Bar Exam Preparation
We encourage you to take advantage of the Office of Academic Excellence to assist you in preparing for the bar exam. The Office of Academic Excellence offers individual counseling and information on selecting a jurisdiction, early bar preparation, the bar exam application process, and building effective study schedules to balance bar preparation with life.
Bar Exam Information
General information on applying to sit for a U.S. bar exam as a foreign-trained lawyer is listed below. Please consult your LL.M. program advisor directly for individualized advice.
Several states permit foreign-educated lawyers to sit for their bar exams. Each jurisdiction has specific requirements and rules. Review the National Council of Bar Examiners’ Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements. For specific advice and information, please contact your LL.M. program advisor.
Many LL.M. students choose to take the New York bar exam. The New York State Board of Law Examiners (“BOLE”) administers the New York bar exam and is the definitive authority regarding the bar exam. Please refer directly to the website for specific information. The listing below is for informational purposes only and does not supersede the information provided by the New York BOLE.
LL.M. students may qualify to sit for the New York bar depending on their education and background. Review the NYBOLE rule 520.6 to determine if you meet the stated requirements.
How to Apply:
1. Submit the Online Request for Evaluation of Foreign Academic Credentials as early as possible as processing takes at least 6 months. NYBOLE recommends submitting these documents by October 1 for the July bar and May 1 for the February bar.
2. Meet with your advisor to select appropriate courses to qualify you for the New York bar exam. LL.M. students may not count any online or independent study credits towards the bar. A maximum of 4 summer credits can be applied. Foreign-trained LL.M. students who wish to take the New York bar exam must complete at least 12 credits of required classes of the 24 credits needed for the LL.M. degree including:
- LAW-580 American Legal Institutions (2 credits, offered fall and spring)
- LAW-580L LL.M. Legal Research and Writing (2 credits, offered fall and spring)
- LAW-550 Legal Ethics (2 credits, offered spring and summer); and
At least 6 credits from the following approved courses:
- U.S. Business Law (3 credits, offered spring)
- U.S. Contracts Law (3 credits, offered fall)
- U.S. Constitutional Law (3 credits, offered spring)
- U.S. Criminal Law (3 credits, offered fall)
Other courses may be eligible dependent on the semester. Please refer to the list of approved courses for your program as it details other courses approved for the New York bar track.
Because of these increased requirements, students who are opting to sit for the New York bar exam may be limited in their other course selections. If you are interested in discussing your course of study and the various requirements for the LL.M. and the New York bar, please contact your LL.M. program advisor.
3. Submit the application to sit for the bar by the posted deadlines on the NYBOLE website. The NYBOLE must receive documents by the stated deadline. A postmark is not sufficient to meet the deadline.
4. In addition to the online application, LL.M. students will need to submit an LL.M. Certificate of Attendance form.
5. The NYBOLE requires a handwriting sample. This document must be written in your usual handwriting. You must complete this entire form either in the presence of an Office of the Registrar staff member or a notary public. Do not complete the form ahead of time.
6. All requests for bar related forms to be signed and certified must be submitted through the Bar Certification Request Form.