Taking the UBE in another jurisdiction does not qualify you for admission on transferred UBE score until your score of 270 or above has been released to you. Admission by Transfer UBE Score is governed by Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 7, Section 3.05 and Board Policy P-3.05.
To be eligible for admission in Tennessee, you must provide two applications – the NCBE Character and Fitness Application (the “NCBE application”) found at www.ncbex.org and the Tennessee application for admission by transferred UBE score found at synergy.tnble.com (the “Tennessee application”). Please note that you will see several applications in the menu when you login to Synergy. Be sure to select “UBE Score Transfer Application” to proceed.
You must finalize your NCBE application before you begin your Tennessee application. You may pay your Tennessee application fee online by credit card after you have finalized and submitted your Tennessee application; there is a separate fee for the NCBE application. You may also pay by cash, money order or check. The TBLE cannot accept payment without a Synergy application. Hard copies of applications are not accepted. Additional Instructions can be found in Steps 1 – 5, below.
STEPS TO TAKE TO COMPLETE YOUR APPLICATION
STEP 1: Read and familiarize yourself with Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 7 and the Board Policies and Procedures, found under Governing Authorities in the menu or by clicking the link. The full version of Rule 7 and the Board Policies are at the bottom of the Governing Authorities page.
STEP 2: Go to www.ncbex.org and complete the character and fitness application. Be sure to select the NCBE Character and Fitness Application for background investigation for UBE Score Transfer applicants. Do NOT submit an NCBE background investigation for exam or comity admission.You may begin the NCBE Application at any time within six (6) months prior to the date your application is received by the TNBLE. When you have completed the application form on-line, save the application and all attachments as a .pdf file. Submit the materials and payment to the NCBE in Wisconsin as required in the NCBE instructions. You will upload the saved .pdf file to your Synergy Application as provided in Step 5, below. Failure to provide complete information may result in denial of your application. A duty of candor applies (Rule 7, Sec. 6.04).
IMPORTANT NOTES FOR STEP 2:
The NCBE application and all attachments must be submitted to the NCBE and a .pdf uploaded to your Synergy Application. You will upload the saved .pdf file to your Synergy Application as provided in Step 3, below. A detailed checklist with mailing instructions is available after finalizing your online NCBE application. Your NCBE application will not be complete until you have complied with all of the requirements included in the checklist sent by the NCBE, including receipt by the NCBE of any required mailings.
FAILURE TO PROVIDE COMPLETE INFORMATION MAY RESULT IN DENIAL OF YOUR APPLICATION. A DUTY OF CANDOR APPLIES (Rule 7, Sec. 6.04).
Expunged matters: A matter that has been expunged MUST be disclosed unless it is a matter that was resolved as a juvenile. See generally State v. Schindler, 986 S.W.2d 209 (Tenn. 1999), Wright v. Tennessee Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission, 277 S.W.3d 1 (Tenn. 2008).
STEP 3: In addition to the NCBE Application, you must submit the Tennessee Application. Click on this link for Synergy to access the Tennessee application portal. Complete the new user registration and submit. Upon completion of your Synergy registration, you will receive an email to confirm your registration (check your spam if you do not receive the email and be sure to add “@tncourts.gov” to your trusted senders). Once you have completed the confirmation, you may log in to Synergy by clicking here. From the dashboard select “UBE Score Transfer Application”. You will have a chance to review your answers before you submit and finalize the application. Be sure to read and answer each question fully. Failure to provide complete information may result in denial of your application. A duty of candor applies (Rule 7, Sec. 6.04).
NOTE: As part of the Tennessee Application, you will be asked to select the county in which you wish to appear for your in-person interview. Applicants for admission by examination who are not licensed and/or are not in good standing in another jurisdiction must appear for an in person interview which will be scheduled up to six weeks after the bar examination. Applicants who are licensed and in good standing in another jurisdiction may, in the discretion of the Board, be required to appear for an in person interview. All applicants MUST select an interview location.
