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Board of Bar Examiners

Frequently Asked Questions

Supreme Court Building

Bar Exam
expand  How do I get an application for the exam?
expand  When are the exam applications due?
The deadline for all requests, including testing accommodation requests, to sit for the February exam is December 1. The deadline for all requests to sit for the July bar exam is May 1.
Requests for testing accommodations are encouraged to be submitted as early as possible to better ensure you can sit for the administration of the exam you apply for.
Applications must be postmarked by the due date, pursuant to Section 9(a)(2) of the Rules of Admission.
A petition filed after the due date must be accompanied by a letter demonstrating extraordinary circumstances justifying failure to meet the filing deadline.  Acceptance of the applicant is at the discretion of the Board.  See Section 9(c)
expand  Can I take the exam on my laptop?
expand  Are there study materials or bar review courses?
Applicants can obtain questions and model answers from previous Vermont essay exams from the Department of Libraries' website or through the main menu of this Bar Admissions link.
The Vermont Board of Bar Examiners does not certify, sponsor or have any relationship with any bar review or legal skills course. However, we are advised that the following bar review courses may be offered, and request that you direct any inquiries directly to them.  The Board makes no representations concerning the completeness of this list, or the quality or accuracy of any course.  
Micro Mash Bar (formerly SMH)
6402 South Troy Circle
Englewood, CO  80111-6424
Kaplan PMBR (Preliminary Multistate Bar Review)
700 S. Flower St.
Suite 2900
Los Angeles, CA  90017
31 St. James Ave., Ste. 802
Boston, MA  02116
Bar Exam Technique Course by Stavisky
327 Summer Street
Boston, MA  02210
Reed Multistate Bar Review, Inc.
414 N. Orleans, Suite 602
Chicago, IL  60610
Rigos Bar Review Course
Sol Software
P.O. Box 409
Washougal, WA  98671
expand  When and where is the bar examination held?
expand  What does the Vermont bar examination consist of?
The Vermont bar examination, which is offered twice a year, consists of two parts:
 (1) An essay examination, consisting of four essay questions prepared by the Board of Bar Examiners plus two Multistate Performance Test (MPT) questions prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE).  The MPT questions must be completed in a three-hour time period in the morning and the four essay questions must be completed in a four-hour time period in the afternoon.  Potential testing subjects are listed in Section 10(a) of the Rules.
(2) The Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) prepared by the NCBE.  The MBE is an objective six-hour examination containing 200 questions.  The examination is divided into two periods of three hours each, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with 100 questions in each period.  The examination includes questions in the following areas: Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Real Property, and Torts. Beginning in 2015, Civil Procedure will also be a topic.
In addition, applicants must take and pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE), also prepared by the NCBE, before they can be admitted.  See § 6(a) of the Rules of Admission for the required score.
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Admissions without Exam
expand  How do I obtain an application for admission without examination?
expand  How does an attorney from another state become admitted to the Vermont Bar?
If an attorney has been actively practicing law for five of the preceding ten years in the U.S. they can be admitted without examination. See Section 7(a) of the Rules of Admission.
Applicants will need to complete specially-certified CLE on Vermont practice and procedure within six months of submitting the application for admission.
expand  What are the details of your agreement with New Hampshire and Maine regarding admission?
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expand  Will I receive confirmation of registration of my clerkship commencement form?
expand  Is there a clerkship requirement for individuals applying for admission?
Yes.  Applicants for admission by examination must serve a three-month clerkship under the supervision of a Vermont attorney.
Applicants for admission by examination who have completed a four-year law office study are not required to complete any additional law office study.
The form for registering the commencement of your clerkship must be filed within 30 days of starting the clerkship along with the $25 fee.  You will see that there are two options for completing the clerkship.  One is for a minimum of 25 hours during a 7-day period and the other is for a minimum of 30 hours during a 14-day period.   Twelve weeks are required under the first option and 24 weeks are required under the second.  
A termination form must be filed after completion of the clerkship.
There is no requirement that the clerkship be completed before taking the bar exam.
Those seeking admission without examination must complete a CLE requirement in lieu of the clerkship requirement. 
expand  What is the purpose of the three-month clerkship?
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Multistate Exam
expand  What can you tell me about the Multistate Bar Examination?
expand  What is the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) passing score, and how is it determined?
A 135 scaled score is the MBE passing score in Vermont.  It was established by the Vermont Supreme Court in 1982 after extensive study, including the recommendations of a special study committee appointed by the Supreme Court to review bar admissions procedures and policy.  The Supreme Court considered, among other information, the historical Vermont and national distributions of MBE scores; the Vermont equivalent passing MBE score during years when scoring methods different than the present method were in use; the practices of other states, including the California Assessment Center Study; and the preparation, format and content of the MBE itself.   The Supreme Court believes that at the present time a 135 scaled score meets the requirements of its Rules of Admission for the demonstration of minimal legal competence on this examination.
expand  What is the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE)?
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4 Year Law Office Study
expand  Can you tell me about your four-year law office study program? Do I have to be a graduate of an ABA-approved law school?
expand  Can students who attended law school receive credit toward the four-year law office study program requirements?
In its discretion, the Board of Bar Examiners may give up to two years of credit toward the law office study program upon successful completion of one year of law school.  You will need to request credit of the Board of Bar Examiners and include an official transcript and course descriptions from the time in which you took the courses. 
expand  Does the four-year clerkship really replace a law school education?
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Admissions Process
expand How long does the admission process take?

Certificate of Good Standing
expand  Am I currently in good standing?
expand  How do I obtain a Certificate of Good Standing for my Vermont license?
Please send your request for a Certificate of Good Standing to Attorney Licensing, 111 State Street, Suite 9B, Montpelier, VT  05609-0701, along with the fee of $3.00. Allow two weeks for processing.  Your certificate will be mailed to the address you provide.  No phone or fax requests, please.
If you also need your disciplinary history, please mail a separate request for a Grievance History Report to the Vermont Supreme Court, Professional Responsibility Program, 109 State Street, Montpelier, VT  05609-0703 Attn:  Deb Laferriere

Change of Address
expand  How do I change my address?

General Questions
expand  How does a graduate from an unaccredited or foreign law school become admitted in Vermont?
expand  What are the general requirements for admission to the Bar of the Vermont Supreme Court?
An applicant for admission must have completed certain educational requirements, demonstrate professional competence by passing a bar examination or through experience in the active practice of law for a specified period of time in another jurisdiction, be of good moral character and fitness, be at least eighteen years of age, and be a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully present in the United States.
expand  What are the responsibilities of the Board of Bar Examiners?
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