NY)
At Seton Hall Law School most students are admitted to practice law in New Jersey and/or New York after graduation, but many are admitted to other states across the country. New Jersey and New York require, among other things, that applicants for admission to the Bar sit for the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) and obtain a minimum score of 266.
Most states administer the bar examinations the last week of February and the last week of July, with applications due approximately 4 months prior to the exam. Students must be aware of other states submission requirements and deadlines. The National Conference of Bar Examiners (http://www.ncbex.org) publishes an annual guide of the Bar Admission Requirements, please check the state in which you plan to practice for its rules and deadlines.
Information on Admission to the New Jersey Bar
To be admitted to the New Jersey Bar one must:
- qualify for and pass the New Jersey bar examination or apply using a qualifying Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) score, or qualify and apply for admission by motion;
- receive a Certification of Character;
- pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) with a 75 or higher or pass an approved law school course on ethics with a "C-" or better;
- and take the Oath of Admission and sign the attorney's roll.
To sit for the New Jersey bar examination, candidates must:
- be at least 18 years of age, have earned a Juris Doctor from an ABA accredited law school, and be in good standing in all jurisdictions to which they have been admitted (or have resigned or been administratively revoked). Please refer to the New Jersey Board of Bar Examiners websire for more information.
Starting the process in New Jersey. Applicants must create an account on-line. The link to register/log in is located on the top right hand side of the home page of the web site. Once you have registered, you will receive an activation email from [email protected] Make sure you check your spam folder and/or permit emails from njbarexams.org. After you have activated your account and if the application period has been opened, you can begin an application.
This is an on-line process. Applicants must register on-line. The following must be submitted:
- Payment – credit card, money order or certified check
- One Page signed and notarized application
- One page signed and notarized authorization and release form
After you submit your application you will receive a Certification of Graduation form. This form should be brought to Enrollment Services and it will be completed for you and sent directly to the Bar Examiners.
Certification of Character
To practice law in the State of New Jersey, candidates are required to demonstrate their fitness by showing the requisite traits of honesty, integrity, fiscal responsibility, trustworthiness, and a professional commitment to the judicial process and the administration of justice. Established pursuant to Rule 1:25, the Committee on Character reviews the personal record and reputation of each candidate for admission to the bar of the State of New Jersey to determine fitness to practice law. Each candidate must file a Certified Statement of Candidate. The Committee on Character reviews and verifies the information in the Statement of Candidate. The Committee on Character obtains credit history reports on all candidates.
The Board of Bar Examiners is authorized through the Supreme Court of New Jersey (2B:1-3) to obtain a criminal history check of all candidates through fingerprints submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the New Jersey State Police. Each applicant must be fingerprinted for each exam. The fingerprints submitted by the applicants are processed through the New Jersey State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a criminal check.
As a part of the Character certification process, complete Driver's Abstracts must be submitted from each state in which the candidate has been licensed to drive within the last seven years. Candidates should start the process of obtaining Driver's Abstracts immediately. Contact the Division of Motor Vehicles in each state or jurisdiction (including foreign jurisdictions) where you have been licensed to drive over the past seven years and request the most complete abstract of your driving record that is available.
After reviewing the Certified Statement and other materials, the Committee either certifies a candidate or recommends the withholding of certification pursuant to the Regulations Governing the Committee on Character. These regulations can be found on our website under the "Examination" tab.
You have a continuing obligation to supplement the information on your Certified Statement of Candidate to keep it current and accurate until the date of your admission to the bar of New Jersey. The certified statement can be amended by logging in to your User Home Page and selecting the option to Amend your application.
Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination
All candidates must demonstrate knowledge of the ethical obligations of the legal profession. This may be done by the successful completion of the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) prior to admission. A score of 75 has been set by the Board as the qualifying level. Candidates are encouraged to take the MPRE while in law school. In lieu of the MPRE, candidates may submit evidence in their Law School Certificate of successful completion at Law School of an approved course on professional ethics. To qualify, the course must be for credit (at least one credit hour), a minimum of nine classroom hours of instructions, and be devoted entirely to legal ethics and professional responsibility. Candidates must have received a grade of "C-" (or its equivalent) or higher.
Candidates Requiring Testing Accommodations
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Candidates who, because of physical, learning or other disabilities, require testing accommodations when taking the bar examination must complete a written application. Forms and instructions are included on line and must be downloaded from the website. Completed applications for testing accommodations must be submitted at the NJ Board of Bar Examiners website by November 30th for the February examination and April 30th for the July examination.