STEP 4: Once you have finalized the Synergy online application, return to the Dashboard and click the “details” link next to the application (looks like a magnifying glass). From that screen, you will upload the required documents listed below in .pdf format unless otherwise noted. Certain third party forms must be sent directly from the third party to the TBLE, as noted below. A complete UBE Score Transfer Application consists of the following items:
- The UBE score transfer application, completed online in Synergy;
- The NCBE application completed online and any required attachments, saved as a .pdf file, created in Step 2, above;
- Except for Concurrent Applications, the official NCBE Score Report sent directly from the NCBE to the TBLE of a score earned prior to submitting the UBE score transfer application that meets the requirements of Rule 7 and Policy P-3.05, both found here that has not expired (see “Note on Score Expiration” below); For Concurrent Applications, the official NCBE Score Report sent directly from the NCBE upon release of grades in the jurisdiction in which the applicant is taking the UBE;
- Applicant’s current resume (.pdf format only);
- Undergraduate transcripts for degrees earned (Bachelor’s or above) mailed directly from the school or transcript service to the TBLE (see additional information below including petition requirement for undergraduate degree from non-SACS approved* schools);
- The completed Law Degree Verification and Certificate of Dean of Law School form from every law school attended; the disclosure form included with the Law Degree Verification forms from a Non-ABA approved law school*, other than Tennessee law schools approved by the Board (mailed directly to the TBLE office, see additional information below). Required forms are available at the end of this page;
- If you are licensed in another U.S. jurisdiction*, certificates of admission and of good standing for each jurisdiction in which you have been admitted (.pdf format only) – some states use one form for both but certification of admission to the highest court and of current good standing before the Bar are both required for admission (see below for more information);
- For applicants who completed their legal education outside the United States*, District of Columbia or U.S. territories, an equivalency evaluation and/or completed Certification of Dean of Legal Studies in the U.S. form and Affidavit of Practice in Foreign Country (provided directly to the TBLE by mail or link from evaluator); see Rule 7, Section 7.01 and Policy P-3.05 and P-7.01, all found here;
- For all Applicants licensed in a foreign (non-U.S.) jurisdictions, letters from three attorneys in each country in which you are licensed who can verify that you are licensed and attest to your practice in that country (uploaded by Applicant to the Tennessee application); see Rule 7, Section 7.01 and Policy P-3.05 and P-7.01, all found here;
- If you attended a law school outside of Tennessee* that was not an ABA-accredited law school at the time of your graduation, proof of licensing by examination in the jurisdiction in which the law school was located, proof of a passing bar examination score in the jurisdiction in which the law school is located, information sufficient to determine that the law school curriculum is equivalent to a three-year course of study that does not include online, distance or other than in-person learning beyond that permitted under Rule 7, Sec. 2.02(d), and an Affidavit of Past Practice (all uploaded by Applicant in .pdf format to the Tennessee application); and
- Full payment of fees (online by credit card, or by check, money order or cash directly to the TBLE). For a list of fees, click here.
* Applicants who are admitted in other jurisdictions, educated at a non-ABA approved out-of-state law school or an unaccredited undergraduate college, or have an undergraduate or law degree from a foreign country have additional requirements that must be filed prior to the deadline in order to be eligible to sit. Please refer to Rule 7, Board Policies and Procedures, the application, and directions below for information.
IMPORTANT REMINDERS FOR STEPS 2 – 4: THE NCBE AND TBLE APPLICATIONS
NCBE AND TENNESSEE SYNERGY APPLICATIONS – BOTH ARE REQUIRED: The NCBE and the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners are separate entities. The NCBE conducts background investigations for the TBLE based on the character and fitness application. For your application to be considered, you must submit the Tennessee Application through Synergy and upload a .pdf of the finalized NCBE application that has been submitted to the NCBE with fees paid to both the NCBE and the TBLE.
Submitting documents only to the TBLE or only to the NCBE will not meet the filing requirements and will not constitute a complete application. You MUST submit your NCBE application to the NCBE and upload a .pdf of your complete NCBE application to your Tennessee Application as provided in STEP 4. You may be deemed ineligible to sit for the exam and your licensing will be delayed if you submit the application only to the NCBE or only to the TBLE.
