Ultimate Guide to New York Bar Exam

new york bar exam prep

New York State Bar Exam | Basic Information

The New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) was formed in 1876. The voluntary organization has about 74,000 members. There are about 182,000 lawyers in New York.

New York is one of 30+ states that have adopted the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) for their state bar review. New York first administered the UBE in July 2016.

New York Bar Exam Pass Rates

February 2019 (4,129 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 45%
First-Time Pass Rate: 61%
Repeat Pass Rate: 36%

July 2018 (9,679 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 63%
First-Time Pass Rate: 74%
Repeat Pass Rate: 20%

February 2018 (3,759 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 38%
First-Time Pass Rate: 59%
Repeat Pass Rate: 25%

July 2017 (9,932 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 68%
First-Time Pass Rate: 78%
Repeat Pass Rate: 32%

New York Bar Review Courses

Compare top New York bar exam prep courses from Crushendo, Barbri, Themis, Kaplan, AmeriBar, BarMax, AdaptiBar, and Quimbee.

CrushendoBarbriThemisKaplanAmeriBarBarMaxAdaptiBarQuimbee
Cost$240-790$2,495-4,095$1,595-2,695$2,299-3,999$895-2,545$699-1,499$395-1,065$499-1,499
MBE
MEE
MPT
MPRE
NCBE Questions2,000+100+Unknown1,200+1,400+1,905+1,700+200+
Audio Flashcards
250+ Mnemonics
Facebook Rating5/5Disabled4.8/5DisabledDisabled4.4/54.4/5Disabled
Access PeriodLifetime3 months4 months4 monthsUp to 3 yearsLifetime5-7 months3 years
Financing3 payments$250 registration
Founded20171974200819381999201020032007
Phone(385) 482-1776(888) 322-7274(888) 843-6476(626) 390-7170(877) 942-2763(800) 529-2651(877) 466-1250N/A

Crushendo’s written and audio outlines utilize 250+ proprietary mnemonics to help you memorize everything you need to know to pass the bar exam on your first try.

Crushendo’s UBE Suite costs $790 and includes 2,000+ official questions from the NCBE.

Crushendo offers lifetime access to its bar exam prep products.

Adam Balinski founded Crushendo Bar Review in 2017 (read the founding story here).

The Harcourt publishing company founded Barbri in 1974 when it acquired two bar review programs. Since its founding Barbri has been owned by large firms, including Thomson Reuters and Leeds Equity Partners.

Barbri products have been used by more than a million law school students. In the last 20 years Barbri has settled multiple antitrust lawsuits.

Barbri’s bar prep programs cost $2,495-4,095 and include 100+ official NCBE questions from past bar exams.

Barbri offers access to its online products for three months.

Themis Bar Review is based in Chicago and was founded in 2008.

Themis publishes is pass rates publicly on its website.

Themis bar prep programs cost $1,595-2,695 and include an unknown amount of NCBE questions.

Themis offers access to its online products for four months.

Stanley Kaplan founded Kaplan, Inc. in 1938.

Kaplan jumped into the bar review space in 2006 when it acquired PMBR, a company that provides test prep for the MBE. In 2008 Kaplan expanded it bar review offerings.

Kaplan’s bar prep programs cost $2,299-3,999 and include 1,200+ NCBE questions.

Kaplan offers access to its online products for four months.

Alexander Nakis founded AmeriBar in 1999. It’s headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida.

AmeriBar’s bar exam prep programs cost $895-2,545 and include 1,400+ NCBE questions.

AmeriBar offers access to its online products for up to three years.

Michael Ghaffary and Mehran Ebadolahi founded BarMax in 2010.

BarMax’s bar exam prep programs cost $699-1,499 and include 1,905+ NCBE questions.

BarMax offers lifetime access to its online products.

Tarek Fadel founded AdaptiBar in 2003.

AdaptiBar’s bar exam prep programs cost $395-1,065 and include up to 1,700+ NCBE questions.

