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

Discussions related to the bar exam are found in this forum
mec215

New
Posts: 30
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

Bronze
Posts: 248
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

New
Posts: 30
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.

hanner22

New
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2017 6:27 pm

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

Postby hanner22 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:16 pm

mec215 wrote: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.



I was in a similar situation as you are, but was torn between VA & DC. I was working in a firm in DC but decided I would like the option of having a VA license in case I wanted to move out of DC. I ended up going with VA this past July and failed by 4 points. I did however score high enough on the MBE to transfer that score to DC and now I only have to take the essay portion of the DC exam next month.

I will say that VA has 25 subjects they test on essay day whereas DC only has 13. This wasn't something I considered at the time and wish I did. It is much more manageable and I am finding the overall study process much smoother with DC and I just feel much more confident. I would definitely recommend comparing the subject material of MD vs. DC to see what would be more manageable for you.

mec215

New
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:47 am

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

Postby mec215 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:24 pm

hanner22 wrote:I was in a similar situation as you are, but was torn between VA & DC. I was working in a firm in DC but decided I would like the option of having a VA license in case I wanted to move out of DC. I ended up going with VA this past July and failed by 4 points. I did however score high enough on the MBE to transfer that score to DC and now I only have to take the essay portion of the DC exam next month.

I will say that VA has 25 subjects they test on essay day whereas DC only has 13. This wasn't something I considered at the time and wish I did. It is much more manageable and I am finding the overall study process much smoother with DC and I just feel much more confident. I would definitely recommend comparing the subject material of MD vs. DC to see what would be more manageable for you.


I really appreciate that input, hanner22. I have pretty much settled on DC at this point. It seems the subject matter (not having to focus on state-specific law in the essays) and the actual test days (not having to travel to Baltimore) will be much more streamlined/simpler in DC than in MD.

CanadianWolf

Diamond
Posts: 10722
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

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

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:07 pm

Without question, you should take the DC bar exam because you will be, essentially, taking 25 bar exams in one sitting. And, yes, I understand that some jurisdictions have supplemental state specific tests (many are open book) & that you need to qualify for C&F for each jurisdiction that you wish to join through transferred UBE scores. But why in the world would you consider sitting for the Maryland state bar exam before it offers the UBE ?

As an aside, it is common to join both the New York state bar & the DC bar, and New York is now an UBE jurisdiction.

mec215

New
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:47 am

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

Postby mec215 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:11 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Without question, you should take the DC bar exam because you will be, essentially, taking 25 bar exams in one sitting. And, yes, I understand that some jurisdictions have supplemental state specific tests (many are open book) & that you need to qualify for C&F for each jurisdiction that you wish to join through transferred UBE scores. But why in the world would you consider sitting for the Maryland state bar exam before it offers the UBE ?

As an aside, it is common to join both the New York state bar & the DC bar, and New York is now an UBE jurisdiction.


Well my dilemma was that my ultimate goal was to be barred in MD and DC, which I could accomplish by either taking MD (and waiving into DC) or DC (and taking the jurisdiction-specific test for MD). But your point is well-taken, and I should just take DC and then consider what other states I might want to be barred in, like NY.

CanadianWolf

Diamond
Posts: 10722
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

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

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:21 pm

Yes, I understood your thinking, but wanted to strongly suggest that it was misguided. (My question was rhetorical.)

Please, take the UBE exam now. Even if you failed for DC, you would pass for any jurisdiction which has a lower score requirement than DC, but at or below your attained score. (Unless, of course, DC's score is in the group of the lowest passing UBE jurisdiction scores.)

mec215

New
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:47 am

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

Postby mec215 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:34 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Yes, I understood your thinking, but wanted to strongly suggest that it was misguided. (My question was rhetorical.)

Please, take the UBE exam now. Even if you failed for DC, you would pass for any jurisdiction which has a lower score requirement than DC, but at or below your attained score. (Unless, of course, DC's score is in the group of the lowest passing UBE jurisdiction scores.)

Got it. Thanks for your advice. And yes - DC is in the low-to-mid range of passing UBE jurisdiction scores.

User avatar
xRON MEXiCOx

Diamond
Posts: 18136
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:32 pm

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

Postby xRON MEXiCOx » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:42 pm

Take the Georgia bar and thank me later



Return to “Bar Exam Prep and Discussion Forum?

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: EIWIsMyFetish, Google [Bot], onionhead and 15 guests