Note on Score Expiration: UBE scores are valid for admission for three years from the date grades were released in Tennessee for the exam in which the score was earned and must be valid at the time the application is approved by the Board. You must complete all requirements for admission before your scores expire. The application and investigation process may take 6 – 8 months, and may be longer. See Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 7, § 4.07(c) and Board Policy P-3.05(a)(3). An expired score may be valid for up to five years with time in practice; see Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 7, § 4.07(c). Grade release dates in Tennessee for prior exams are as follows, with the expiration date for the scores (the date by which the application must be approved) in parenthesis:
- For a qualifying UBE score within 3 years of APPROVAL of an application:
- Exam Date – Grade Release Date (Expiration Date):
- July 2018 – 10/05/2018 (approved by 10/05/2021)
- Feb 2019 – 04/12/2019 (approved by 4/12/2022)
- July 2019 – 10/04/2019 (approved by 10/04/2022)
- Feb 2020 – 04/13/2020 (approved by 4/13/2023)
- July 2020 – 12/07/2020 (approved by 12/07/2023)
- Feb 2021 – 04/29/2021 (approved by 04/29/2024)
- For a qualifying UBE score that has expired plus time in practice (3 of the five years immediately preceding the application) but the score cannot be more than 5 years old at the time of APPROVAL of the application:
- July 2016 – 10/07/2016 (approved by 10/07/2021)
- Feb 2017 – 04/07/2017 (approved by 4/07/2022)
- July 2017 – 10/06/2017 (approved by 10/06/2022)
- Feb 2018 – 04/12/2018 (approved by 4/12/2023)
- The APPROVAL PROCESS takes 6 – 8 months for completion of the background investigation, interview, if required, and review. Scores earned more than 5 years from the date grade were released for the exam in which the score was earned are not valid for admission by transferred UBE score in Tennessee.
STEP 5: Submit the $625 application filing fee (ONLINE by credit card only after the Synergy application is finalized and submitted OR by CHECK OR MONEY ORDER payable to the TN Board of Law Examiners; do not mail cash) to the Board of Law Examiners, 511 Union Street, Suite 525, Nashville, TN 37219. Please be sure to clearly mark your full name and NCBE number on the check or money order. Credit card service fees, sometimes called convenience fees, charged by the vendor will be paid directly to the vendor in a separate transaction.
OTHER INFORMATION: TRANSCRIPTS, FORMS AND ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS
Undergraduate Transcript. Order an official transcript from the school(s) where you received your bachelor’s and/or master’s degree(s) and have the transcript sent directly to the TBLE. DO NOT send a transcript from every school you attended, only from those where a degree was conferred. Electronic or PDF transcripts are not accepted. Transcripts must be sent directly to the Board for the application to be complete.
Law Degree Verification. Print the Law Degree Verification and Dean Certification Instructions and forms for each law school attended, even if you did not complete your degree at the school (see forms below). For each law school, complete and have the Authorization and Release form notarized and send ALL pages to your law school Dean for completion, including Instructions. Forms must be sent directly to the Board by your law school for the application to be complete.
BOTH THE UNDERGRADUATE TRANSCRIPT AND THE LAW DEGREE VERIFICATION FORM MUST BE SENT TO THE TENNESSEE BOARD OF LAW EXAMINERS DIRECTLY FROM THE SCHOOL OR CLEARINGHOUSE AND MUST CONTAIN THE SCHOOL SEAL.
Waiver of Non-Accredited Undergraduate Education including Foreign Undergraduate Degree (U.S. J.D. Candidates). If you received your undergraduate education from a college that was not on the approved list of the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (SACS) or equivalent regional accrediting association, or you received your undergraduate education at a school located in a foreign country, you must include with your application a request for waiver with evidence that your undergraduate education is substantially equivalent to an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited school, see Rule 7, Sec. 2.01(c). For applicants who received their legal education in a foreign country and who did not receive a J.D. from an ABA-accredited or Tennessee-approved law school, see Foreign-Educated Applicants, below. For applicants who did not receive a J.D. from an ABA-accredited or Tennessee-approved law school, see Non-ABA Accredited Law School Graduates, below.