AdaptiBar offers access to its online products for 5-7 months.

Matt Sellers founded Quimbee in 2007.

Quimbee’s bar prep programs cost $499-1,499 and include up to 200+ NCBE questions.

Quimbee offers access to its online products for 3 years.

New York State Bar Exam Format

What’s the format of the UBE?

The UBE is administered twice each year in New York (in February, and July). The examination is administered over two days, in four, three-hour sessions. The UBE has three parts: the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE), and the Multistate Performance Test (MPT).

MBE

The MBE is a six hour test and consists of 200 multiple choice questions that test your understanding across seven subjects. Your MBE score comprises 50% of your overall UBE score.

MEE

The MEE consists of six 30-minute legal essays. Your MEE score comprises 30% of your UBE score.

New York bar exam essay topics may include the following: Business Associations, Civil Procedure, Conflict of Laws, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Family Law, Property, Secured Transactions, Torts, Trusts, Unincorporated Business Entities, Wills and Estates, etc.

Crushendo offers the most recent MEE questions and includes the point sheets that the graders used.

MPT

The MPT consists of two 90-minute tasks where you analyze and apply laws to specific scenarios. Your MPT score comprises 20% of your UBE score. Crushendo offers the most recent MPT questions and includes the point sheets that the graders used.

What’s the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination?

The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) tests your understanding of established standards of conduct for lawyers. The MPRE is administered three times each year (in March, August, and November). The test consists of 60 multiple-choice questions and is two hours long. Check out this MPRE Tips video!

Upcoming Bar Exam Schedule, Dates, Locations

Schedule

MorningAfternoon
Day 1MPT (3 hours)MEE (3 hours)
Day 2MBE (3 hours)MBE (3 hours)

Dates

  • February 25-26, 2020
  • July 28-29, 2020
  • February 23-24, 2021
  • July 27-28, 2021
  • February 22-23, 2022
  • July 26-27, 2022
  • February 21-22, 2023
  • July 25-26, 2023

Locations

Albany (February & July)

Empire State Plaza Convention Hall
Concourse Level, Albany, NY 12242

or

Albany Capital Center
55 Eagle Street, Albany, NY 12207

Buffalo (February & July)

Buffalo-Niagara Convention Center
153 Franklin Street, Buffalo, NY 14202

New York City (February & July)

Jacob Javits Convention Center – Exhibition Hall 3E
11th Avenue at West 35th Street, Manhattan

Saratoga Springs (July)

Saratoga City Center
522 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

White Plains (February & July)

Pace Law School/New York State Judicial Institute
78 North Broadway, White Plains, NY 10603

*Learn more about NY bar exam test sites.

New York Bar Exam Application

Are you interested in taking the New York bar exam? Here’s some basic information on applying to take the New York bar exam.

The New York bar exam application fee for most takers is $250. Foreign applicants have to pay $750. The application cost for UBE score transfer applicants is $250. The NCBE charges $25 for each UBE score transcript.

For those who desire to use a laptop to write their essays there is an additional fee of $100.

*See the New York State Bar Exam Information Guide for more information.

If you desire to take the bar exam in February, you should submit your bar exam application in November. If you want to take the July bar exam, you should submit your application in April.

*There’s no limit on how many times you can take the New York bar exam.

In addition to passing the New York bar exam with a score of at least 266, there are several requirements that must be met in order to be admitted as an attorney in New York, including:

  1. Score 85 or higher on the MPRE within the accepted time frame.
  2. Complete an online course called the New York Law Course (NYLC).
  3. Pass an online test called the New York Law Exam (NYLE).
  4. Complete 50 hours of qualifying pro bono service (learn more).
  5. Satisfy the Skills Competency Requirement (learn more).
  6. Satisfy the character and fitness requirements.

