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Applying to take the New York Bar Exam - Special Requirements

Important Requirements for Students Planning to Sit for the New York Bar

New York State Board of Law Examiners.


New York Skills Competency Requirement


Applicants to the New York Bar who began their legal studies after August 1, 2016 will be required to fulfill a new set of requirements detailed in Section 520.18 of the Rules for Admission of Attorneys and Counselors of Law.  Section 520.18 requires “applicants for admission in New York to establish that they have acquired the skills and are familiar with the professional values necessary to competently practice law.”  There are five pathways that can be used to meet this requirement. New England Law | Boston will use pathway two, which permits an applicant to satisfy the skills competency and professional values requirement by submitting proof that the applicant completed 15 credits of practice-based experiential coursework designed to foster professional competency training.  Up to 6 of these 15 credits can be earned in law school certified non-credit-bearing summer employment programs, provided those employment opportunities are certified by the law school and satisfy certain other criteria.


It is the responsibility of each individual student to review the New York Rules and communicate with the New York State Board of Law Examiners to determine the necessary components to meet the requirements.  New England Law offers the following information as a suggestion as to how students may find it convenient to meet the 15 credit practice-based requirement.  Remember, however, the New York bar, not the law school, will make the final decisions on qualifying work.  The law school cannot and does not guarantee that the following suggestions will satisfy the New York bar.


New England Law students may consider the following in determining how to meet the New York State Bar Exam specific requirements:


•   Eight of the 15 practice-based credits that the New York Bar requires are part of the New England Law required curriculum.


  • Students entering after August 1, 2016, are required to complete at least six (6)   credits of experiential education (Professional Skills) credits. 
  • Additionally, the two (2) credits for LR&W III may count toward the New York  Skills requirement.


•   The remaining seven (7) practice-based credits can be obtained through a combination of clinics, simulation (experiential learning) courses and summer work experiences, including the summer fellowship program.


•   The New York rules indicate that students may use non-credit bearing summer employment experiences to meet up to 6 credits of the requirements under section 520.18. These experiences do not require an academic component. The student may earn credit toward this requirement as long as the summer employment is supervised by an attorney in good standing in any jurisdiction within the United States. The work can be paid or unpaid.  The work must be part of summer employment, including summer fellowships or internships. Work during the academic year does not count toward the requirement. To count as a credit for this requirement, the student must work at least 50 hours for each substituted credit.  This means that a maximum of 300 hours of qualifying summer employment” is required for six (6) credit hours to meet this provision of the New York rule. It should also be noted that a student cannot use this work to satisfy both this requirement and the New York 50 hour pro bono requirement, described below.


Reminder: Students intending to apply for admission to the bar in New York should read Section 520.18 of the Rules for Admission for themselves. It is the responsibility of each applicant to ensure that he or she has met the requirements of this rule.


New York Pro Bono Requirement


All candidates who seek admission to the New York state bar must complete, before applying for admission, 50 hours of qualifying pro bono work pursuant to Rule 520.16 of the Rules for Admission of Attorneys and Counselors of Law. According to this rule, supervised pro bono work will qualify if:


1.         It assists in providing legal services without charge for

a.         Persons of limited means,

b.         Not-for –profit organizations,

c.         Individuals or groups seeking to promote access to justice, OR

2.         It assists in providing legal assistance in public service for a governmental entity (including a court), OR

3.         It is pursuant to the jurisdiction’s student practice rule.

4.         Work will qualify if it is supervised by a faculty member, an attorney admitted to the jurisdiction or, for work in a court, a judge or attorney employed by the court.


Again, it is the responsibility of each student seeking admission to the New York Bar to read the rule and communicate directly with the New York State Board of Law Examiners.  The information offered above is merely advisory. Only the New York Bar can determine which work will actually qualify under the state’s rules. More information on the requirement is available from the New York Court of Appeals.


To access the FAQs for this rule go to Pro Bono Requirement FAQ.


To find the Affidavit of Compliance go to Application for Admission.


The law school recommends that you fill out and file an affidavit of compliance for each qualifying work experience as soon as possible after you complete the work.


New York Misconduct Rule


New York State Board of Law Examiner’s rule defines misconduct to include some conduct that a candidate for the bar might not otherwise recognize as misconduct and therefore each applicant is urged to read the rules carefully. Please click here to read: The New York State Board of Law Examiner's Board Rule 6000.9 (Fraud, Dishonesty and Other Misconduct)