UBE Shopping: Help Me Game the UBE and Pick the Best Jurisdiction

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GoldenPuppy

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UBE Shopping: Help Me Game the UBE and Pick the Best Jurisdiction

Postby GoldenPuppy » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:42 pm

Summary

A UBE score in one jurisdiction is not the same as getting the same score in another jurisdictions. For example, a 270 in State A might be easier to get than a 270 in State B, since you're graded against other examinees in your own state (and NOT nationwide).

Background Reading

Suzanne Darrow Kleinhaus, UBE-Shopping: An Unintended Consequence of Portability?
https://digitalcommons.tourolaw.edu/scholarlyworks/623/

Mark A. Albanese, Let the Games Begin: Jurisdiction-shopping for the Shopaholics (Good Luck with That)
http://lawschool.unm.edu/about/common/d ... r-2016.pdf

Suzanne Darrow Kleinhaus, A Reply to the National Conference of Bar Examiners: More Talk, No Answers, so Keep on Shopping
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm ... id=2943516

Data

Sorted by 1st Time Pass Rate (descending)

State UBE Pas 1st Time Pass
Iowa 266 87%
Missouri 260 86%
New Mexico 260 86%
New York 266 84%
Montana 266 83%
Utah 270 83%
Oregon 274 83%
Nebraska 270 82%
Kansas 266 82%
Minnesota 260 80%
Idaho 272 79%
Alabama 260 79%
Washington 270 78%
Connecticut 266 78%
New Hampshire 270 76%
Colorado 276 75%
West Virginia 270 75%
District of Columbia 266 75%
Maine 276 74%
Wyoming 270 73%
South Carolina 266 72%
North Dakota 260 71%
New Jersey 266 70%
Vermont 270 69%
Arizona 273 64%
Alaska 280 57%

Sorted by UBE Passing Score (ascending)

State UBE Pas 1st Time Pass
Missouri 260 86%
New Mexico 260 86%
Minnesota 260 80%
Alabama 260 79%
North Dakota 260 71%
Iowa 266 87%
New York 266 84%
Montana 266 83%
Kansas 266 82%
Connecticut 266 78%
District of Columbia 266 75%
South Carolina 266 72%
New Jersey 266 70%
Utah 270 83%
Nebraska 270 82%
Washington 270 78%
New Hampshire 270 76%
West Virginia 270 75%
Wyoming 270 73%
Vermont 270 69%
Idaho 272 79%
Arizona 273 64%
Oregon 274 83%
Colorado 276 75%
Maine 276 74%
Alaska 280 57%

Maybe we need to add in JD LSAT scores, etc? What other data would be pertinent to gaming the UBE?

Goal

Assuming money is no object, or perhaps when it is to avoid taking the UBE twice, where should an examinee choose to take the UBE?

Should I aim for the highest UBE pass score with the highest first time pass rate? Like Oregon?

My goal is to be admitted in NY and NC. I'm waiving in to DC. I've already taken the bar in a non-UBE state.

max_p

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Re: UBE Shopping: Help Me Game the UBE and Pick the Best Jurisdiction

Postby max_p » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:50 pm

I wouldn't say I "shopped" given that my firm told me which state to take, but I've been hoping that my state (NJ) is easier than others. I would imagine that a 266 in NJ is easier to get than the same score in New York or PA (assuming all the "best" lawyers wind up in NYC or Philly rather than in the Jersey burbs). NJ also has nowhere near the caliber of law schools as nearby states. I went to a T20, and I was probably one of the few people on test day who went to a school with a bar pass rate over 90%. Anyway, still waiting on scores for July. I feel absolutely horrible about the exam.

perplixityparanoia

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Re: UBE Shopping: Help Me Game the UBE and Pick the Best Jurisdiction

Postby perplixityparanoia » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:54 pm

Go with Missouri.

Findedeux

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Re: UBE Shopping: Help Me Game the UBE and Pick the Best Jurisdiction

Postby Findedeux » Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:13 pm

I don't think the bar is hard enough to go to the effort of "gaming".

That's not to say smart people don't fail, but I would just study a little more if you are concerned.

QContinuum

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Re: UBE Shopping: Help Me Game the UBE and Pick the Best Jurisdiction

Postby QContinuum » Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:15 pm

Findedeux wrote:I don't think the bar is hard enough to go to the effort of "gaming".

That's not to say smart people don't fail, but I would just study a little more if you are concerned.


In addition, out of the UBE states with pass rate data (which admittedly doesn't include all UBE states; IL, for example, won't be administering its first UBE until July 2019), NY is by far the largest legal market (and thus likely the single most common "target" market for new grads). As it happens, NY has one of the highest first-time pass rates in OP's list, at 84%. Only Iowa has a higher pass rate (87%), and I'm not sure a 3% difference is worth flying out to Des Moines. (MO and NM also have a higher pass rate than NY (86%), but that's due in part to their lower cutoff score (260 vs. 266). So "gaming" by taking in MO/NM would be counterproductive if one were to pass in MO with anything below a 266.)

GoldenPuppy wrote:Iowa 266 87%
Missouri 260 86%
New Mexico 260 86%
New York 266 84%
Montana 266 83%
Utah 270 83%
Oregon 274 83%
Nebraska 270 82%
Kansas 266 82%
Minnesota 260 80%
Idaho 272 79%
Alabama 260 79%
Washington 270 78%
Connecticut 266 78%
New Hampshire 270 76%
Colorado 276 75%
West Virginia 270 75%
District of Columbia 266 75%
Maine 276 74%
Wyoming 270 73%
South Carolina 266 72%
North Dakota 260 71%
New Jersey 266 70%
Vermont 270 69%
Arizona 273 64%
Alaska 280 57%

pfunkera

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Re: UBE Shopping: Help Me Game the UBE and Pick the Best Jurisdiction

Postby pfunkera » Tue Sep 25, 2018 8:55 am

Don't look at pass rate, look at who you are competing against. I took the exam in WV because I live and work there, but with only one law school and a small state, the competition is just not the same as taking it in NY or similar state. The MBE portion doesn't matter where you take it, but the essay grading matters. I doubt my essay answers were graded along with HYS grads. Even though I concentrated on the MBE and barely prepped for the essays, I scored the same on the essays as the MBE portion. I probably would have passed regardless of the state based on my scores, but I felt way more confident knowing that I the pool of essay answers was going to be a lower tier than a more competitive state. There were a number of people there from other states taking it so I am sure they felt the same way.