Information on the Admission to the New York Bar
Applications for the July bar examination must be filed with the NYS BOLE at NYS BOLE website, between April 1 and April 30. Applications for the February examination must be filed between November 1 and November 30. New York administers the UNIFORM BAR EXAMINATION. For more information, visit the New York Board of Law Examiners website.
JD New York Bar Examination Application
Certificate of Attendance & Handwriting Specimen
- The Board of Examiners will email each student their “Certificate of Attendance” and “Handwriting Specimen” form. These forms will contain the student’s personal Bar Code and BOLE number.
- JD students must complete the “Certificate of Attendance” prior to submitting to Enrollment Services.
- Students MUST bring the Handwriting Specimen form to Enrollment Services and complete in the presence of one of the staff. Please do NOT complete the handwriting form in advance.
- Both bar coded forms MUST be submitted together to Enrollment Services. The deadline for submissions for the February Bar is February 1st and the deadline for the July Bar is June 15th.
New York State 50 Hour Pro Bono
The requirement must be satisfied before filing an application for admission. Some or all of the 50 hours can be earned after graduation (including after taking the bar exam), but before filing for admission. For more informaiton, including a copy of the Form Affidavit of Compliance, visit the NY Courts.gov website.
- Memorandum for the 50 Hour Pro Bono Requirement for New York State Bar Admission
- Instructions for Juris Doctor applicants completing curriculum questions on bar exam application
New York State Skills Competency & Professional Values Requirement
All applicants for admission to the New York Bar must demonstrate that they satisfy a skills competency and professional values requirement through one of several Pathways. (Section 520.18 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals). This requirement applies to Bar applicants who began their JD study after August 1, 2016.
Seton Hall Law students can demonstrate compliance with this requirement by completing courses required in the law school’s curriculum (Pathway 1). Students who take the following courses and receive the corresponding grades listed below meet the requirements of Rule 520.18:
- Introduction to Lawyering I and II – each semester receive a C or higher
- Appellate Advocacy – receive a C or higher
- Professional Responsibility – receive a C or higher (or a score of 85 or higher on the MPRE)
- Persuasion and Advocacy – receive a Pass or High Pass
- Financial Concepts for Lawyers – receive a Pass or High Pass
Transfer students and students who do not receive the required grades in the above courses, and who intend to take the NY Bar, should discuss with the Associate Dean for Academics alternative opportunities to demonstrate compliance. Students who meet the skills competency and professional values requirement must submit an Affidavit of Compliance with their bar admission application. Please visit FAQs for New York's Skills Competency and Professional Values Bar Admission Requirement for more information about Rule 520.18 and the Pathways for demonstrating compliance.
Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE)
New York requires the MPRE (New Jersey does not require it). The exam is administered in November, March, and August of each year. Applicants must take and pass the MPRE within 3 years either before or after passing the New York Bar Examination, measured from the date the applicant sat for each exam. For more information on MPRE, visit the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination website.
New York Law Course & New York Law Exam
In conjunction with the adoption of the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) in New York, the State Board of Law Examiners was directed by the Court of Appeals to create an on-line course, known as the New York Law Course (NYLC), and an on-line, open book exam on New York specific law, known as the New York Law Exam (NYLE).
As with the MPRE discussed above, a candidate seeking admission in New York must take and pass the NYLC, the NYLE, and earn a passing score on New York’s UBE, prior to being certified to one of our Appellate Division departments for a character and fitness investigation. The NYLE is offered four times a year. For more information visit: http://www.nybarexam.org/Content/CourseMaterials.htm.
Application for Admission
To Practice as an Attorney and Counselor-at-Law in the State of New York
Once applicants pass the NYS Bar they must complete the Application for Admission to Practice as an Attorney and Counselor-at-Law in the State of NY form and submit to the Registrar's Office. The Law School Certificate Form must be obtained online from the New York State Bar Examiners website, located at http://www.nybarexam.org/Admission/AdmissionMultiDeptPacket.htm. Applicants must complete the first page and sign. On the second page, indicate the department applying for admission.
Submit completed form to Enrollment Services. PDF completed forms should be emailed to [email protected]
Enrollment Services will process the Character and Fitness form and mail directly to the designated department.