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Tennessee Board of Law Examiners

TENNESSEE BOARD OF LAW EXAMINERS CONTACT INFORMATION

Tennessee Board of Law Examiners

Appliations for the July 2024 Examination Open March 1

Applications will open in Synergy on March 1. The General Instruction Manual and Acknowledgement Form are available by clicking the link on the “Forms” page and on the website, here.

The Checklist for First-Time and Re-Exam Applications can be found in the main menu and by clicking the “Forms” link. Forms required for non-standard testing accommodations requests can be found here. Note that NST Form 1 has been incorporated into the Request for Non-Standard or Courtesy Accommodations.

Updated Forms and Checklists for Examination

Updated Law Degree Verfications forms, Non-Standard and Courtesy Accommodations forms, and forms for foreign-educated applicants are available by clicking Forms. Applications for the July examination open on March 1 and will not be available until that date.

Checklists for a complete application can be found in Forms and in the main website menu. There is a checklist for First-Time Applicants and for Re-Examination Applicants.

Website pages have been updated to include changes related to the amendments to Rule 7 and to the recently amended Board Policies and Procedure. Both are available under “Governing Authorities.”

Website Updates: Rule Amendments and New Board Policies and Procedures

The Tennessee Board of Law Examiners website is being updated. Pages you wish to view may not be available at this time. It is anticipated that updates will be completed by February 5, 2024.

Amendments to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 7, adopted October 30, 2023, and new Board Policies and Procedure approved by the Court on January 22, 2024, have been posted to the website under Governing Authorities.

Court Enters Order Approving Amendments to Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 6 and 7

On October 31, 2023, the Tennessee Supreme Court entered an order amending Supreme Court Rules 6 and 7. The Order and Appendix with the changes can be found on the Tennessee Courts website here. The following is a summary of the substantive changes:

RULE 6

Paragraph (2): The requirements for a personal statement and a statement by two sponsors. The paragraph has been rearranged and the numbering revised. New paragraph (A) describes what constitutes and application for admission by affidavit; paragraph (B) directs an applicant to appear to take the oath of admission before a judicial official listed in paragraph 4; paragraph (C) clarifies the process for submitting the completed and signed application for admission by affidavit to the Clerk and includes a time limit for submission of the documents.

Paragraph (5) has been amended to include a process for virtual admission, making permanent the process implemented during the pandemic.

RULE 7

Section 1.07(f) has been modified to permit UBE score transfer, comity, or spouse of a military service member applicants to access the Tennessee Law Course upon receipt of the completed character and fitness investigation rather that after the Board approves the applicant for admission.

Section 2.01(a) has been amended to remove the phrase “before taking his or her first bar examination” as the requirement is included in paragraph (b).

Section 2.02(e) has been amended to incorporate the current ABA requirements for distance learning.

Section 3.03: THE DEADLINES HAVE CHANGED FOR FILING AN APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION BY BAR EXAMINATION.

  • Sec. 3.03(a) creates two deadlines, the Application Deadline and the Final Deadline.
  • The Application Deadline is May 1 for a July exam and December 1 for a February exam.
    • The correct Tennessee application and the filing fee must be received by the Application Deadline. A copy of the NCBE background investigation application must uploaded to the Tennessee application by the Application Deadline.
    • If the application is not submitted, the fee not paid, and/or the NCBE application not uploaded on or before the Application Deadline, the applicant will not be permitted to sit for the exam.
    • No new applications will be accepted after the Application Deadline, even if started prior to the Application Deadline.
  • The Final Deadline is May 20 for a July exam and December 20 for a February

exam.

  • To meet the Final Deadline, all supporting documents required to complete the application, including completion of all steps necessary to initiate the background investigation, must be completed, uploaded, or received on or before the Final Deadline.
    • If a required document is not received by the Final Deadline or all steps have not been completed for the background investigation to begin, the applicant will not be permitted to sit for the exam.

Section 3.05:

Paragraph (b) modifies the method for measuring time in practice for an applicant whose UBE score has expired but was not earned more than five years ago. The computation of the time in practice requirement of 3 years is measured from the date upon which the application is submitted or the date the UBE score expired, whichever is later. However, in all cases, the applicant must demonstrate sufficient time in practice prior to the final expiration of the score after 5 years.

Paragraph (c) adds as an application filing requirement that the applicant for admission by transferred UBE score must request transfer of the score from the NCBE. This was moved from Paragraph (a), as it is a requirement for the application, not for eligibility.

Section 4.04, which listed the topics tested on the Tennessee Bar Exam, was deleted as Tennessee now utilizes the NCBE MPT, MEE, and MBE test materials. Content and Scope outlines are on the NCBE website.

Section 4.08, Voluntary Withdrawal from the Examination, is new. The section details when an applicant may withdraw from the exam and what conduct during the exam constitutes a voluntary withdrawal.

