At our annual meeting this year in Chicago, several law students from our SBA presidents and ABA representatives eventually formed a Uniform Bar Exam Caucus. It began as the Florida Caucus, morphed into the Southern Caucus, and finished as a lobbying group for the UBE.
“That’s great,” we told them. “But a lot of the states we were expecting have signed on to administer the Uniform Bar Exam. It might be a while before we get a new one.”
We were so, so wrong. Which makes us here at the Law Student Division do our little happy dance!
Before we get judged by the Dancing with the Stars, let’s tell you who’s on board. It’s the birthplace of aviation, the mother of presidents, and the heart of it all. And while it may still have the Browns but not LeBron James, the Buckeye State now has the UBE.
So celebrate for … OHIO!
Wait, sorry, we know this offends some of you … THE Ohio.
Before you start getting too excited, though, we regret to inform you that Ohio won’t be administering the UBE until 2020. More information on the decision comes from Court News Ohio:
Now while the Chief Justice mentions crossing state boundaries, note that only one state that borders Ohio accepts the Uniform Bar Exam currently – West Virginia. So we’re looking to Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania to join their Buckeye brethren. Soon.
We also realize that we missed one over the summer as Rhode Island adopted the Uniform Bar Exam in June. “The Board recognized that the UBE responds to today’s challenging legal job market and the need for law school graduates to seek work in other jurisdictions,” the court’s official order reads. “The Board also recognized that adopting the UBE would benefit Rhode Island by making it easier for law school graduates from around the country to bring their talents here.”
The Rhode Island entry into the Uniform Bar Exam begins in February 2019.
That leaves 18 states not currently administering the Uniform Bar Exam. As we’ve mentioned before, South Dakota is surrounded by UBE neighbors while other states have formed their own clusters. Pennsylvania and Delaware now join the Georgia/Florida and California/Nevada duos cordoned off by UBE state barriers. And now the largest groupings of contiguous states are five – one group in the Great Lakes/Ohio Valley and a Texas/Gulf States region.
So, who’s next? Texas got the UBE recommendation in May from its bar exam task force. Texas seems to be the most likely state among the non-UBE ones with the most bar exam takers, according to Law.com:
We will continue to bring you updates on the UBE as they happen!