State by State Options
Each State Bar sets requirements for bar admission within that state. State Bar Admissions may change these requirements at any time.
Review the admission requirements at each state's specific bar website or through the National Conference Bar Examiners for current prerequisites.
The state by state outline below is a listing for informational purposes only. Listing is a copy and not to be considered the only prerequisites for bar admissions; additional requirements or conditions may apply. Novus does not guarantee bar admission to any particular state. Applicants are recommended to review all requirements before registration into any law school program to ensure that the program will meet their professional and personal goals.
Directory of Jurisdiction Bar Admission Agencies
Charts and information below are a copy from the National Conference of Bar Examiners at: https://reports.ncbex.org/comp-guide/charts/chart-3/#1610142352111-e56b1dc2-06b5+
Alabama Graduates of unaccredited law schools who wish to sit for the bar exam must be licensed and in good standing for the past 5 years in the state where the unaccredited law school from which they graduated is located and that state must have a reciprocal agreement with the state of Alabama allowing graduates of Alabama’s unaccredited law schools to sit for that state’s bar examination. At this time no state or jurisdiction has such a reciprocal agreement with Alabama.
Alaska Individuals who have not graduated from an ABA-accredited law school may be eligible to take the bar exam if they have been licensed to practice in another state for 5 of the previous 7 years and have been engaged in the practice of law for 5 of those 7 years.
Arizona Graduates of non-ABA-approved law schools can write the examination if they have been actively engaged in the practice of law in some other state or states for at least 3 of the last 5 years prior to filing an application for admission to practice in Arizona.
California Applicants who obtain legal education by attending unaccredited, which includes fixed-facility, correspondence and distance learning, law schools registered in California, or by law office study, must have 4 years of law study and take the First-Year Law Students’ Examination (FYLSX) after their first year. Online study is permitted through unaccredited distance learning law schools registered with the Committee of Bar Examiners. Applicants who pass the examination within 3 consecutive administrations of first becoming eligible to take it will receive credit for all law study. For law students for whom the June 2020 FYLSX was one of the first 3 administrations, 4 opportunities to pass the First-Year exam will be granted. Applicants who pass it on a subsequent attempt will receive credit for only 1 year of study. Applicants attending law schools accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners qualify to take the bar exam upon graduation. Graduates of non-ABA-approved law schools who have passed the bar exam in another state must not only have passed the examination, but have been admitted, in order to take the bar exam in California.
Colorado Graduates of state-approved non-ABA-approved law schools must have practiced law 3 of previous 5 years in order to sit for the bar exam.
Connecticut currently does not have any non-ABA-approved in-state schools. An applicant who otherwise does not meet the educational requirements may be eligible to sit for the exam if he/she meets certain conditions. Conditions include admission before the highest court of original jurisdiction in a US state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or a US District Court for 10 or more years, good standing in such jurisdiction, active practice of law in that jurisdiction for 5 of the last 7 years, and an intention to actively practice law in Connecticut and to devote a majority of his/her work to such practice.
District of Columbia All graduates of non-ABA-approved law schools must have successfully completed at least 26 semester hours of study in subjects tested on the bar examination in a law school that at the time of such study was ABA-approved. All such 26 semester hours shall be earned in courses of study, each of which is substantially concentrated on a single tested subject. Classes that began before March 1, 2016, will count toward this total if they were in subjects tested on the DC bar exam through February 2016. Classes beginning after March 1, 2016, will count toward the total if they are in subjects tested on the Uniform Bar Examination.
Florida After 10 years’ active practice in another jurisdiction (District of Columbia or other states in the United States or in federal courts in the United States or its territories, possessions, or protectorates) in which applicant has been duly admitted, the applicant may file a representative compilation of work product for evaluation by the Board.
Hawaii Graduates of a non-ABA-approved law school who have been admitted to practice in another state shall be eligible for examination and admission if they have actively practiced law in that state for 5 of the 6 years immediately prior to application.
Idaho Law schools that are fully or provisionally approved by the ABA are accepted.
Kentucky Non-ABA-approved law school graduates can apply to take the bar exam, but must first have an education equivalency evaluation conducted and must have been actively and substantially engaged in the practice of law as principal occupation for 3 of last 5 years and meet other standards set by the Board. Graduates of non-ABA-approved law schools who have passed the bar exam in another state are eligible to take the bar exam without additional legal education if they are admitted elsewhere, have 3 years’ active practice out of 5 preceding the application, and establish that the non-ABA-approved law school is the substantial equivalent of a Kentucky ABA-approved law school.
Maine Applicants may have either graduated from a law school accredited by the jurisdiction where it is located and have been admitted to practice by exam within the US and have been in the active practice of law in a jurisdiction in which they are admitted for at least 3 years; or have completed 2/3 of graduation requirements from an ABA-approved law school and within 12 months after successful completion pursued the study of law in the law office of an attorney in active practice of law in Maine on a full-time basis for at least 1 year. Also, graduates of Massachusetts School of Law may take the exam after graduation, once they are admitted to the Massachusetts bar.
Maryland Applicants who are not JD or LLB graduates of ABA-approved law schools must obtain a waiver of Maryland’s standard educational requirements prior to filing an application. Waivers may be based on a qualifying LLM degree, or on admission by examination or by diploma privilege to the bar of another US jurisdiction.
Massachusetts Graduates of law schools which at the time of graduation were approved by the ABA or authorized by statute of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts may sit for the exam.
