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Seeking Admission to the Bar in Massachusetts

To become a licensed attorney in Massachusetts by Examination or by Motion, you must meet the requirements and the qualifications established by the Supreme Judicial Court.

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.

To file a Petition for Admission to the Massachusetts bar by Examination or Motion, you must meet the requirements and qualifications established by the Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:O1, in tandem with the Rules of the Board of Bar Examiners.

A Petition for Admission to the Massachusetts bar by Examination or by Motion must be filed with the Supreme Judicial Court for The County of Suffolk. Completed Petitions including all filing requirements will be referred to the Board of Bar Examiners (BBE) to determine whether you have the qualifications and acquirements required for admission, and whether you embody "...that degree of honesty, integrity, and discretion that the public and members of the bench and bar have the right to demand of a lawyer.”

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