The Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court and the Board of Bar Examiners (BBE) have announced that, due to seating limitations and safety concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the September 30 and October 1 in-person Massachusetts administration of the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) has been cancelled. An alternative, remotely-administered exam for admission to the Massachusetts bar will be offered in lieu of the UBE on October 5 and 6, 2020.
The alternative, remotely-administered exam for admission will cover the same substantive content and follow the same format (Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), Multistate Performance Test (MPT) and Multistate Essay Exam (MEE)) as the UBE and will be administered in four 90-minute sessions over the two days. The remote administration of the exam will now allow all petitioners seeking admission by examination to the Massachusetts bar who satisfy the requirements of SJC Rule 3:01 to file for admission and sit for this exam. Exam materials will be provided by the National Conference of Bar Examiners, the organization that produces the MBE, MPT, and MEE. Massachusetts is working with other jurisdictions who will administer the same remote exam to explore reciprocity.
The Court's e-filing period for petitions for admission by alternate, remote examination will begin on July 1 and close on July 17, 2020. Further details regarding the October 5-6, 2020 exam, and important information for persons who have previously filed or will file a petition for admission is available online.
As previously announced, the Board of Bar Examiners will expedite the grading of the exam and its character and fitness investigations so that results may be released by mid-December, 2020. Currently, the formal in-person admission ceremonies are tentatively scheduled for the week of January 11-15, 2021.
The Supreme Judicial Court Clerk's Office for the County of Suffolk attorney services department receives and maintains petitions for admission to the Massachusetts bar, coordinates the formal admission ceremony of new attorneys, issues Certificates of Admission and Good Standing, processes applications for student practitioners and attorneys from foreign jurisdictions, applications for licensing of foreign legal consultants, attorney name changes, and provides certified copies of Petitions for Admission to the Bar.