New York Makes It Easier for Lawyers to Relocate

     (CN) – New York State will join 15 others to give future lawyers a uniform test that will allow them to practice law in those states without having to re-take the bar, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman announced Tuesday at a Law Day ceremony.
     The new, so-called “UBE tests” will begin July 7.
     It’s the “beginning of a new era,” Lippman told a packed house in Albany during a ceremony that was broadcast online.
     “This law will enormously benefit law school graduates,” he said. “It’s not only desirable but necessary for the mobile, interconnected society in which we live.”
     The new measure will make it easier for licensed attorneys to move between jurisdictions.
     He noted that the law profession has seen a 30 percent drop in first-year law school students in the last four years, the lowest since 1973.
     “Fewer people choose to enter the legal profession,” he noted.
     By adopting the new rules, “New York law graduates will no longer have to duplicate their efforts” by having to re-take the bar exam in other jurisdictions when they relocate.
     He noted that New York will be the “largest state” to join the conglomeration, and hoped that “momentum will follow” for others to join in.
     The bar exam will contain three parts: a 200-question multiple-choice test, two multi-state tests designed to measure fundamental lawyering skills, and an essay exam containing questions.
     Lippman noted that New York will be the “change-maker” in “dramatically altering the balance” to lead the way of a rational effective system for a “truly noble legal profession.”
     New York District Attorney Eric Schneiderman praised the decision at the hour-and-half-long ceremony that included several judges, attorneys and dignitaries in attendance.
     “You are providing national leadership in moving our bar forward,” he said of Lippman.
     The states involved with the UBE are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
     Vermont is considering the proposition.
     Highlighting the difficulties attorneys face in switching jurisdictions, U.S. District Judge Gerald McHugh ruled last December that Pennsylvania was in its right to admit attorneys only from certain states.

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