In a November 1, 2015 change made by the New Mexico Supreme Court, the State of New Mexico has adopted the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) for the admission of attorneys to practice in the state. Use of the UBE will allow New Mexico’s newest attorneys to use a single bar exam to apply for admission to the state bars of 19 states. The change is effective for the February 2016 examination.
“Adoption of the UBE will open up opportunities for New Mexico’s new lawyers to build multi-state practices, which can also make them more competitive in the job market. It should help clients, too, especially along the borders of our state, where new attorneys can apply to practice in Colorado, Arizona, and Utah at the same time that they apply to the bar in New Mexico,” said Sophie Martin, executive director of the New Mexico Board of Bar Examiners, which administers the bar exam.
The New Mexico passing score under the UBE will remain the same at 260. Prior to this change, the passing score was divided in half and reported as a 130 score. In addition to taking the bar exam, applicants to the New Mexico bar must pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) and undergo a character and fitness investigation. Under the new rules, they must also complete additional training in Indian law, community property law, and professional responsibility. Indian law and community property will no longer be included in the exam.
The 19 states that participate in the UBE are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wyoming. On October 8, Massachusetts announced that it would also consider administering the UBE.
About the UBE
The Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) is coordinated by NCBE and is composed of the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE), two Multistate Performance Test (MPT) tasks, and the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE). It is uniformly administered, graded, and scored by user jurisdictions and results in a portable score that can be transferred to other UBE jurisdictions. The UBE is administered over two days, with the MBE given on the last Wednesday of February and July and the MEE and MPT given on the Tuesday prior to that. For more information on the UBE, visit www.ncbex.org/exams/ube.
About the New Mexico Board of Bar Examiners and the New Mexico Bar Exam
The New Mexico Board of Bar Examiners (NMBBE) administers the bar examination in New Mexico, conducts character and fitness evaluations of applicants to the bar, and makes attorney admission recommendations to the New Mexico Supreme Court. The NMBBE’s website is www.nmexam.org.
The New Mexico bar examination is administered twice per year, and is a requirement for most applicants to the State Bar of New Mexico. Each year, over 250 applicants sit for the bar exam in New Mexico.