***ADOPTION OF NEXTGEN BAR EXAM***

At its January 2024 administrative meeting, the Vermont Supreme Court voted to adopt the NextGen bar exam as of the July 2027 exam administration.  For more information on the NextGen exam, please see the NextGen section below.

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One way to satisfy the educational requirements for admission by examination and admission by transferred UBE score is by completing Vermont’s Law Office Study Program (“LOS Program”). The LOS Program requires you to work under the supervision of an experienced Vermont judge or attorney for four years and to follow a systematic course of study.  The rules of the Law Office Study Program are set out in Rule 7 of the Rules of Admission.

 

Are you a Vermont attorney or judge interested in serving as an attorney supervisor for a participant in the Law Office Study Program?  Contact Licensing Counsel Andrew Strauss at JUD.AttyLicensing@vermont.gov.

Eligibility and Program Requirements

To be eligible for the LOS Program, you must have earned either (1) a bachelor's degree from an institution of higher education whose accreditor has been approved by the U.S. Department of Education, or (2) an undergraduate degree in a foreign jurisdiction if you can establish that the degree is equivalent to a bachelor’s degree from an institution of higher education whose accreditor has been approved by the U.S. Department of Education.  You must also have arranged supervision with a judge or an attorney who practices in Vermont and has been admitted to the Vermont bar for at least 3 years prior to the start of your apprenticeship.

During the apprenticeship, you must carefully arrange with your supervising judge or attorney a systematic course of study to prepare you for the general practice of law, including, but not limited to, the subjects tested on the Uniform Bar Examination and related Vermont law.  Also, every six months you must submit a report to be reviewed by the Board of Bar Examiners.  Each such report must: (i) include the number of weeks dedicated to study for the past six months; (ii) describe in detail the areas of study pursued, the tasks performed, and any other relevant study or work completed during the past six months; and (iii) outline your plan of study for the next six months.

How to Enroll

The first step for enrollment is to find a supervisor, who must be a judge or an attorney who practices in Vermont and has been admitted to the Vermont bar for at least 3 years prior to the start of your apprenticeship.  A list of Vermont attorneys who have expressed interest in serving as an LOS supervisor is available from the Office of Attorney Licensing (JUD.AttyLicensing@vermont.gov).

Once you have secured a supervisor, you must complete the following documents:

and submit them through Odyssey File and Serve.  Instructions on how to use File and Serve can be found here: Attorney Licensing eFiling Guide.

Note that, as part of the registration, you may request up to 2 years of credit towards the 4-year term based on prior legal study.  To be eligible for credit, the prior legal study must satisfy the purpose of the LOS Program and be recent and not stale.  Further, the prior study must take the form of either law school coursework or study in a program equivalent to the LOS Program.  (Prior legal employment is not eligible for credit unless it is part of an LOS-type program.)  The Board of Bar Examiners has discretion as to the amount of credit (if any) is awarded.  Further details can be found in Rule 7(e) of the Rules of Admission.

Forms and Resources for Current LOS Participants

Six-Month Reports

If you are currently enrolled in the LOS Program, you must submit the following form (with the appropriate fee) every six months:

This form must be submitted (and the fee paid) through Odyssey File and Serve.  Instructions on how to use File and Serve can be found here: Attorney Licensing eFiling Guide.  Please note that if you are submitting additional documents along with your Six-Month Report, please scan them into a single file (along with the Report) prior to submission.

Helpful Resources

  • For specific recommendations from the Board of Bar Examiners on how LOS Program participants can increase the likelihood of achieving a passing score on the UBE, see here: 
  • The Vermont Bar Association offers a program of CLE courses focused on the basics of law, designed specifically for LOS participants: “The Brown Bag Law Study Program”.
  • The NCBE offers study aids (many at no cost) for the Uniform Bar Examination and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam.
  • The Office of Attorney Licensing administers an email forum for past and present participants in the LOS Program to share thoughts and questions about the Program.
The NextGen Bar Exam

At its January 2024 administrative meeting, the Vermont Supreme Court voted to adopt the NextGen bar exam as of the July 2027 exam administration.  The most significant changes from the current UBE to the NextGen exam are the adjustments to the subject matter, increased skills testing, integration, and the method of delivery.  The current UBE tests fourteen separate subjects. In contrast, the NextGen exam will test just nine “Foundational Concepts & Principles”—Business Associations, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contract Law, Criminal Law, Evidence, Family Law, Real Property, and Torts—and will also test seven “Foundational Skills”—Legal Research, Legal Writing, Issue Spotting and Analysis, Investigation and Evaluation, Client Counseling and Advising, Negotiation and Dispute Resolution, and Client Relationship and Management.  The NextGen exam will consist of three, rather than four, three-hour sessions.  Instead of separate MBE, MEE, and MPT sessions, each three-hour session will consist of two integrated question sets, one MPT-style task that will take approximately 60 minutes, and approximately 40 multiple-choice questions, although not necessarily in that order.  All nine Foundational Concepts & Principles will appear on each test.  Finally, the NextGen exam will be entirely computer-based. 

More information on the NextGen exam: