Should I take the MD or DC bar exam in July?

mec215
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:47 am

Should I take the MD or DC bar exam in July?

Postby mec215 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:04 pm

I am torn between taking the MD bar exam or the DC bar exam in July 2018.

I will be working in DC, and my employer does not mind the waiting period for waiving into DC after passing in another jurisdiction. I am considering taking the MD bar because it would be nice to be barred in two states, I’ll probably live in MD, and all my family is in MD. So, if I were to do pro bono work with a charity, for example, it would likely be in MD.

MD has adopted the UBE starting in July 2019, but they will accept scores from before adoption, so if I take DC (which is also UBE), I could waive into MD in one year. The downside is that MD will require a jurisdiction-specific test, which I will probably never take because I have no strong need to be barred in MD, it would just be nice to be barred in MD.

If I take MD, even though it will not yet be administering the UBE in 2018, I could waive into DC because of DC’s reciprocity with all states.

The DC Convention Center is two blocks from my apartment, so the test taking days would be more convenient. However, I’ve heard horror stories about DC’s managing of the bar exam.

Now that I’ve written this out, DC seems to make more sense, but I’m interested to hear others’ thoughts on pros/cons. I’m sure others are having similar deliberations re DC reciprocity combined with UBE adoption.

JoeSeperac
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:30 pm

Re: Should I take the MD or DC bar exam in July?

Postby JoeSeperac » Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:46 pm

Some statistical food for thought:

In Maryland over the past 20 years, the February ABA First-Timers Pass Rate is 69.9% while the July ABA First-Timers Pass Rate is 79.8%. The February ABA Repeaters Pass Rate is 42% while the July ABA Repeaters Pass Rate is 35.2%.

In the District of Columbia over the past 20 years, the February ABA First-Timers Pass Rate is 56.3% while the July ABA First-Timers Pass Rate is 74.5%. The February ABA Repeaters Pass Rate is 27.1% while the July ABA Repeaters Pass Rate is 26.1%.

Please note that I expect the UBE exam to improve D.C.'s statistics. For example, the number of examinees taking D.C more than doubled last year: the July 2016 overall pass rate was 61% (688 takers) versus 44% in July 2015 (296 takers).

mec215
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:47 am

Re: Should I take the MD or DC bar exam in July?

Postby mec215 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:45 pm

JoeSeperac wrote:Some statistical food for thought:

In Maryland over the past 20 years, the February ABA First-Timers Pass Rate is 69.9% while the July ABA First-Timers Pass Rate is 79.8%. The February ABA Repeaters Pass Rate is 42% while the July ABA Repeaters Pass Rate is 35.2%.

In the District of Columbia over the past 20 years, the February ABA First-Timers Pass Rate is 56.3% while the July ABA First-Timers Pass Rate is 74.5%. The February ABA Repeaters Pass Rate is 27.1% while the July ABA Repeaters Pass Rate is 26.1%.

Please note that I expect the UBE exam to improve D.C.'s statistics. For example, the number of examinees taking D.C more than doubled last year: the July 2016 overall pass rate was 61% (688 takers) versus 44% in July 2015 (296 takers).


I admittedly did not initially consider pass rate, which is an important consideration. Thanks for those numbers, JoeSeperac! I agree that the switch to UBE will change DC’s statistics.




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