Admissions to the Bar by Examination and by Transferred UBE Score, 2018–2022

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most jurisdictions made modifications to their July 2020 and February and July 2021 bar exam administrations, some of which have implications for the admissions statistics in the following chart.

  • Score Transfer Agreements for NCBE’s October 2020 Remote Testing Option: The number of 2020–2022 admissions by transferred Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) score also includes those admitted by score transfer agreements entered into by 14 UBE jurisdictions administering NCBE’s remote testing option on October 5–6, 2020. (The remote testing option did not constitute the full bar exam or the UBE; scores earned on the remote test were to be used for local admission decisions only and did not qualify as UBE scores.) These jurisdictions are Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Vermont. In addition, Washington, which did not administer the remote test, announced in March 2021 that it would accept remote test score transfers, for certain qualified applicants, from other jurisdictions that were UBE jurisdictions at the time of the October 2020 remote test administration. These 15 jurisdictions are typically accepting remote exam score transfers for the same length of time as they do for UBE score transfers (from 3 to 5 years).
  • Emergency Diploma Privilege/Examination Waiver: In July 2020, five jurisdictions adopted emergency diploma privilege/­examination waiver rules allowing certain qualified candidates to be eligible for admission to the bar in that jurisdiction without taking the bar examination. These admissions, which are not included in the following chart, are as follows: District of Columbia (108 in 2021, 5 in 2022), Louisiana (409 in 2020), Oregon (240 in 2020, 9 in 2021), Utah (130 in 2020, 41 in 2021), and Washington (498 in 2020, 54 in 2021, 8 in 2022).
  • Temporarily Lowered Passing Scores: Four jurisdictions temporarily lowered their passing scores for the July 2020 exam cycle, three of which extended their modifications beyond 2020: Hawaii (lowered from 134 to 133 for the September 9–10, 2020, and February 2021 exams), North Carolina (lowered from 270 to 268 for the July 2020 and February and July 2021 exams), Oregon (lowered from 274 to 266 for the July 2020 exam), and Washington (lowered from 270 to 266 for the July 2020; September 9–10, 2020; and February and July 2021 and 2022 exams).
  • Temporary Supervised Practice Rules: In July 2020, 31 jurisdictions expanded or adopted temporary supervised practice rules to allow qualified candidates to engage in the limited practice of law under the supervision of a licensed attorney until they were able to take the bar exam.
  • Delayed 2020 Admissions: Some jurisdictions experienced delays in 2020 admissions (such as delayed swearing-in ceremonies or delayed applicant submission of paperwork) such that certain admission requirements were not fulfilled until early 2021. As these delays were solely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these admissions are included in the following chart as 2020 admissions.

For full details, see “COVID-19: Implications for 2020 ­Statistics” in the Spring 2021 issue of the Bar Examiner, and “COVID-19: Modifications to 2021 Bar Exams” in the Spring 2022 issue of the Bar Examiner.

*Individuals admitted in New Hampshire via the University of New Hampshire’s Daniel Webster Scholar (DWS) Honors Program are not included in this chart. The number of individuals admitted in New Hampshire via the DWS Honors Program in 2018–2022 are as follows: 20 in 2018, 18 in 2019, 21 in 2020, 23 in 2021, and 24 in 2022. (The DWS Honors Program, a two-year performance-based program to which students are accepted prior to their second year of law school, allows successful students to be admitted to the New Hampshire Bar without taking the traditional bar examination.)†Individuals admitted in Wisconsin via diploma privilege are not included in this chart. The number of individuals admitted in Wisconsin via diploma privilege in 2018–2022 are as follows: 351 in 2018, 327 in 2019, 299 in 2020, 438 in 2021, and 400 in 2022. (Wisconsin’s diploma privilege rule allows graduates of its in-state ABA-accredited law schools eligibility for admission without taking the traditional bar examination.)

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