Originally published January 27, 2017. Updated October 3, 2019.
In addition to passing the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE), New York Bar Exam candidates must also take the New York Law Course (NYLC) and pass the New York Law Exam (NYLE). Although it seems like a lot, studying for the NYLE will be like a walk in the park compared to preparing for the UBE. As long as candidates put the effort into their course work, passing the NYLE should be a breeze.
What is the New York Law Exam?
The New York Law Exam (NYLE) is a prerequisite for being admitted to practice law in New York. It is a two-hour, online exam with 50 multiple-choice questions that each candidate seeking admission in New York must pass. This exam is open book, so you can use the outline provided by the New York State Board of Law Examiners as well as your notes from watching the New York Law Course (NYLC) videos. The NYLE can be taken up to a year prior to taking the bar exam or within three years afterward—it is entirely up to each candidate.
The passing score for the NYLE is 60 percent, which means getting at least 30 out of the 50 multiple-choice questions right. The NYLE is offered four times a year. Here are the test dates for the rest of 2019 and 2020:
- Test date: December 19, 2019 | Registration deadline: November 19, 2019
- Test date: March 12, 2020 | Registration deadline: February 11, 2020
- Test date: June 11, 2020 | Registration deadline: May 12, 2020
- Test date: September 24, 2020 | Registration deadline: August 25, 2020
- Test date: December 17, 2020 | Registration deadline: November 17, 2020
Candidates cannot register for the NYLE until they have completed the NYLC.
What topics are on the NYLE?
The topics on the NYLE are unique to New York. They differ from general principles and prevailing views of the law tested on the Multistate Bar Exam and Multistate Essay Exam. If you are unsure what the New York rules are, don’t worry—that’s what the NYLC is for. Here's the list of topics:
- Administrative Law
- Business Relationships
- Civil Practice and Procedure
- Conflict of Laws
- Criminal Law and Procedure
- Matrimonial and Family Law
- Professional Responsibility
- Real Property
- Torts and Tort Damages
- Trusts, Wills and Estates
How to Prepare for the NYLE
Although the NYLE is an online, open-book exam, there will not be enough time for you to look up the answer to every question. Once you go to the next question, you cannot return to the previous question to change an answer. To make sure you are prepared:
- Pay attention to the NYLC videos, and take great notes. Remember that you can use them on the exam!
- Review the NYLE course material.
- Start your NYLC preparation early. Make sure you give yourself more than enough time to watch each video thoroughly without cutting it too close before the exam.
- Do practice NYLE questions.
- Make an effort. The only thing coming between you and passing the NYLE is laziness!
Remember, the NYLE is not meant to be a mini bar exam! If you put in the proper effort and do your due diligence with the NYLC material, you will do great on the NYLE. Good luck!