Graduates of Non-ABA-accredited or Non-Tennessee-approved law schools. If you received your legal education at a law school that was not ABA-accredited and was not located in the state of Tennessee, you may be eligible for admission in Tennessee by examination or transferred UBE score. Your legal education must be based on in-person attendance, you must be awarded a J.D. Degree, you must have passed the bar examination in the state in which your law school is located, and you must be licensed and have been engaged in the active practice of law for three of the five years immediately preceding the date of your application. You must submit documentation regarding the legal education you received and an Affidavit of Past Practice (see forms below). For additional information, see Rule 7, Sec. 2.02(d).
Other Bar Admissions. If you have ever been admitted in another jurisdiction you must submit certification, dated within the last 6 months, from the highest court of each state in which you are or have been licensed, indicating (1) that you are admitted to the highest court of the jurisdiction and (2) the standing of your license in the jurisdiction (good, inactive, suspended, etc). This may be a single or multiple certificates, depending on the certification process of each state. A certificate from the state bar association is not sufficient unless the State Bar is the agency charged with maintaining the official admission and disciplinary records. If you become licensed in another jurisdiction while your Tennessee application is pending, you must amend your application and provide certification of admission to the highest court and good standing.
Foreign-Educated Applicants: If your legal education was received in a country other than the United States, you may qualify for admission by examination or transferred UBE score if you meet the requirements for eligibility. For information about the two paths to qualify for admission, click here.
Documentation of License to practice in a jurisdiction other than in the United States. For any foreign-educated applicant who is licensed to practice law in a jurisdiction other than one in the United States, you must furnish with your application the following:
- A certified copy of the record or license of the court which admitted you to practice in such country;
- At least three (3) letters from attorneys or judges in such country certifying that you are in good standing at that bar, or were in good standing at that bar when you left that country; and
- Documents provided to the Board of Law Examiners must be translated to English by a certified translator with a copy of the original text provided.
MPRE Requirements. Applicants for admission on transferred UBE score must have achieved an MPRE score of 82 or higher To be valid, the MPRE score must have been earned within two years of the date the UBE score being transferred to Tennessee was earned, except as provided below. (If the MPRE score has expired, the applicant must take the MPRE again.) Applicants who are licensed, active and in good standing in another jurisdiction and who are using an expired MPRE score pursuant to Rule 7, Section 4.07(c), must provide proof of an MPRE score of 82 or higher. See Rule 7, Sec. 4.07 and Board Policy P-4.07(d)(1)-(4) for additional information. For Information Regarding MPRE Test Dates, Sites, Fees, visit www.ncbex.org/exams/mpre.
SPECIAL NOTES FOR ALL APPLICANTS
NO TRANSFERRED MBE SCORES: Tennessee does not accept MBE scores transferred from previous Tennessee exams or from another jurisdiction, whether or not concurrent. All applicants sit for the entire examination and only scores earned in a single administration will be considered.
SUPERVISED PRACTICE AND PRACTICE PENDING ADMISSION: For information on practice prior to admission pursuant to Rule 7, Sections 10.04 or 10.07, click here.
AMENDMENTS TO APPLICATION: While your application is pending, if you have supplemental, new or different information to report, you must print and complete the application amendment form (see files below). Once completed, the form should be saved as a .pdf file and uploaded to your Synergy application under ‘Applicant Additional Documentation’. Changes to your personal address and phone number are done in Synergy in your system profile (My Profile Page). To change an email address only, please email BLE.email@example.com to request the change. Please note that if your NCBE background investigation is still pending, you are required to amend your application with the NCBE as well. Visit www.ncbex.org for amendment requirements.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT PRACTICE PENDING ADMISSION, GOVERNING AUTHORITIES, THE TENNESSEE LAW COURSE AND FEES, PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR THE MENU.