New York State Board of Law Examiners

Physical address:

New York State Board of Law Examiners
Corporate Plaza Building 3
254 Washington Avenue Extension
Albany, New York 12203-5195

Phone number: (518) 453-5990

Mailing address:

New York State Board of Law Examiners
Corporate Plaza Building 3
254 Washington Avenue Extension
Albany, New York 12203-5195

New York Bar Exam: What to Bring

What to bring

  • Your official government issued photo ID (U.S. driver’s license or passport) .
  • Your seat ticket (print it online before the exam). The seat number on your seat ticket is your only form of identification used for the grading process.

Important notes

  • You need to have these items with you for each of the four testing sessions.
  • You must carry all permitted items into the testing center in one clear, re-sealable plastic food bag (photo ID, seat ticket, etc.).

Permitted items

  • No. 2 pencils and erasers
  • Blue or black ink pens (on the essay day only)
  • Cash
  • Keys
  • Foam earplugs
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Medications
  • 1-liter drink in a clear, disposable, label-free, resealable plastic container

Prohibited items

All other items are prohibited, including:

  • Bags
  • Cell phones
  • Notes
  • Electronic devices
  • Tissues
  • Books
  • Mechanical pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Flip flops
  • Briefcases
  • etc.

*More information on what you can and cannot bring to the testing center.

New York Bar Exam Scores and Grading

A passing score for the UBE in New York is 266/400. Scores of the three tests comprising the UBE are weighted as follows:

  • MBE = 50% of your total UBE score
  • MEE = 30%
  • MPT = 20%

*A passing score for the MPRE in New York is 85/150.

New York Bar Review Course

Crushendo’s comprehensive UBE Suite comes with everything you need to crush the New York bar exam.

  • MBE, MEE, MPT, and MPRE Prep
  • 250+ Proprietary Mnemonics
  • 2,000+ Licensed NCBE Questions
  • Audio Flashcards
  • Lifetime Access
Learn More

New York Bar Exam Results

View lists of those who passed the New York State Bar Exam, posted on the New York State Bar Association’s website:

Frequently Asked Questions

When are my New York bar exam results released?

February bar exam results are usually posted late April. July bar exam results are usually posted late October.

Can I see my New York bar exam score?

Yes. Candidates will be notified by email when results are published. The day results are released you will be able look up your score.

Can I appeal to have my New York bar exam re-graded?

No. If your initial score was 262 to 265 your test will be re-graded by additional graders. Your two scores will be used to compute your final UBE score, which is the score you will be able to see. You will not be able to see the initial score you received prior to re-grading.

How many times can I take the bar exam in New York?

There’s no limit to how many times you can retake the UBE in New York.

New York Bar Exam Reciprocity

Applicants seeking to be admitted as attorneys in New York without taking the bar exam, must comply with Rule 520.10 of Rules of the Court of Appeals for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law.

Reciprocity Requirements Overview

In order to be eligible for admission on motion in New York, you must:

  • Hold a Juris Doctor degree from a law school approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).
  • Have practiced law for five of the seven years prior to your application.
  • Be admitted to practice law in a reciprocal jurisdiction.
  • Be at least 27 years old.
  • Have a certificate of good standing from each territory you’ve been admitted to practice law in.
  • Pass any test of character and fitness deemed necessary by the Appellate Division.
  • Comply with all requirements set forth in Rule 520.10 and pay the necessary fees.

Reciprocal Jurisdictions: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

*See Rule 520.10 for more information.

Law Schools in New York

Here’s a list of ABA Accredited law schools in New York.

Albany Law School of Union University

  • Founded: 1851
  • Located: Albany, NY
  • Enrollment: About 460 students
  • Tuition Cost: ~$47,450
  • Bar Passage Rate: 71.3% (July 2017 first-time takers)
  • Website: albanylaw.edu

Brooklyn Law School

  • Founded: 1901
  • Located: Brooklyn, NY
  • Enrollment: About 1,100 students (2014)
  • Tuition Cost: ~$55,000
  • Bar Passage Rate: 78.6% (2017 first-time takers)
  • Website: brooklaw.edu

