In February 2011, Missouri and North Dakota were the first jurisdictions to administer the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) developed by the National Conference of Bar Examiners. As of the February 2017 administration, twenty-five jurisdictions have adopted the examination.[i] The UBE allows your score on the bar examination to be transferred to another state, allowing licensure in more than one state without taking a second bar examination. Applicants frequently must choose a jurisdiction before they have secured employment. Once employed, they discover they are required to be licensed in a different jurisdiction. If both states have adopted the UBE, the first state’s score is transferred to the second state. Thus, the applicant does not have to take two bar examinations! This increased mobility of your examination score should be more economical for an applicant as the applicant will not have to miss work and give up weekends to study for a second bar exam although the transfer fee may be higher than the fee to take the exam.

The NCBE’s philosophy is that “an individual who performs to an acceptable level on a high-quality licensing test has attained valuable currency that should be accepted by other jurisdictions.”[ii] Each jurisdiction determines its own character and fitness requirements, sets its own passing scores, and determines how long incoming UBE scores will be accepted, among other decisions. A jurisdiction may require applicants to complete a jurisdiction-specific educational component or pass a test on jurisdiction-specific law in addition to passing the UBE.

The UBE starts with two MPT questions in the morning of the first day. The afternoon includes six 30-minute MEE questions. The second day is the MBE. The MBE is weighted 50%, the MEE 30%, and the MPT 20%. All parts of the examination are prepared by the NCBE. Jurisdictions continue to score the MEE and MPT questions themselves.         

 

[i] Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming. http://www.ncbex.org/exams/ube/

[ii] http://www.ncbex.org/assets/media_files?HBE/NALP-Bulletin-Article-by-EM-March-2010.pdf.