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Ohio Adopts Uniform Bar Exam Following Recommendations of Task Force Chaired by Toledo Law Dean Barros

August 29, 2018

Dean D. Benjamin Barros

The Ohio Supreme Court announced on August 14, 2018, that it will adopt the National Conference of Bar Examiner's Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) starting July 2020. The unanimous decision has significant implications for law graduates—providing greater mobility and increased opportunities to practice law across the country.

Toledo Law Dean D. Benjamin Barros served as chair of the Task Force on the Ohio Bar Examination appointed by Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor to evaluate the efficacy and effectiveness of UBE implementation and provide recommendations to the court. The 16-member task force of diverse representatives included Ohio law school deans, directors, judges, and attorneys.

“It was an honor to serve as the Chair of the Task Force," said Dean Barros. "My colleagues on the Task Force were wonderful to work with. We are all grateful to the Ohio Supreme Court for the opportunity to give our recommendations on this important issue.”

More than 30 states and U.S. territories have adopted the UBE in place of traditional state bar exams. The UBE offers greater mobility across multiple jurisdictions, as test scores are transferable to other UBE states. Law school graduates also save time and money by not having to sit for multiple state bar exams.

Each UBE state sets its own passing score and additional qualifications. States may also limit the length of time a UBE score is transferable.

“The Uniform Bar Exam will give our graduates more flexibility early in their careers,” Dean Barros said. “If they take the bar in Ohio, then get a job offer in Arizona, New York, West Virginia, or any other UBE state, they will be able to transfer their UBE score, and will not have to take another bar exam.”

The UBE is comprised of three individual components: (1) Multistate Bar Examination, (2) Multistate Performance Test, and (3) Multistate Essay Examination. Ohio was using two of the three components and will now replace Ohio essay questions with a multistate version.

Last Updated: 8/29/18