Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Court Asks for Public Comment on Uniform Bar Exam

Image of a multiple choice fill-in test answer sheet (smolaw11/iStock)

The Court is accepting public comments until Dec. 4 on the proposed Uniform Bar Exam.

Image of a multiple choice fill-in test answer sheet (smolaw11/iStock)

The Court is accepting public comments until Dec. 4 on the proposed Uniform Bar Exam.

The Ohio Supreme Court will accept public comment until Dec. 4 on a proposed rule that will allow Ohio to begin using the National Conference of Bar Examiner’s Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) beginning in July 2020.

The move comes following a unanimous recommendation from a 16-member task force appointed by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor to study the Ohio bar exam.

Once implemented, the UBE will enable test takers in other UBE states to transfer their exam scores to Ohio without sitting for another bar exam, provided they earn Ohio’s passing score of 270. Ohio test takers who have taken the UBE here will be able to transfer their scores to other UBE states as well.

Ohio will recognize acceptable UBE scores from other UBE states for five years. After that period, an attorney from another state would have to seek admission without examination on application to the Supreme Court, or earn another passing score.

The UBE is a two-day test comprised of three components prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners. Ohio already was using two of the three components of the UBE, the Multistate Bar Exam, and the Multistate Performance Test. Ohio will now use the Multistate Essay Exam in place of the Ohio essay questions.

In addition to achieving a passing UBE score, Ohio applicants and UBE transfer score applicants must take and pass the Ohio Law Component prepared and maintained by the Board of Bar Examiners prior to being admitted to the practice of law.

The Board of Bar Examiners is developing outlines covering relevant Ohio-specific topics for the Ohio Law Component. The board intends that the format be an online, open book, and multiple choice test.

In addition to rules related to the UBE, the proposed rule seeks to expand the number of applicants eligible to apply for practice pending admission. This includes UBE transfer applicants and Ohio Bar Examination applicants who, although admitted in another state, do not have a qualifying UBE score to transfer and are not eligible for Admission without Examination.

Effective Sept. 2, 2019, the Court approved a rule amendment allowing applicants for admission without examination to apply to practice law while their application is pending.

Also, the Board of Bar Examiners has consistently followed a long-standing process for reviewing alleged violations of exam rules and other irregularities. The proposed rule amendments codify that process.

Comments to either amendment should be submitted in writing or via email by Dec. 4 to:

Gina Palmer
Attorney Services Director
Ohio Supreme Court
65 South Front St., Fifth Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215-3431

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