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Lawyers advise clients about civil, business or criminal law, represent clients in court and prepare legal documents. Lawyers may specialize in such areas as criminal law, corporate law, labor law, domestic and/or patent law.

Licensing Requirements

A person shall be admitted to practice law in the courts of the State of New York only by an order of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court upon compliance with its rules.

Age Requirement

Applicants must be at least 21 years of age.


A bachelor's degree and graduation from a school of law approved by the American Bar Association are typically required. You may refer to New York State Unified Court System (Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law) sections 520.3, 520.4, 520.5 or 520.6 for other ways to qualify.


There is no experience requirement for the practice of law in New York State.

Examination Description

New York State bar examination.
The New York State Board of Law Examiners shall twice each year conduct a written bar examination consisting of legal problems in both adjective and substantive law, and it shall by rule prescribe a list of subjects which will indicate the general scope of the bar examination. The board may use the Multistate Bar Examination as part of the bar examination.

Examination Requirements

Passing Score. The score required to pass the bar examination is 665.

Limited Permit Requirements

While awaiting notification of the results of various law board examinations, candidates for licensure may practice law in New York State in specific, limited terms and context (i.e., Pro Hoc Vice Admissions). A limited permit to practice law in New York State may also be available. This limited permit has a term of 18 months and is non-renewable.

Licensing Authority

New York State Unified Court System
New York State Board of Law Examiners
Office of Court Administration
25 Beaver Street
New York, NY 10004
Phone: 1-800-COURTNY / 1-800-268-7869

Standard Occupational Classification

23-1011 - Lawyers
To learn more about this occupation search the Occupational Information Network (O*Net).

Additional Information

National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE)
302 South Bedford Street
Madison, WI 53703-3622
Phone: (608) 280-8550
Fax: (608) 280-8552


Fees stated and other information contained in this report are subject to change. Please contact the licensing authority listed above for the most current information.

This page was last updated on 11/2/12.

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