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$750 to take the New York bar exam

By michaelcorleone in Columbia University - Class of 2010 on Nov 10, 2010

at this point, i think my LLM story has come to an end, with the bar exam results and my new job starting soon. so this means i'll be posting a few entries on the bar exam and job hunt. 

let's start with the bar exam. some important news that foreign educated candidates should know is that beginning feb 2011, the exam fee for foreign educated candidates will be $750. i paid $250 for my own bar exam (july 2010) but beginning feb 2010, all foreign educated candidates will need to pay $750. if the candidate doesn't pass the exam and wants to retake the exam the fee is also $750. see http://www.nybarexam.org/

my guess on what is behind this change is that the law job market being bad, especially in new york, the state bar probably wants to protect the graduates from local (US) law schools to ensure they don't have to compete with foreigners on those jobs that are available. 

i think this isn't really a good reason though, because many LLMs just take the new york bar exam to get that final stamp of US qualification, or even a "souvenir", and not really in order to practice law in new york. 

it remains to be seen whether this will discourage foreign educated candidates from taking the new york bar exam. the fee to take the california bar exam is roughly the same ($584 + $132 for laptop fee).  many foreigners who do LLMs do the LLM in new york, and it will be easier to just continue on and take the exam in new york and not worry about housing issues anymore, rather than to uproot and take the exam in california. the increased fees though, will most likely discourage repeat takers.  

next time, i'll write about barbri and kaplan, and my own experiences during bar review (a.k.a. the glorious summer when i saw ballet 3x a week). 





  • ppf, Thu Mar 03, 2011 09:54 PM

    Could be unconstitutional discriminate against a foreign licensed lawyer, LLM and American Citizen increasing to $750 NY Bar fee? If the Bar Association wants to protect the graduates from local law schools from foreign lawyers should regulate the requirements to study a LLM. Do you know that a law student without foreign license, without practice in law is admitted to study a LLM and later could be lawyer in the USA. Is it not weird?

  • pdtmlf, Tue Nov 16, 2010 01:57 AM

    There is no other point than for the Board of Law Examiners than making as much money as possible off foreign applicants. The calculation is pretty simple, since there are more than 4,500 foreign takers every year, that is an extra $2.25 million for the Board of Law Examiners! Now the Board gets more money from foreigners than from any other applicants while they only account for 20 % of total applicants. This decision is petty, stupid and definitely unconstitutional.

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