Section 5.01(c) modifies the definition of active practice of law to eliminate “full-time.” The list of categories in paragraph (c)(1) has been expanded to more closely align with the list in the ABA Model Rule. Paragraph (c)(3) has been modified to include a sentence moved from paragraph (2) regarding practice pending admission.

Section 7.01 has been amended to include multiple paths for applicants who received their legal education outside the United States to meet the educational requirements. In addition to substantially equivalent education, an applicant can demonstrate eligibility with a foreign law degree and an LL. M., or a foreign law degree, a license to practice law in at least one U.S. or foreign jurisdiction, and time in practice. Each option can be documented and verified and does not require the exercise of discretion by the Board. The requirements for the Foreign-Education Report has been moved to new paragraph (c).

Section 10.01 has been revised to clarify when the registration process is complete for purpose of timeliness of the registration application and to align the filing requirements with similar requirements for other types of admission. The changes make clear that the registration is specific to the employer, registration must be completed within 180 days of establishing a systematic and continuous presence, and the steps the lawyer must take to complete registration.

Section 10.03 has been modified to clarify that law student practice is not an “admission” to the bar of Tennessee but a permission to practice under supervision. Further, the section has been revised to make clear that the supervising attorney must be an active member of the bar. The change requiring the supervising attorney to be in active status has also been added to Section 10.04.

Section 12.11 has been amended to permit release of performance test and essay question answers to applicants who are unsuccessful on the examination.

Applications for the February 2024 UBE in Tennessee

Applications for the February 2024 UBE in Tennessee open in Synergy on Sunday, October 1, 2024. New Checklists have been added to the Forms file for First-Time Applicants and for Re-Examination Applicants.

There is a new filing requirement beginning with the February 2024 Examination Application. On or before the Final Deadline, Applicants must read the General Instruction Manual, which will be posted here, and UPLOAD THE COMPLETED AND SIGNED ACKNOWLEDGMENT FORM, found here or in Forms, on or before the Final Deadline. The Manual and Acknowledgment Form will be posted here on or before October 2, 2024.

July 2023 Grade Release

Grades for the July 2023 Uniform Bar Examination in Tennessee are scheduled to be released on October 6, 2023, by 2:00 p.m. Central Time. The Pass List will be posted to this website under Success List.

An email with exam results will be sent to each examinee. If your name does not appear on this list, you either did not achieve the minimum score for admission in Tennessee on the examination or your score is being held for other reasons. Please carefully read all of the information in the email. If you must contact the BLE office, please do so by email as we do not answer questions by phone regarding results.

JULY 2023 GENERAL INSTRUCTION MANUAL AND EXAMSOFT REGISTRATION DATES

TENNESSEE GENERAL INSTRUCTION MANUAL:

The Tennessee General Instruction Manual (“Manual”) for the July 2023 Examination was emailed to all eligible examinees on Wednesday, June 14, 2023. Please check your Synergy account in Letters if you do not receive the email. In the Manual, you will find pertinent information regarding the exam location, testing policies, and exam day procedures. You will be required to acknowledge that you have received and read the Manual by returning the Acknowledgment Form that was sent with the Manual. The Acknowledgment Form must be uploaded to your Synergy account by 3:00 p.m. CT, June 21, 2023. If the either or both of the documents are not attached to the email, please LOGIN TO SYNERGY (https://synergy.tnble.com), select your current application, and view the letter transmitting the Manual and Acknowledgement Form in Synergy. At the top of the letter are links to the Manual and the Acknowledgment Form. A copy of the Manual has been posted to the website under Admission by Examination – Examination Locations and Schedule.

EXAMSOFT REGISTRATION:

ExamSoft Registration opens on Tuesday, June 20, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. CT. You will receive an email from ExamSoft with your login credentials and instructions. Registration closes on Tuesday, June 27, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. CT.

You must register with ExamSoft and download the software on or before 4:00 p.m. CT, June 27, 2023. If you do not complete the registration for and download of the software by the deadline, you will not be permitted use your laptop for the July 2023 Examination and will be required to handwrite your answers.

The mock exam is mandatory and must be downloaded, completed, and uploaded by 3:00 p.m., CT, June 30, 2023. If you do not upload the completed mock exam by the deadline, you will not be permitted to use your laptop for the July 2023 xamination and will be required to handwrite your answers. 

February 2023 Examination Results

The results of the February 2023 Uniform Bar Examination in Tennessee will be released April 13, 2023, no later than 2:00 p.m. Results will be posted here. Examinees will receive a letter from the Board regarding their scores and next steps by close of business on Monday, April 17, 2023. Please do not call the office as scores will not be released by phone or by email.

UPDATE: The list of Successful Examinees has been posted here. The Examination Statistics can be found here.

New Forms Links

The Board of Law Examiners updated the link to forms. If you receive an error message when trying to access a form, please clear your history and cache, and do not use saved links. Go to the “Forms” link for Admission by Examination Score or Admission Without Examination to download forms.