APPLICATION PROCESS

CHARACTER AND FITNESS

THE BAR EXAM

MISCELLANEOUS


APPLICATION PROCESS

How do I apply for admission to the Utah State Bar?

First you must read the Rules Governing Admission to learn the requirements for admission.  If you determine that you qualify, you should then read the Filing Instructions.  The Filing Instructions and other application forms can be accessed here.  Before you can access the application you will need to create an online account with Synergy at https://admissions.utahbar.org.

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Am I an Attorney Applicant or a Student Applicant?

All those applying to take the Bar Exam or transfer a UBE score are either an Attorney or Student.  If you have ever been admitted as an attorney in another jurisdiction, regardless of your current standing, you are an Attorney Applicant.  If you have never been admitted in another jurisdiction, even if you graduated from law school years ago, you are a Student.

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How do I create an online account to apply for admission?

After whitelisting utahbar.org for the email account you are going to use, go to https://admissions.utahbar.org.  Click “Register Now” and complete the registration form.  The email address you enter will be your user name; it will also be the address where you will receive all email correspondence.  Please note: you cannot use a comcast, xmission, or aol email address; these providers block emails from Synergy, even if you whitelisted them.  Once you have submitted the registration form, a confirmation email will be sent to the email address you provided.  You must access this email and click the link to activate your account.  You will not be able to log in until you do this.

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What if I do not receive the confirmation email after submitting my registration form?

There are three reasons why you might not receive the confirmation email; all of them will require you to register again.  Before you can do so you must contact the Admissions Office at admissions@utahbar.org so your account can be deleted allowing you to re-register.

The first possible reason for not receiving the confirmation email is that you made a typographical error in your email address.  You can email Admissions and ask them to verify that your address is correct.  If it is not, Admissions will delete your registration so you can try again.

If your email address is correct, it may be that you forgot to whitelist utahbar.org before registering, so your email security is preventing the delivery of the confirmation email.  You should whitelist utahbar.org before re-registering.

If neither of the above caused the issue, this means that your email provider will not accept emails from Synergy, even if you whitelist them.  This is the case with comcast, xmission, and aol, as well as some law firms.  In this case you will need to register using a different email address.

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How do I find information on my past traffic violations?

The best source for information on traffic violations is the court system.  For many states, including Utah, the information may be found in an online court records database (for free or for a fee).  The court docket will give you all the information you need to fill out Form G.  If you cannot access the information online you should contact the court you believe handled the ticket and ask them to look up the necessary information.

Be aware that DMV records rarely show all of your traffic violations.  Traffic citations are handled by the courts and may or may not be reported to the DMV.

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When is my application considered filed?

Your application is considered filed when the last required document is received by the Bar.

When the Bar receives the packet of reference envelopes, the Admissions staff will review your application online.  (If a high volume of applications are being submitted, it may take week or two before Admissions is able to review your application).  If the application online is not complete when the Admissions Office review it, the references will be temporarily stored until the application is complete.  However, if a complete application is not submitted within six months the references will be destroyed.

Since references are not required for Reapplications, the Admissions Staff checks for completed Reapplications regularly.

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How do I withdraw my application?

If your application has not been accepted for processing, you may withdraw it for a full refund, regardless of what type of applicant you are.

However, once the application has been accepted, refunds are not available except to examination applicants.  Examination applicants may receive a 50% refund of the application fee until 30 days before the bar examination.  If you withdraw less than 30 days before the exam, no refund will be issued.

If you wish to withdraw you must send a written request to the Admissions Office.

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Can I transfer my application to a future examination?

You may only transfer your application under the following circumstances: (1) there is a death in your immediate family, or (2) you have a personal medical emergency.  Otherwise, if you do not wish to take the exam you are registered for you must withdraw and reapply.  If you do qualify for a transfer, you will need to submit a written request specifying which exam you intend to take (within 2 exams), providing evidence of the circumstances qualifying you for a transfer and including a check for the $100 transfer fee.  If the transfer is approved you will be sent a confirmation email with instructions on how to complete the transfer.

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CHARACTER AND FITNESS

How is my character and fitness assessed?

