Law school graduates around the country who took the bar exam in July 2016 have been finding out the results. While many of them will be happy to learn that their hard work paid off, others will be disappointed to discover that their scores didn’t make the grade. Recently, New Jersey released its bar exam results from the summer, and the outcome is less than impressive.
As reported by the online publication Above the Law, New Jersey’s results for the July 2016 bar exam continue their decade-long decline in the Garden State. According to the article, 76.9 percent of all test-takers in the state passed the New Jersey Bar Exam in 2006. Since then, there has been some fluctuation, but the overall results show a significant drop in the number of people who passed and an increase in the number of people who failed the bar exam. As of October 2016, the passage rate for all New Jersey test-takers is 65.3 percent—an 11.6 percentage point decline from 10 years ago.
The July 2016 New Jersey Bar Exam was the last one.
If you learned that you failed the bar exam, it’s critical you pull yourself together and start preparing for the next exam. You’re allowed to be upset—you put in so many hours reading, writing, and taking practice tests—but once you get over the initial shock, it’s time to get back to work. But if you’re planning to take the bar exam in New Jersey again, you may be in for a surprise because on February 2017 the first Uniform Bar Exam, also known as the UBE, will be administered in the Garden State.
New Jersey announced back in April its intentions to do away with its state-specific bar exam and adopt the UBE as many other jurisdictions have done, including New York, Colorado, Vermont, Missouri, and Washington D.C. As a result, the bar exam’s format in February will differ from the one test-takers faced this past summer.
For more information about New Jersey’s adoption of the UBE, click here.
But don’t start stressing out just yet—there’s an upside.
Rather than state-specific content, the UBE is comprised of universal laws and standards. Now you don’t have to worry about being tested on New Jersey's particular rules and regulations, which could make studying easier. But don’t think you can postpone your review for the next exam. The UBE requires just as much preparation as any state-specific bar exam. Procrastination is your worst enemy, so get motivated to study and start working towards achieving your goal.