Michigan Applicant must have a JD from a reputable and qualified law school. Law schools fully or provisionally approved by the ABA on the date the applicant’s degree is conferred are considered to be reputable and qualified. A non-ABA-approved law school may ask the Board to determine that it is reputable and qualified.
Minnesota Applicants to the Minnesota bar must have either (1) a degree from a law school that is fully or provisionally approved by the ABA or (2) all of the following: (a) a JD from any US law school, (b) a bachelor’s degree accredited by an agency recognized by the US Department of Education, and (c) evidence that the applicant has lawfully practiced law in a US jurisdiction for 60 of the preceding 84 months.
Missouri Graduates of non-ABA-approved law schools who have passed the bar exam and have been admitted in another state are eligible to take the bar exam after full-time practice for 3 of the 5 years preceding application, completion of 24 credit hours in residence at an ABA-approved law school, or graduation with an LLM degree from a law school approved by the ABA.
Nebraska Applicants who are denied because they lack education from an ABA-approved law school may appeal to the Nebraska Supreme Court.
Nevada An attorney who is not a graduate of an ABA-approved law school and has for at least 10 of the preceding 12 years been lawfully engaged in active and continuous legal practice in some other state(s) must first have an education equivalency evaluation conducted.
New Hampshire Graduates of 1 non-ABA-approved law school in Massachusetts are permitted to sit if they have first been admitted in Massachusetts.
New Mexico Graduates of non-ABA-approved law schools, including correspondence and online law schools, may write the examination, transfer an eligible Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) score, or apply for admission without examination if they are licensed and in good standing in another US state and have engaged in the active practice of law in the state where admitted for 4 of the 6 years prior to application to sit for the examination or transfer the UBE score or 5 of the 7 years prior to application for admission without examination.
New York Law office study permitted after successful completion of 1 year at an ABA-approved law school. The amount of credit awarded for law school study is computed after a review of the law school transcript. Graduates of non-ABA-approved law schools can write the examination only if they (1) have been admitted to practice in another jurisdiction and (2) have at least 5 years active and continuous practice within the last 7 years in jurisdiction(s) where they are admitted to practice.
North Carolina An applicant who was educationally eligible prior to August 1, 1995, remains so. An applicant who holds an LLB or JD degree from a law school that was approved for licensure purposes in another state of the United States or the District of Columbia and was licensed in such state or District would also meet the requirement; as would an applicant who received an LLM or SJD degree prior to August 2005 from a law school approved by the ABA at the time the degree was conferred.
North Dakota LLB graduates are not eligible unless they have a JD from an ABA-approved law school.
Oregon Graduates of non-ABA-approved law schools who have passed the bar exam in another state are eligible to take the bar exam without additional legal education if they have been admitted to practice before the highest tribunal in another state, the District of Columbia, or a federal territory and have been actively, substantially, and continually engaged in the practice of law for at least 3 of the 5 years immediately preceding the taking of exam. Evaluating satisfaction of educational requirements is made without regard to whether the education was received via traditional fixed-facility courses or online courses.
Pennsylvania Applicant must be a member in good standing of the bar of a reciprocal state and have met specified practice requirements for 5 out of the past 7 years as according to Pa.B.A.R. 203(a)(2)(ii).
Rhode Island A graduate of a non-ABA-approved law school is eligible to take the Rhode Island Bar Examination if they qualify for attorney admission (i.e., an out-of-state attorney who has been engaged in the active full-time practice of law in another jurisdiction for at least 5 out of the 10 years immediately preceding the filing of the bar application), provided they meet the other qualifications for admission.
Tennessee Non-ABA-approved law school graduates must have graduated from a law school that is accredited by the state in which the school is located, such legal education must be substantially equivalent to that provided by an ABA-approved school, and such legal education cannot be based on online or correspondence study. An applicant who graduated from a non-ABA-approved law school must be licensed by examination in the state in which the law school is located and must have engaged in the active practice of law for 3 of the last 5 years pursuant to a license.
Utah Non-ABA-approved law school graduates must meet a combination of graduation and active practice requirements. The applicant’s law school cannot be based on correspondence or online study, it must be accredited in the state where it resides, and the degree must be the substantial equivalent of the legal education provided by an ABA-approved law school. The applicant must also have been lawfully engaged in the practice of law for 10 of the 11 years immediately preceding the filing of the application.
Vermont Graduates of non-ABA-approved law schools within the US, including correspondence and online law schools, may sit for the examination if they submit an official transcript from the law school and demonstrate that the school attended was in the process of seeking accreditation by the ABA during the applicant’s attendance and has not since been denied accreditation.
Washington Graduates of non-ABA-approved law schools must obtain an LLM degree for the practice of law at an ABA-approved law school in order to qualify to sit for the exam; course requirements are in the rules. Law office study refers to Washington’s Law Clerk Program (Admission and Practice Rule 6); an LLM is not required.
West Virginia Non-ABA-approved law school graduates must show that legal education is equivalent to ABA-approved law school unless admitted by bar examination in another state. If applicant graduates from law school in a state where the law school’s graduates may take the bar examination, applicant may qualify for West Virginia examination by completing 3 years of law office study in West Virginia and getting certification of 2 West Virginia attorneys regarding knowledge, competence, and good moral character. Graduates of correspondence schools, including law schools providing more than 50% of classes as internet-based classes, are not eligible under any circumstances.
Wisconsin Must have received first professional degree in law from a law school whose graduates are eligible to take the bar exam of the jurisdiction in which the school is located, and must have taken and passed the bar examination and been admitted to that or another US jurisdiction.
Puerto Rico The general rule requires that the applicant must have graduated from a law school approved by the ABA or the Court.