A background investigation is conducted on every applicant to the Utah State Bar.  Examination applicants must be certified as morally and ethically fit by the Character and Fitness Committee before they can sit for the Bar Examination.  For non-examination applicants, the certification must occur before admission.

The Admissions Office is not at liberty to engage in discussions relative to the status of an investigation.  You will be contacted if additional information is needed or if the Character and Fitness Committee requests your appearance at an interview.  If no additional information is needed from you, correspondence from Admissions will be very limited until the investigation is complete.

If you are a non-examination applicant you should be prepared to wait 4-6 months for your investigation to be complete and the decision of the Character and Fitness Committee to be issued.

Examination applicants will generally receive notice of the character and fitness decision a couple of months before the exam is administered.  However, if the background investigation cannot be completed by thirty days before the exam you will be required to wait until the next examination date.

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THE BAR EXAM

When is the Bar Exam administered?

The Utah State Bar Examination is administered twice a year, usually on the last Tuesday and Wednesday in February and July.

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What are the components of the Bar Exam?

Utah administers the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE).  The UBE is a two-day examination consisting of a one-day written component (the MEE and MPT) and a one-day multiple-choice component (the MBE).

The written component is administered on the first day.  The essay questions are taken from the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE) and the Multistate Performance Test (MPT).  During the morning session, applicants have three hours to answer six essay questions taken from the following twelve subject areas:

  • Business Associations (Agency and Partnerships, Corporations and Limited Liability Companies)
  • Civil Procedure
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts and Sales (UCC Article 2)
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Family Law
  • Real Property
  • Secured Transactions (UCC Article 9)
  • Torts
  • Wills, Trusts, and Decedents’ Estates

In the afternoon session, applicants will have three hours to answer two MPT questions.  The MPT examines six fundamental lawyering skills that are required for the performance of many lawyering tasks.  These skills are problem solving, factual analysis, legal analysis, reasoning, written communication, organization and management of a legal task, and recognizing and resolving ethical dilemmas.  Each MPT is given the same grading weight as two essays.

The multiple choice component (Multistate Bar Examination or MBE) is administered on the second day.  Applicants have three hours in the morning to answer 100 questions and three hours in the afternoon to answer 100 questions.   The following subjects are tested:

  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law
  • Evidence
  • Real Property
  • Torts

The MEE, MPT, and MBE are all prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE).  You can obtain more information about each test portion at www.ncbex.org.

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Can I transfer an MBE score from a previous Bar exam?

No.  Utah does not accept transferred MBE scores from previous Bar examinations for purposes of waiving the MBE portion of the exam.

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How is the Utah State Bar Examination scored?

The raw scores from the written portion of the exam and the MBE are converted to scaled scores.  The maximum possible scaled score on each component of the test is 200 points.  The MBE scaled score and the essay scaled score are added together.  An Applicant must receive a total combined scaled score of 270 to pass the Utah State Bar Examination.

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MISCELLANEOUS

How can I obtain a copy of my MPRE score?

If you took the MPRE after 1999 you must go through the NCBE to obtain an official MPRE score report.  If you took the exam before 1999, the NCBE will not have a record of your score.  In this case you must either provide a copy of the score report you received when you took the exam or contact other jurisdictions where you have applied to see if they kept a record of the score and are willing to provide verification to the Utah State Bar.  If you are not able to provide proof of a passing MPRE score (86 or above), you will have to retake it.

If you are a Utah attorney applying to another jurisdiction and need verification of your score from before 1999, please email the Admissions Office at admissions@utahbar.org.  Your score may or may not be on file; the Admissions staff will need to search the archives.  If a record is found, you may request a verification letter for an administrative fee of $25.  Please note that the MPRE was not required for admission in Utah until 1988.  If you were admitted before 1988, there will definitely not be a record of your score.

As a third-year law student or law graduate, I would like to practice under Rule 14-807.  Do I need to submit anything to the Bar?

If you are a third-year law student who meets the requirements under Rule 14-807, you do not need to submit anything to the Bar.

If you are a law school graduate who qualifies under Rule 14-807, you need to complete the Law Graduate Legal Assistance Form and submit it to the Admissions Office.

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Can I be admitted Pro Hac Vice?

Pro Hac Vice applications are handled by the General Counsel’s office, not by Admissions.  You may find more information here.

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