Vermont Adopts NextGen Bar Exam

Vermont Becomes 10th State to
Adopt NextGen Bar Exam

By Adam Balinski
Updated: January 29, 2024

MADISON, WISCONSIN – The legal landscape in the United States is transforming with Vermont becoming the tenth state to adopt the NextGen Bar Exam. Vermont joins Arizona, Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska, Wyoming, Maryland, Missouri, Oregon, and Connecticut. Vermont plans to implement NextGen in July 2027.

The Uniform Bar Examination: A Historical Perspective

The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) recently unveiled its plans to replace the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) with what it calls the “NextGen Bar Exam.” Unlike the traditional bar exam (which focuses predominantly on memorization and multiple-choice questions), the NextGen Bar Exam aims to focus most on skills and application. As former Chief Strategy Officer for the NCBE, Kellie Early, stated, “One of the goals is to make [the bar exam] more realistic to what lawyers do in practice.”

The NCBE’s goal is to roll out the NextGen Bar Exam in 2026 and shortly thereafter sunset the UBE and all of its component parts—the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), Multistate Essay Exam (MEE), and Multistate Performance Test (MPT). More than 40 U.S. jurisdictions have adopted the UBE and will be directly and deeply impacted, but so will non-UBE jurisdictions which have adopted the MBE, like California and every other state except Louisiana.

This may cause some MBE states to commit completely to the NCBE bandwagon, adopting NextGen to avoid having to fill the 200-question void left by the disappearing MBE. Other MBE states may part ways with NextGen altogether, administering their own updated versions of the bar exam.

A Collaborative Effort for Enhanced Resources

In preparation for the NextGen Bar Exam, the NCBE has partnered with AccessLex Institute to develop study aids. This collaboration aims to provide examinees with high-quality resources, bridging the transition from the UBE to the NextGen Bar Exam.

For more detailed information on the NextGen Bar Exam, visit NCBE’s official website.

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About the author

Adam Balinski is a former TV reporter turned attorney entrepreneur. He founded Crushendo after graduating summa cum laude from BYU Law and scoring in the top 5% nationally on the Uniform Bar Exam. Adam is currently writing a book called, “The Law School Cheat Code: Everything You Never Knew You Needed to Know About Crushing Law School.”

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