Should You Transfer Your UBE Score to New York?
One of the main reasons you may have decided to take the Uniform Bar Exam was that you planned to transfer your UBE score to New York. But now that you have made it to the other side of the bar and have a passing UBE score for New York you may be wondering if it is worth it to transfer your UBE score to New York. While the benefits are great, you get barred in a major legal hub of the country and it can help your career, there are many cons you should consider. Transferring your UBE score to New York is costly and very time consuming. Make sure you fully consider all the pros and cons before you take on the task of transferring your score.
Should You Transfer Your UBE Score to New York?
1. You will be barred in one of the largest legal hubs of the country
New York City is a huge legal hub for the country. Many big law firms have large offices there and many businesses do as well. If you want to be barred in multiple jurisdictions it would make sense to choose New York as your second jurisdiction. If you plan on an international practice, then New York is also a great state.
2. Being barred in New York is helpful for your job search and your career
With all the firms and businesses in New York there are more job opportunities than most places. Especially if you are open to where you want to practice in the future being barred in New York could be helpful for jobs in New York or jobs with firms or businesses that do a lot of work in New York.
You may be able to help your current employer or be a strong applicant by being able to practice law in New York to better serve your clients. In interviews you can tell a large law firm that you can better serve their clients by being barred in multiple jurisdictions.
1. It is not cheap to transfer your score
Just like taking the bar and being licensed is not free transferring your UBE score to New York is not cheap. In order to transfer your score you have to create an account with the New York Board of Law Examiners (“BOLE”). After you create your account you fill out a questionnaire to submit your score and pay a $250 application fee.
You also need to transfer your UBE and MPRE scores on your NCBE account. It costs $25 each per score transfer. So that is another $50.
You are not out of the woods yet with fees. You also have to pay $27 to take the New York Law Exam (“NYLE”) which is a requirement of being barred in New York.
Once you are finally sworn in as an attorney in New York you now have to pay New York bar dues and the costs of fulfilling CLE requirements in your first two years as a newly admitted attorney. You also have to pay $375 every two years for the biennial registration requirement.
(Please check the New York state bar for the most recent pricing information!)
So it could help your career in the long run but it may have you eating packets of ramen more than usual if your finances are tight.
2. You have to take the NYLC and NYLE
Not only is transferring your UBE score to New York not cheap, it is also time consuming. To be barred in New York you still are required to learn state law. New York ensures this by requiring applicants to to complete the New York Law Course (“NYLC”). Afterwards, you need to take and pass the New York Law Exam (“NYLE”).
The NYLC is accessible at any time through your BOLE account. The course is approximately 15 hours of recorded lectures. The lectures cover the following topics in New York law: Administrative Law, Business Relationships, Civil Practice and Procedure, Conflict of Laws, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Matrimonial and Family Law, Professional Responsibility, Real Property, Torts and Tort Damages, and Trusts, Wills and Estates.
These videos are not as easy to know out as sitting down and watching. New York embeds questions in the lecture videos. You must correctly answer the questions before the lecture continues. If you miss a question, the video takes you back to the topic. Then you have to rewatch the video from that point. It is very time consuming. These are not videos you can skip through as applicants must watch all videos in their entirety; New York also electronically monitors the time spent watching the videos . Applicants are strictly forbidden to use software to speed up the videos.
Once you complete the NYLC you can then register for and take the NYLE. The NYLE is a two hour, fifty question, open-book, online test administered through Examsoft. The test is only offered four times a year and applicants must register 30 days ahead of time. However, you can only register for the NYLE after you have completed the NYLC. Therefore, make sure you complete the NYLC in time to register for your desired test date. The test dates for 2018 are as follows:
- March 22, 2018, 12:00 pm EST (registration has already passed)
- June 14, 2018, 12:00 pm EST
- September 27, 2018, 12:00 pm EST
- December 20, 2018, 12:00 pm EST
3. You have to certify that you have completed the pro bono requirement
New York infamously requires all applicants to the bar to complete 50 hours of pro bono service. In order to prove you completed the required 50 hours you fill out a form certifying the hours you completed for each pro bono project. You will need to have the form notarized and then certified by the supervising attorney for each project. It can be time consuming to track down the attorneys that oversaw your law school pro bono projects or internships. Luckily, the majority of law school clinics and internships with courts or government are qualifying pro bono projects for New York. Be sure to check the frequently asked questions provided by the Board to make sure your projects qualify.
4. The character and fitness check is not done by NCBE
While you can easily transfer your UBE and MPRE scores from NCBE unfortunately you cannot do another NCBE character and fitness check. Applicants must file an application questionnaire with supporting affidavits and documentation for New York’s character and fitness requirement. This documentation includes two Affidavits of Good Moral Character, Legal Employment Affidavits from every law-related position you have held, and law school certificates.
This is probably the most time consuming step, so make sure you do not sit on your UBE score for too long or you might just have to sit for the actual New York bar exam!
If You Decide To Transfer Your Score
The BOLE website provides detailed information on how to transfer your passing UBE score to New York. We provide a simple step-by-step guide on transferring your score in this post. Don’t sit on your score for too long either. New York accepts UBE scores within three years from the date when you sat for the second day of the UBE. It is a time consuming process so get to it!
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