Kansas law students- take the UBE first!

If you’re in law school now and you want to practice in Kansas, I encourage you to have a look at the Uniform Bar Exam site and consider taking the UBE before the Kansas bar.  Here’s the lowdown on the UBE:

  • Three of the four states bordering Kansas have adopted the UBE: Nebraska, Missouri, and Colorado.  Also notable is North Dakota, which is prosperous in a generally bad legal market.
  • The UBE consists of the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) plus the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) and the Multistate Performance Test (MPT).  Kansas uses only the MBE, which is a 200 question multiple choice exam and takes an entire day of testing.
  • You must take the UBE all in one go; you cannot transfer an MBE score and get the “UBE seal” which is transferable to the other states.
  • The good news is that you can take the UBE first and transfer your MBE to Kansas, so then you only need to sit for the essay portion of the Kansas exam.
  • There are many states using the MBE, MEE, and MPT which are not yet part of the UBE system, but you may be able to transfer scores to them.
  • As always, check the rules of all the states you’d consider living in.  The UBE exam is common to the adopting jurisdictions, but the application process and reciprocity rules are still up to the jurisdiction you want to join.

I’ve made a map showing the jurisdictions implementing the UBE.  I’ve heard that Illinois is contemplating adoption; if they do, it may well prove the tipping point to get the majority of the states west of Appalachia on a common bar exam.

Map of the states adopting the Uniform Bar Examination as of September 2012.

Finally, see also this article on the adoption of the UBE versus states that have already adopted the MBE+MEE+MPT.