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New England Law Certification to Take the Bar Exam

During the last semester of law school, the Registrar’s Office will ask each student to complete a New England Law Bar Form. The New England Law Bar Form must be completed by graduating students so that the Registrar’s Office knows which state bar examination a student intends to take.  The information on the form is not shared with any state bar examining authority.  Changes to the information provided in the form may be made by e-mailing the Registrar’s Office at

Students planning to take a bar examination in a state other than Massachusetts, need to determine the certification requirements to apply to take the bar examination and are responsible for providing the certification paperwork to the Registrar’s Office.  Students or recent graduates who plan to take the Massachusetts Bar Examination do not need to submit a law school certificate to the Registrar’s Office. Please note the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners requires the Registrar’s Office to certify every graduate to take the Massachusetts bar exam, regardless of whether the graduate intends to take exam.

Individuals who graduated from New England Law prior to 2004 will need a Law School Certificate to take the Massachusetts Bar Exam.  Please send an e-mail request to the Registrar’s Office at

In addition to a law school certification, some jurisdictions require additional materials and information to be provided from the law school (for example, a law school application, writing sample, and/or transcripts). Students are responsible for ensuring that all of the required materials are submitted to the state bar examining authority in the jurisdiction where the student applies to take the bar exam. 

New England Law Second Bar Form

Students planning to take more than one bar examination during the same bar examination period must meet with and complete the Second Bar Form and have it signed by Professor Robert A. Coulthard, Director of Bar Examination Preparation Services.  Professor Coulthard will provide students with the form.  Students who fail to submit a Second Bar Form will not be certified for a second bar examination. Please note that this requirement will no longer be applicable after the February 2018 bar examination.

Applying to Take the Bar Exam

Some states provide a discount if a student registers to take the bar exam early.  This usually means that a student will need to complete a character and fitness application and pay a registration fee early in the first semester of law school.  Students should contact the state bar examining authority to determine if such a discount is available at the National Conference of Bar Examiners.