Bar Exam Checklist

Many UConn Law LLM graduates sit for a bar examination soon after completing the degree. LLM students interested in practice in the United States should note that bar examination admission requirements vary from state to state. Students are strongly advised to review carefully the Foreign Legal Education section on the bar examining board website for each state where they are planning to take the exam. UConn Law LLM students typically plan to sit for the Connecticut or New York bar examination.

New York has a complex process and students interested in sitting for the New York bar are strongly encouraged to review the New York Board of Law Examiners web page before leaving their home countries. Note especially the section Advance Evaluation of Eligibility. This section describes the process of determining that the student will be eligible to take the bar examination once LLM studies are completed. The process, which involves submitting documents about prior legal education and professional experience, is something the student can and should begin immediately. Check the New York Bar Exam website for more information.

Please note that the applicant will get a message from the New York Bar Examiners – usually about six months later – saying that he or she does not meet the requirements to take the exam. That is because the final requirement is to complete an LLM program with certain course requirements.

Although it is the student’s responsibility to understand bar admission requirements – and students should always consult the website in case there are changes – below is a summary of requirements for the New York bar examination as of July 1, 2018:

Qualifying degree

To be eligible to sit for the bar examination, applicants must have a law degree from a U.S. law school approved by the American Bar Association OR an equivalent law school degree from another country and an additional program of study at an approved law school in the United States, for example an LLM degree. In this case, applicants must have completed at least 24 credits.

LLM Course Requirements:

  • 2 credit in professional responsibility;
  • 2 credits in legal research, writing and analysis;
  • 2 credits in American legal studies;
  • 6 credits in other courses that principally focus on subject matter tested on the New York State bar examination (e.g. Constitutional Law, Contracts Law, Torts, Criminal Law, Civil Procedure …)

New York also has practice skills requirements to be admitted, and students may opt to complete the requirements of UConn Law’s Pathway 1 program.

Bar Admission Requirements

These steps are required for admission to the bar after passing the bar examination:

Complete 50 Hours of Pro Bono Work

This requirement, which may include work done in a student's home country, must be satisfied between one year prior to enrollment in an LLM program  and the date the candidate applies for admission to the New York bar. Thus, it may be satisfied after a candidate has taken the bar examination and may be done anywhere in the world. UConn Law clinics may satisfy this requirement while students attend the law school.

Complete an Online Course and Pass an Online Examination on New York Law

To qualify for admission to the New York bar, applicants must complete the online New York Law Course on law specific to New York and pass the open-book online New York Law Exam.

Pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam

Applicants must pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) to be admitted to the bar. Students should carefully review the MPRE web page for information about the test dates and other important items. The exam may be taken within three years before or after passing the bar exam.

Meet Skills Competency and Professional Values Requirements

Students commencing their LLM program after August 1, 2018, must meet the skills competency and professional values requirements for admission to the New York bar. Applicants may satisfy this requirement by completing one of five separate pathways. Pathways one through three focus on courses and work experiences completed during an applicant's legal education. UConn Law’s pathway one is one option. Pathways four and five allow an applicant to rely on practical experiences outside of law school. We strongly recommend careful review of the FAQs for New York’s Skills Competency and Professional Values Bar Admission Requirement.

Pathway 4 is related to apprenticeship, and to satisfy it, the applicant must complete a continuous six-month full-time (37-40 hours of work per week) paid or unpaid apprenticeship in a law office in the United States or in a law office in another country. It must begin after the conclusion of the applicant’s first degree in law program.

Pathway 5 addresses practice in another jurisdiction, meaning that an applicant who has been authorized to practice law in another U.S. jurisdiction or another country must submit proof that the applicant has been in good standing and practiced law in that jurisdiction full-time for at least one year or half-time for two years following the applicant's authorization to practice.

Please review the New York State Board of Law Examiners page for further information.

Apply for admission

Once all of the above requirements have been met, including passing the bar examination, candidates can then submit formal application for admission to the bar through one of the Appellate Divisions of the New York Supreme Court.