Bloomberg Law
Free Newsletter Sign Up
Bloomberg Law
Advanced Search Go
Free Newsletter Sign Up

Why Can’t We Have One Bar Exam for All Jurisdictions? (Podcast)

Dec. 2, 2021, 8:12 PM

Some frustration with the bar exam comes not just because it’s a hard test. Differences in state licensing requirements can mean attorneys may have to take the bar exam multiple times.

Listen here and subscribe to [Un]Common Law on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts , Spotify, Megaphone, or Audible.

In the final episode of [Un]Common Law’s three-part look at the bar exam, we ask why can’t there be one bar exam for all U.S. jurisdictions? A national bar exam that eliminates the need for a patchwork of state tests? The answer turns, in part, on the test called the Uniform Bar Exam or UBE. Developed by the National Conference of Bar Examiners to solve the issue of portability, the UBE allows participant jurisdictions to accept exam scores from other participating jurisdictions. Still, some critics, such as the New York State Bar Association, have taken aim at the UBE for being “too universal,” and now recommend that their state withdraw.

In this episode we speak with:

  • Alex Su, head of community development at IronClad.
  • Alan Scheinkman, retired judge who was appointed chair of a special task force of the New York State Bar Association
  • Richard Maltby, a Florida-based attorney for Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard, P.C.
  • Natalie Rodriguez, associate professor of law at Southwestern Law School and member of California’s blue-ribbon commission on the future of the state bar exam.
  • Cynthia Martin, chief judge on the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District and former chair of the NCBE task force charged with recommending the “next generation” changes to the Uniform Bar Exam.

To contact the host of this podcast: Adam Allington in Washington at

To contact the editor and executive producer of this podcast: Josh Block at