Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Is the Uniform Bar Examination Gaining Momentum?

From the National Jurist:

Five states will use the Uniform Bar Examination for the first time this summer, and two other states are slated to use it in 2014. That will bring the total number of states using the three-year-old exam to 13, and experts expect more in the near future.

Jim Rigos,  owner of Rigos Professional Education Programs, said he expects a majority of the states will adopt the UBE within three years.

“It’s going to get to a point where the law schools and the students [in jurisdictions not using the exam] are at such a disadvantage, that there’s going to be a lot of pressure from the academic side of things and some of the firms to get on board,” he said.

The National Conference of Bar Examiners created the exam to allow lawyers to smoothly transfer their scores to other jurisdictions, instead of waiting months to retake another state’s bar exam.

“Students are the big beneficiaries of this,” said Erica Moeser, president of the NCBE, which created the exam. “If there’s one group that should care about the UBE, it’s the person who is currently enrolled in law school and is looking to take the bar exam, finding a job, and dealing with debt, especially in this economy.”

Six states already use the UBE, and five more will be on board this summer, with two more states waiting in the wings:

Missouri was the first state to adopt the exam, followed by Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho and North Dakota. This year Montana, Nebraska, Utah, Washington and Wyoming will offer the test for the first time. Minnesota and New Hampshire will accept the test beginning in 2014.


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