The American Business Law LL.M. has been carefully designed to prepare students to take the New York Bar Examination, providing instruction to effectively prepare students to pass the exam. However, it is up to every student to ensure for himself or herself that all of the eligibility requirements to take the Bar Exam have been met.
The NY Bar Examination
Lawyers with a foreign law degree who wish to take the New York Bar Examination after graduation should familiarize themselves with the eligibility and requirements on the NY Board of Law Examiners website under foreign legal education here. There are detailed requirements for students with a foreign legal education to be eligible for admission to the New York Bar, which you will need to understand. In addition, the New York Court of Appeals now requires 50 hours of pro bono service as a qualification for admission to the bar.
Advanced Evaluation of Eligibility
Completion of the LL.M. degree in itself does not guarantee eligibility to take a bar examination. The Board of Law Examiners will determine if you are eligible to qualify based upon your foreign education credentials and your LL.M. degree. It is your responsiblity to seek an advanced evaluation of your foreign education credentials from the Board of Law Examiners. Only the Board can make this determination. Please be aware this is a lengthy process, with deadlines to meet, and you cannot wait until the last minute.
If admission to the New York Bar is important to you, we strongly advise you to apply to the Board of Law Examiners for Advance Eligibility before applying to and starting in an LL.M. program. The vast majority of applicants who are denied eligibility to sit for the New York Bar Examination are denied on the basis of their education in their home country, and not on the basis of their U.S. LL.M. degree. Click here to begin the process.
You should note that admission to either of our LL.M. programs, including the LL.M. in American Business Law for Foreign Law Graduates, does not guarantee or in any way suggest eligibility to sit for the New York or any other state’s bar examination. Please also note that, while the LL.M. in American Business Law program is designed with the New York Bar requirements in mind, and we endeavor to provide you with accurate and up-to-date information regarding bar examination requirements, you are ultimately responsible for ensuring that your program of study fulfills all requirements for the New York Bar. It is also your responsibility to make sure you meet all of the deadlines for applying to take the bar exam and to make sure you have all of the required materials to submit to the Board.
Bar Exams in Other Jurisdictions
For answers to questions regarding bar admissions in other jurisdictions and contact information for each state’s board of bar examiners, the National Conference of Bar Examiner’s Comprenhensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements is a useful resource. Most states will require a J.D. from a U.S. law school in order to sit for the bar exam.