If you plan to work in an UBE state and can afford to travel, take the exam in a less competitive UBE state.

Cop2lawyerNYC

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Re: UBE Shopping: Help Me Game the UBE and Pick the Best Jurisdiction

Postby Cop2lawyerNYC » Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:26 am

NY also has a lot of foreign educated candidates (around the 30% mark, I believe) so that would negate the higher proportion of T14 grads taking the test.
Instead of gaming the test I should have taken the exam (I didn't know at the time) in a UBE state that release results right away! Those who took the exam in Missouri not only got their results a few weeks ago but those who passed are getting sworn in on 9/27! Here in NY we have to wait until the end of Oct to get our results and we won't get admitted until Jan/Feb.

QContinuum

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Re: UBE Shopping: Help Me Game the UBE and Pick the Best Jurisdiction

Postby QContinuum » Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:38 pm

Cop2lawyerNYC wrote:NY also has a lot of foreign educated candidates (around the 30% mark, I believe) so that would negate the higher proportion of T14 grads taking the test.


Also, at the end of the day there just aren't that many T14 grads overall - even in NY. Plenty of non-T14 grads - NYC alone has 8 law schools, only 2 of which are T14s. NY state in all has 15 law schools, only 3 of which are T14s (and Cornell's a small school at that).

Arguably the pool of candidates taking the DC bar might be a more accomplished bunch.

b290

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Re: UBE Shopping: Help Me Game the UBE and Pick the Best Jurisdiction

Postby b290 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:40 pm

pfunkera wrote:Don't look at pass rate, look at who you are competing against. I took the exam in WV because I live and work there, but with only one law school and a small state, the competition is just not the same as taking it in NY or similar state. The MBE portion doesn't matter where you take it, but the essay grading matters. I doubt my essay answers were graded along with HYS grads. Even though I concentrated on the MBE and barely prepped for the essays, I scored the same on the essays as the MBE portion. I probably would have passed regardless of the state based on my scores, but I felt way more confident knowing that I the pool of essay answers was going to be a lower tier than a more competitive state. There were a number of people there from other states taking it so I am sure they felt the same way.

If you plan to work in an UBE state and can afford to travel, take the exam in a less competitive UBE state.

Findedeux wrote:I don't think the bar is hard enough to go to the effort of "gaming".

That's not to say smart people don't fail, but I would just study a little more if you are concerned.

Agreed. While you may have an "easier" path to passing in some states, it seems like a lot of effort for a few points.

Also, OP's saying that money should be disregarded, but you can't just ignore it. UBE Transfer costs for most states are at around an additional $1000 (or more). Unless you're taking the UBE in NY (where its $350 if you plan to type), you're effectively paying for another bar exam. What's the point of "gaming" the system when you've just added another cost/financial burden - which in turn will affect your performance? On top of that, UBE Transfer = another (NCBE) investigation. Unless you've already have a score (which as a first-time taker) so you can forget about practicing anytime soon. So you're spending more money for the exam fees for the "privilege" to delay your practice. You could save that time by studying more, or (if you're really itching to burn that money) hiring a private tutor/buying extra prep materials.

But, let's entertain this for a moment. I found this gem from one of the suggested items:

"The fly in the ointment with this [gaming the UBE] approach is that the low-performing jurisdiction may make the performance on the written component look better, but it would have to look sufficiently better that it would overcome the lower mean MBE score in the jurisdiction, because the scaling of the written component score to the MBE sets the mean of the written component score to the mean of the MBE."

It's from someone associated (I think) w/ the NCBE, so take it with a grain of salt. But even with states varying that scale, none of that makes up for the MBE, which ignores state test-taker distinctions and is 50% of the exam. That's why lower MBE means = lower pass rates.

If you're a repeat taker (for which the 1st-time pass rates are useless) and you're marginal (hovering in the 250s), it's worth a shot. But for first-time takers, the benefits are not worth the costs, nor the effort of "gaming."

My $.02

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GoldenPuppy

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Re: UBE Shopping: Help Me Game the UBE and Pick the Best Jurisdiction

Postby GoldenPuppy » Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:29 am

I'm still so torn on what to do. :cry:

Cop2lawyerNYC

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Re: UBE Shopping: Help Me Game the UBE and Pick the Best Jurisdiction

Postby Cop2lawyerNYC » Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:46 pm

GoldenPuppy wrote:I'm still so torn on what to do. :cry:


If I had to do it again, instead of gaming the UBE I would instead take it in a jurisdiction that releases scores the earliest. I believe Missouri released scores the first week of September while we (NY) had to wait until the last week of October

malibustacy

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Re: UBE Shopping: Help Me Game the UBE and Pick the Best Jurisdiction

Postby malibustacy » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:49 pm

GoldenPuppy wrote:I'm still so torn on what to do. :cry:


You take it at the closest location you idiot. Stop being so dense and stop trying to scheme your way into blowing thousands of dollars for some ridiculous crock-pot notion that you're going to do marginally better at some other jurisdiction.

Hell, the exhaustion from traveling alone might be worth several points on its own.



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