From Kimberly A. Herrick, Chair of the Board of Law Examiners
The Board of Law Examiners, after giving careful consideration to all proposed alternatives, decided that a July 28-29, 2020, administration of the Uniform Bar Examination in Raleigh, North Carolina, is in the best interests of the applicants and the general public of North Carolina. The exam will be given to approximately 770 applicants in three separate buildings: the Jim Graham Building (95,000 square feet) and Exposition Center (50,000 square feet) at the NC State Fairgrounds and the Jane S. McKimmon Center (33,509 square feet) on the NCSU Campus. These buildings will be accessed on exam day by the use of separate entrances leading to physically distanced quadrants, where applicants are seated at tables such that every applicant is at least six feet in distance from all other applicants, in all directions. The board has not denied any requests for ADA reasonable accommodations that it has received for this exam by immunocompromised individuals.
Check-in will be streamlined, and hand-to-hand passage of materials minimized, with physical distance being enforced from the time applicants arrive in the parking lot until they return to their vehicles. All persons in attendance, including applicants, proctors, staff, security, and maintenance, will be required to wear a mask/face covering at all times. Proctors and staff will be required to wear gloves at all times. Surfaces will be sanitized regularly, and materials will be handled in a manner that minimizes any person-to-person transfer.
A written examination for attorneys is a crucial part of admission to the bar and is required by NCGS § 84-24. A law license granted upon successful passage of the bar examination, signed by all the members of the Board of Law Examiners, is an assurance to the public that the board is satisfied with that licensee’s knowledge of the law and ability to demonstrate that knowledge in writing. The Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) is the best available measure of those skills, and results in a score that is transferable. The MEE (Multistate Essay Exam) and the MPT (Multistate Performance Test) allow an applicant to demonstrate legal skills such as their ability to recognize legal issues, to engage in legal analysis, and to recommend an appropriate course of action. The MBE (Multistate Bar Exam) is a measure of an applicant’s ability to apply fundamental legal principles and reasoning to specific factual scenarios. The NCBE provides support to jurisdictions before, during, and after each UBE exam administration to ensure the reliability of the test results. The online “Emergency Remote Option” referenced on the NCBE website is not the UBE, and will not result in a transferable or portable UBE score. It is offered to jurisdictions in which in-person UBE administration is unavailable, and is not available to applicants on an individual basis.
Prior to the examination, applicants will receive detailed instructions regarding exam procedures, including entrance locations and procedures for entry and exit for each testing session. The board will provide additional information as soon as it becomes available.
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