One thing I truly admire about New Yorkers (and I was a Manhattanite for over 10 years so I’m speaking with some experience here) is their propensity to see the world in the most narcissistic ways. To wit, the classic New Yorker’s view of the World:
and more recently, the New Yorker’s view of the Bar Exam.
Sadly, neither is an accurate map of the territory.
As you may know, the NY Bar Exam will switch to the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) in July 2016. While I think this is good news generally, it is clearly NOT the panacea that the Chief Judge or the NY Law School Deans claim.
In fact, they actually are doing something else that’s a classic NY trick: Three Card Monte
It’s a bait and switch actually. The change is being touted as a way to make a bar license more portable because a passing score could — but not necessarily would (and even that’s absolutely subject to change) be used in whole – or in part – in a small handful of jurisdictions. That’s a lot of caveats. But … if you’re just dying to practice law in Idaho (let’s say) all you have to do is take and pass the NY Bar Exam and there you go (because there’s so many great law jobs in Idaho, right?). And in case you think I’m picking on Idaho, here are your other choices:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
All places that NY Bar Takers have eagerly waited for admission without exams, right?
But beyond the hype, what’s not being said is that if, for example, you’re living in Idaho and you take and pass their version of the UBE Exam, that you can waive into NY. Nope, that’s not happening. You still have to take the NY Exam (the one that Brooklyn Law School Dean Allard says is currently unfair to his students). There is no waiver from a UBE jurisdiction into NY. In addition, the bar exam requirement will remain in place for lawyers and students from other major states like Florida, California, Texas, NJ, Georgia, and so on.
No matter what happens, we’re ready. We’ve been successfully preparing students for the UBE for several years now and if you’re ready to start studying for the July 2016 exam in NY, we’re able to get you started today with complete subject outlines, lectures, practice questions and study guide for all parts of the test (Essays, MPT, MBE).
In the meantime, don’t get too excited or caught up in the hype because this change in the format isn’t going to make it easier to get into the NY Bar without taking an exam. It’ll just make it easier to get out…but maybe that was the purpose all along.