Bar Examination for Foreign-Trained Attorneys

The majority of states do not allow an individual to take their bar examination unless the individual holds a J.D. degree from a U.S. law school. New York is the closest jurisdiction to Mason Law allowing foreign trained attorneys to sit for the state’s bar examination so long as they meet the state’s eligibility requirements. Please note that admission to our LL.M. program does not guarantee or in any way suggest eligibility to sit for the New York or any other state's bar examination.

New York Bar Examination

The New York Board of Law Examiners is the only entity that can deem an individual qualified to sit for the New York Bar Exam. Some individuals from common law countries may be found eligible to sit for the New York Bar Exam based solely on their first law degree. Most individuals, however, will need to finish the requirements of the LL.M. degree and complete additional coursework to be eligible to sit for the exam. If you wish to sit for the New York Bar Exam, it is your responsibility to review the state’s eligibility rules for foreign-trained attorneys (see §520.6 of the Rules of the Court of appeals for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law (22 NYCRR §520.6)).

The Board requires foreign-trained lawyers to complete an online Foreign Evaluation Form and submit required documentation to their offices at least 6 months prior to the start of the application filing period for the bar exam (February or July) they wish to take. We strongly encourage you to complete this evaluation form and to submit all necessary documents to the Board prior to staring the LL.M. program to determine your eligibility to sit for the bar.

Individuals should be aware that every applicant admitted to the New York State Bar on or after January 1, 2015 must complete at least 50 hours of qualifying pro bono service prior to filing an application for admission with the appropriate Appellate Division department of the Supreme Court.(§520.16 of the Rules of the Court of appeals for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law (22 NYCRR §520.16)).

Other State Bar Examinations

If you are interested in sitting for the bar examination of another state, you should consult the bar examiners of that state to determine your eligibility.