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Something to be thankful for in Maryland – Uniform Bar Exam coming in 2019

Uniform Bar Exam

It’s been a while since #UBEWatch has had anything to do. Mostly, it’s been a waiting game.

It’s been a year since the Illinois Board on Admissions to the Bar held hearings into the adoption of the Uniform Bar Exam. Sandy Gallant-Jones, then the Law Student Division’s 7th Circuit governor, spoke in support of the UBE. And it seems like it might happen at some point here in the home state of the ABA.

Even our small pool of poll respondents agreed that Illinois was most likely, with North Carolina close behind.

But while there was even odds that some other jurisdiction would swoop in and make things easy, your winner for next on Team UBE is … Maryland!

According to a release yesterday, Maryland approved adoption of the Uniform Bar Exam earlier this month, just before the end of July bar exam results season ended with Friday night’s announcement of those who passed the California Bar Exam.

The UBE will not begin in Maryland until 2019, so this year’s 3Ls planning on taking the 2018 bar in the Old Line State … feel free to express your frustration.


Here’s some more on the Maryland Court of Appeals’ acceptance of the UBE recommendation:

The Advisory Committee, comprised of judges, law school deans, attorneys from small and large firms, members of the State Board of Law Examiners, and others*, studied the potential benefits and disadvantages of adoption of the UBE in lieu of the traditional Maryland bar examination, and concluded that “the benefits of a uniform, portable, exam were significant and outweighed all disadvantages . . . [.]”  In September, the Court of Appeals received the Advisory Committee’s report and recommendations and thereafter received public comments for a 30-day period.

“I am pleased with the Court’s decision to consider carefully and accept the Committee’s recommendation to adopt the Uniform Bar Examination,” said Maryland Court of Appeals Judge Sally D. Adkins, Chair of the Advisory Committee.  “The Advisory Committee’s research helped the Court to determine that, in adopting the Uniform Bar Examination, Maryland bar applicants would continue to be required to pass an examination of sufficient rigor that assures their competency to practice law.”

“The Court is grateful for the Advisory Committee’s diligence in examining this issue,” said Mary Ellen Barbera, Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals.  “The Uniform Bar Examination, along with the Maryland law component, will assure that applicants possess the knowledge and skills necessary to practice law in Maryland, plus afford those who pass the exam the portability of transferring their results to other jurisdictions that have also adopted the Uniform Bar Examination.”

The Court of Appeals will form a committee to address the subject matter and format of the Maryland component of the UBE and other aspects of implementation of the UBE.

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