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Big Changes for Those Who Seek to Become an Attorney in South Carolina

Big Changes for Those Who Seek to Become an Attorney in South Carolina

| Jul 1, 2016

The Bar Exam in South Carolina has changed completely since Chief Justice Pleicones announced earlier this year that we will switch to the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) test. This month, the Supreme Court of South Carolina updated the order

Up until now, South Carolina has created its own bar exams and graded them. Starting in February 2017, the Bar Exam for South Carolina will be the UBE (Uniform Bar Exam).

What’s the biggest news in the order?

  • UBE score of 266 will be required to become barred in South Carolina, in addition to the other requirements of the order.

Is 266 high? Where does South Carolina rank?

  • South Carolina’s passing score is higher than that of Connecticut (264), Alabama (260) and lower than other states, including Colorado (276).

How may this impact the legal profession?

  • More out of state lawyers may come to South Carolina, and SC law students may more easily seek work outside of the state.
  • Those who scored 266 or higher on the UBE from other states may apply to become an attorney in South Carolina (even if they did not achieve a passing score for their own state), provided: The score is not more than three years old and existing UBE scores from other states will not be accepted until May 1, 2017
  • The bar exam will focus on national law, rather than South Carolina law and national law, as we do today.

How does this affect law school graduates taking the July 2016 Bar Exam?

  • It does not impact July 2016 takers. The new order and amendments have no impact on the July 2016 South Carolina Bar Examination.

The full text with all of the information regarding the new bar admission requirements for South Carolina are below, and are the authoritative word on the subject. The above is an attempt to highlight a few key points from the updated order, but is not complete. You can view the full ordere here.

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