Documents Needed NOW for New York Bar Exam

Posted on May 4, 2018

If you are planning to take the New York bar exam after graduation, you need to start preparing.  In order to avoid the rush—at a time when you will be very busy acclimating to your new college and home—work on these documents NOW and bring them with you in sealed envelopes when you come to the United States.

  • Official Transcript(s).  You will need an official transcript issued directly from every law school attended that includes the dates of attendance for each period of study, the courses taken and passed for each period of study, the grades, the degree awarded, and the date the degree was awarded.
  • Degree Certificate. If the official transcript does not clearly state the degree awarded and/or the date such degree was awarded, you must also furnish the degree certificate.
  • Proof of fulfillment of the educational requirements for admission to the practice of law in the foreign country. (a) If you are admitted to practice law in a foreign country, attach a copy of your admission certificate, OR (b) If you are not admitted to practice law in a foreign country, submit proof of the educational requirements for admission to practice law in your country and proof from the bar admission authorities that you have fulfilled these requirements.
  • Accreditation. Submit a written statement from the competent accrediting agency of your foreign government that the law school or schools you attended were recognized by them as qualified and approved throughout your period of study.
  • See Part VIII “Additional Documentation” of this website to determine if you must submit other details about your legal education.

Note that all documentation must be original (or copies certified directly by the issuing school or institution) and issued directly from the issuing institutions and/or government agencies. Each document needs to be in a sealed envelope (you can then send each sealed envelope along with your other application materials directly to the NY Bar). Faxed copied, photocopies certified by a notary public, and/or photocopies certified any anyone other than an official of the issuing school or institution will NOT be considered. Official English translations also need to be submitted along with all of these documents.

Most foreign educated applicants to the NY Bar will have to have all of the above documentation ready by October 1st, 2018 in order to apply to qualify to take the NY Bar in July 2019. The above requirements are enumerated in Section 520.6 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law (22 NYCRR 520.6) which contains the eligibility requirements for applicants who wish to qualify for the New York State bar examination based on the study of law in a foreign country. Please see: http://www.nybarexam.org/Foreign/ForeignLegalEducation.htm

NEW Skills Competency and Professional Values Bar Admission Requirement (Rule 520.18)

For LL.M. students enrolling in any U.S. program starting in Fall 2018, the New York Board of Law Examiners has instituted a new Skills Competency and Professional Values Bar Admission Requirement (Rule 520.18) for any foreign-trained attorney wishing to become a licensed NY bar lawyer. In addition to passing the NY Bar exam and before being sworn into the bar (there is a grace period of 3 years between the exam and the required in-person, swearing-in ceremony), there are other expectations in terms of professional skills that applicants must show. Please read here for more details on the different pathways in which an aspiring foreign-trained lawyer may complete this professional skills requirement. For our purposes, any student who does not have at least one year of full-time legal work experience can qualify to fulfill this Skills Competency and Professional Values Requirement by completing the Moritz Pathway 1 curriculum, available here. The Assistant Dean will provide academic counseling and support to students wanting to complete the Pathway 1 requirements as part of their LLM.