NEW YORK BAR EXAM ELIGIBILITY
For information on the NY bar exam visit the New York State Board of Law Examiners website. §520.6 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law (22 NYCRR) governs the eligibility of foreign trained lawyers for the NY bar. You will find the full text of §520.6 here.
Please also see the information on New York Bar eligibility and more in the LLM Handbook.
Evaluation of Foreign Law Credentials
The New York Board of Law Examiners (NY Board) requires all those with a foreign legal education (from common law and civil law jurisdictions) who wish to sit for the NY bar exam to complete an Online Foreign Evaluation Form and to send supporting documentation. Students should complete the Online Foreign Evaluation Form and submit supporting documentation as soon as possible. The deadline to complete the process of submitting materials to the NY Board for the July bar exam is October 1 (the October prior to the July bar exam).
As part of the NY Board’s credential review, you will need to ask the law schools you have attended to send official transcripts to the Board and to supply other documents as well. It may be easier for you to make requests for documents and to access necessary records while you are in your home country. We urge you to complete the process as early as possible so that if the Board finds a deficiency in your documentation, you will have the opportunity to supply additional information before the Oct. 1st deadline.
Please be aware that earning a US LLM does not guarantee eligibility to sit for the New York bar exam. The New York Board of Law Examiners and not NYU Law School determines eligibility to sit for the exam. Students should consult the Board of Law Examiners' website and follow carefully the instructions posted there, as the Board is the authority in this matter.
NYU Law Classes that Meet 520.6 Requirements
While some students from common law countries will be found eligible to sit for the NY bar on the basis of their first law degree, many will need both to complete the LLM degree and take particular classes as part of the degree in order to be eligible. These eligibility requirements are independent of any requirements that must be satisfied in order to earn the LLM degree or to qualify for a particular LLM specialization. A list of classes at NYU Law School that count toward meeting New York’s bar eligibility requirements for foreign-trained attorneys is available.
NY BAR ADMISSION
Skills Competency – Applicable to students commencing the LLM in August 2018 or later
After passing all of the elements of the New York Bar Exam, candidates need to demonstrate that they meet the requirements for NY bar admission. We recommend that you pay close attention to the skills competency provision requiring law practice or apprenticeship in a law office in the US or another country prior to admission to the NY bar.
As of August 2018, candidates for admission to the New York bar must show competency to provide legal services in New York State (§520.18 of the Rules of the New York State Court of Appeals for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law). At this time, to establish competency NYU Law LLM students must use the pathways described in subsections (a)(4)and (a)(5) of the Rule; these pathways allow candidates to establish competence before or after the LLM through legal apprenticeship or legal practice in the US or another jurisdiction. The New York State Court system has posted some helpful information online which you can find at the following link (FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR NEW YORK’S SKILLS COMPETENCY AND PROFESSIONAL VALUES BAR ADMISSION REQUIREMENT (pdf size: 264 KB).
Character and Fitness and Pro Bono Requirements
Additionally, candidates for New York bar admission must also successfully meet character and fitness requirements and fulfill New York State’s pro bono requirement §520.16 requiring 50 hours of pro bono service.
OTHER STATE BAR EXAMS
If you are interested in taking the bar exam of a state other than New York, you should carefully review bar eligibility requirements in that jurisdiction. For information about state bar requirements, visit the National Conference of Bar Examiners website.