More states adopting the UBE

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b290

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More states adopting the UBE

Postby b290 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:22 pm

So, I was on the NCBE website and I came across some news: Illinois and Rhode Island are have adopted the UBE. Now, 2/3rds of states are using it. What are the parameters?

IL - Effective July 2019, Score good for 4 years, Transfer Fee (to IL): $1,250. Also, the pass score is going back down to 266 for the UBE. As of right now, IL has no separate state-specific test/class.

RI - Effective Feb 2019, Score good for 2 years. No info on the transfer fee yet. The passing score is still 276. All other current exams an procedures (5 time exam limit, RI Attorneys Exam) remain in effect except application fees - they're going up.

Some states: FL, TX, MI, OH, and of course CA (I guess it likes the 40% pass rates) are holding out. Considering that some others already use the MEE, and many states are already grading with the 400-pt scale, we could see even more states adopting (I'm looking at you AR and KY) in good time.

Sources:
Illinois
https://www.isba.org/iln/2018/06/illino ... suniformba
http://www.ncbex.org/jurisdiction-infor ... diction/il

Rhode Island
https://www.ribar.com/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsId=888
http://www.ncbex.org/jurisdiction-infor ... diction/ri

Maps:
UBE - http://www.ncbex.org/exams/ube/
MEE - http://www.ncbex.org/exams/mee/
MPT - http://www.ncbex.org/exams/mpt/

So just in case you're thinking about about a UBE transfer, now you know.

My $.02

max_p

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Re: More states adopting the UBE

Postby max_p » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:42 pm

Of course PA has yet to adopt it. Super frustrating considering that every Philadelphia attorney is expected to be barred in PA and NJ (which is UBE).

TXBoundJD

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Re: More states adopting the UBE

Postby TXBoundJD » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:49 pm

The Illinois move is significant (especially for pulling in some of the other midwest holdouts similar to the effect NY had in getting buy in from the Northeast). That said, for various reasons there will be some states that will holdout (til the end of time?) for various reasons: Texas (state pride?), California (all of the CA bar accredited schools necessitate the need for a tough bar and CA has never been one to jump on the reciprocal band wagon), Delaware (the local bar does not want outsiders to just move for admission there as a "second" state), Florida (again local bar issues here. They have held out on reciprocal type agreements due to retirees), Virginia (love of Latin and state prestige?), and of course Louisiana (they are still the one holdout to the MBE --- for obvious reasons!)

Arkansas and Kentucky are basically UBE (or becoming UBE) states. Arkansas tests an exact UBE test (MPT, MBE, MEE, no state content) but just does not participate in UBE porting. Kentucky is already on MEE and is adding MPT which is speculated as the potential death of their state section. That said, check out (https://courts.ky.gov/resources/publica ... ssions.pdf) from only 2015 where they rejected the UBE. The growing trend however may lead them to reconsider.

There are also a few states (i.e. Hawaii and South Dakota) that already adopt the MPT, MBE, and MEE and have negligible local components. In Hawaii its 15 multiple choice questions on prof. responsibility rules. In South Dakota its 1 question on Indian law.

Two of Illinois Midwest neighbors have considered (or are considering the question) of bar exam reform. Indiana recently explicitly rejected adopting the UBE (https://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.inbar.org ... y-2017.pdf). Ohio has formed a task force but I did not believe has yet issued a final report (http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/Boards/barExamTF/).

I think the key markets to keep an eye on right now are Ohio (Cleveland/Cincinnati/Columbus), Pennsylvania (Philadelphia/Pittsburgh), Michigan (Detroit), and Georgia (Atlanta). I am calling Ohio as the next important state to swing given its task force. Once these states swing to UBE maybe some of the stalwart holdouts (mentioned above) will begin to reconsider.

b290

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Re: More states adopting the UBE

Postby b290 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:59 pm

max_p wrote:Of course PA has yet to adopt it. Super frustrating considering that every Philadelphia attorney is expected to be barred in PA and NJ (which is UBE).

I mean this is the same PA that’s produced PennDOT and state liquor stores. Should we really be surprised by this nonsense? :lol:

Many NYC people I knew took NJ as well (before the UBE), which is why NJ went UBE soon after NY did. NJ didn’t want to lose out on $$$ IL we could see coming because with its current finances, it needs all the jobs it could attract. RI makes sense because everybody else in NE has adopted it - not that many take it there as is.

But agreed. It sucks for Philly applicants. May i interest you in NY? :lol:

My $.02

b290

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Re: More states adopting the UBE

Postby b290 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:10 pm

TXBoundJD wrote:The Illinois move is significant...

Excellent points. I can add as to why Michigan’s not adopting the UBE - and not anytime soon. Firstly, the bar exam is purely essay + MBE. Almost all adoptees of the UBE had a PT. When NY adopted, it just took out the NY multiple choice section and made it no a separate state test (NYLE). It also kept the essay/MPT grading scales (with reconfigured component percentages). Outside of the changing the overall exam score (from out of 1000 to 400), NY didn’t have to change much. MI hasn’t even hinted about adding a PT so the UBE would be a major exam change.

Another thing, the legal market downstate MI is still oversaturated. After the 2008 financial crisis, the older attorneys that would’ve retired just stayed on hoarding up available work. While that’s led to a wide open market in rural MI (because of the 1-3 attorneys in town retiring; I know of a classmate who’s a City Atty for 2 different towns), in the rest of the state, it’s still hard to get a job.

The state bar is well aware of this, and the more people that leave/retire/pass the bar exam (i.e. the status quo), the better. To that effect, it’s added arcane subjects (like 2A) to the essay portion.

NY had its changeover effect because pre-UBE MA and NJ were ‘second states’ particularly for those in the T1 schools. MA was a ‘first state’ to basically all of NE, so New England was eventually to follow. When markets are that connected, ‘first states’ set the tone for other states. Ohio I could see change over - just because, while there’s really no impetus for PA to jump ship. Pittsburgh’s market is sufficiently separated from OH for a UBE switch to matter, and most people who are going to Philly take the PA exam first anyway.

As for the rest, excellent points. Not much I can add beyond those.

My $.02



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