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University

  • Founded: 1976
  • Located: New York City, NY
  • Enrollment: About 930 students (2017)
  • Tuition Cost: ~$58,000 (2017)
  • Bar Passage Rate: 85% (2017)
  • Website: cardozo.yu.edu

City University of New York School of Law

  • Founded: 1983
  • Located: Long Island City, NY
  • Enrollment: About 410 students (2010)
  • Tuition Cost: ~$25,600
  • Bar Passage Rate: 86.8% (July 2017 first-time takers)
  • Website: law.cuny.edu

Columbia University School of Law

  • Founded: 1858
  • Located: New York City, NY
  • Enrollment: About 1,300 students (2013)
  • Tuition Cost: ~$70,000
  • Bar Passage Rate: 95.6% (2009)
  • Website: law.columbia.edu

Cornell Law School

  • Founded: 1887
  • Located: Ithaca, NY
  • Enrollment: About 610 students (2018)
  • Tuition Cost: ~$67,750
  • Bar Passage Rate: 94.1% (July 2018)
  • Website: lawschool.cornell.edu

Fordham University School of Law

  • Founded: 1905
  • Located: New York City, NY
  • Enrollment: About 1,480 students (2010)
  • Tuition Cost: ~$61,700
  • Bar Passage Rate: 91% (2013 first-time takers)
  • Website: fordham.edu..school_of_law

Hofstra University—Maurice A. Deane School of Law

  • Founded: 1970
  • Located: Hempstead, NY
  • Enrollment: About 1,100 students (2010)
  • Tuition Cost: ~$58,500
  • Bar Passage Rate: 62% (July 2018 first-time takers)
  • Website: law.hofstra.edu

New York Law School

  • Founded: 1891
  • Located: New York City, NY
  • Enrollment: About 930 students (2012)
  • Tuition Cost: ~$52,500
  • Bar Passage Rate: 83% (2013)
  • Website: nyls.edu

New York University School of Law

  • Founded: 1835
  • Located: New York City, NY
  • Enrollment: About 1,400 students (2015)
  • Tuition Cost: ~$66,000
  • Bar Passage Rate: 97.5% (2017)
  • Website: law.nyu.edu

Pace University School of Law

  • Founded: 1976
  • Located: White Plains, NY
  • Enrollment: About 780 students (2011)
  • Tuition Cost: ~$49,000
  • Bar Passage Rate: 87%
  • Website: law.pace.edu

St. John’s University School of Law

  • Founded: 1925
  • Located: Jamaica, NY
  • Enrollment: 233 students (Fall 2018 class)
  • Tuition Cost: ~$61,150
  • Bar Passage Rate: 87% (July 2014)
  • Website: stjohns.edu/law

University at Buffalo Law School

  • Founded: 1887
  • Located: Amherst, NY
  • Enrollment: About 700 students (2010)
  • Tuition Cost: ~$29,500
  • Bar Passage Rate: 75.69% (2017)
  • Website: law.buffalo.edu

Syracuse University College of Law

  • Founded: 1895
  • Located: Syracuse, NY
  • Enrollment: About 660 students (2010)
  • Tuition Cost: ~$51,500
  • Bar Passage Rate: 83% (July 2018 first-time takers)
  • Website: law.syr.edu

Touro Law Center

  • Founded: 1980
  • Located: Central Islip, NY
  • Enrollment: About 800 students (2011)
  • Tuition Cost: ~$50,860
  • Bar Passage Rate: 48.6% (July 2018 first time takers)
  • Website: tourolaw.edu

Helpful Groups

Here are some Facebook groups you may find helpful before, and after passing the bar exam:

Albany Law School

Brooklyn Law School

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University

City University of New York School of Law

Columbia University School of Law

Cornell Law School

Fordham University School of Law

Hofstra University—Maurice A. Deane School of Law

New York Law School

New York University School of Law

Pace University School of Law

St. John’s University School of Law

University at Buffalo Law School

Syracuse University College of Law

Touro Law Center