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Foreign Educated Attorneys

Graduates of law schools in foreign countries may be permitted to sit for the general bar examination or petition for admission by motion upon obtaining a prior determination of their education sufficiency from the Board of Bar Examiners

The process to determine eligibility to petition for admission will take a minimum of four (4) months from the date on which the complete documentation is received by the BBE.  All submitted packages must be complete prior to review.  

Only those foreign-educated attorneys who have previously obtained a determination of educational sufficiency, as required by Board of Bar Examiners Rule VI, are eligible to petition for admission to the Massachusetts bar.  For those petitioning for admission by examination, the documentation pertaining to foreign education must be submitted at least four months prior to the filing deadline of the exam you intend to take.

Process for determining educational sufficiency for graduates of foreign law schools

Graduates of foreign law schools must seek an advanced determination of their educational sufficiency from the Board of Bar Examiners prior to filing a Petition for Admission.  This is required to apply for admission to the bar in Massachusetts by:

  • bar examination;
  • petition for admission by motion; or
  • petition for admission by transfer of a Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) score 

Once all documentation required by Rule VI.2 has been submitted, the BBE will investigate and evaluate the educational background of the foreign-educated attorney and will inform the attorney of what, if any, additional requirements must be met for that attorney to receive a determination of educational sufficiency.  Incomplete packets will not be considered.  Documentation submitted for review will not be returned.  

Within four months of receipt of complete documentation, the Board of Bar Examiners will notify the foreign law school graduate, in writing, of whether he or she has been determined to have met the educational sufficiency requirements to sit for the bar examination or petition for admission by motion or petition for admission by transfer of UBE score and, if not, what additional steps must be taken in order to obtain a future determination of educational sufficiency.

Deadline - Evaluations for Exam Eligibility

February Bar Exam Documents must be received by the first week of August (of the prior calendar year)
July Bar Exam Documents must be received by the second week of January

Note: Applications for determination of educational sufficiency for the July 2024 bar exam will be accepted through January 20, 2024. Applications received after this date will not be accepted.

Additional Resources

Documentation Requirements

Each foreign-educated attorney shall supply to the Board of Bar Examiners the following documents written in or translated into English:  

  1. Official Transcripts (copies are not acceptable): An official transcript from every college, university, and law school (foreign or American) attended; this must include the courses taken, the grade for each course, the degree and date awarded, and the dates of attendance;  
  2. Diploma(s): Copies of all diplomas or degree certificates;  
  3. Course Descriptions: Descriptions of all courses, if not included in the transcripts, along with the method of study;  
  4. Certificate(s) of Admission and Good Standing with wet signature (copies are not acceptable): An official Certificate of Admission and Certificate of Good Standing from each jurisdiction to which the attorney is admitted;  
  5. Résumé: A résumé detailing work history; and  
  6. Copy of the official Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) score report showing a passing scaled score of 85 or higher. 

Please be advised that all required documents must be mailed in one package directly to:

Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners
Attn: Foreign Education Evaluation
John Adams Courthouse
One Pemberton Square, Suite 5-140
Boston, MA 02108


Contact   for Foreign Educated Attorneys


Office hours are 8:30am-4:30pm M-F.


Fax: (617) 542-5943


John Adams Courthouse
One Pemberton Square, Suite 5-140, Boston, MA 02108

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