Maryland State Board of Law Examiners COVID-19 Emergency Response (REVISED 3/20/2020)

The State of Maryland is currently operating under a state of emergency, as established by the governor, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The expected impact of the state of emergency on bar applications, bar examinations, and bar admissions is as follows:

To All Applicants:

By order of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals of Maryland, all Maryland Courts and judicial offices, including the State Board of Law Examiners’ (SBLE) administrative office are now closed to the public, except for certain emergency matters in the courts. Be advised that the Chief Judge’s Order does not include any bar admissions-related matters as “emergency matters.” As such, SBLE will operate with drastically reduced staffing until at least April 3, 2020, and potentially beyond.

SBLE will continue to accept bar application materials during the emergency. Due to the closure of judicial facilities to the public, all application materials must be sent via US Mail, FedEx, UPS, or similar. SBLE strongly recommends that applicants sending any such items use a trackable delivery method without requiring a signature. SBLE cannot confirm receipt of application materials by phone or email. Application filing statuses will be updated on applicants’ secure eBar portals as materials are received, reviewed, and accepted for filing.

Bar admissions ceremonies: All bar admissions ceremonies currently scheduled at the Court of Appeals have been postponed until further notice. The Clerk of the Court of Appeals has transmitted email communications directly to all affected applicants.

During the emergency, SBLE will continue to clear applicants to the Court for admission as appropriate. At such time as the Clerk’s Office is able to resume performing bar admissions ceremonies, the Clerk’s Office will communicate directly with eligible applicants for scheduling purposes.

No specific decisions have been made regarding the June 2020 admission ceremonies that are traditionally scheduled for applicants who pass the February 2020 UBE in Maryland. Applicants who are successful on the February 2020 UBE in Maryland will receive information directly from the Clerk’s Office at the Court of Appeals regarding admissions ceremonies.

Please watch your email for updates on these ceremonies. Changes to this policy, should they occur, will be posted on this page.

To February 2020 Bar Exam Applicants:

Grading of the February 2020 UBE in Maryland is underway and is not expected to be affected by the current state of emergency. SBLE expects to post February 2020 UBE exam results on applicants’ eBar portals on May 1, 2020 at 4:30 p.m.  If there are changes to the schedule, SBLE will notify affected applicants by email.

Character and fitness investigations and evaluations for February 2020 bar exam applicants are expected to proceed. Please continue to watch your email for updates and requests for information from the Board and/or the Character Committees.

July 2020 Bar Exam Applicants:

What impact, if any, the ongoing COVID-19 crisis will have on the July 2020 Uniform Bar Examination in Maryland is not certain at this time. We are in close contact with the National Conference of Bar Examiners and other jurisdictions as we all consider possible options for the July exam in the event that bar admission office closures or prohibitions against large gatherings remain in effect. Please continue to monitor this website for updated information. We thank you for your patience and understanding.

At this time, the filing deadline for the July 2020 UBE in Maryland remains Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. To be considered a timely filing, SBLE must RECEIVE, by the deadline, the following materials: the applicant’s signed, hard-copy Notice of Intent; the applicant’s signed, hard-copy Character Questionnaire; the applicant’s official undergraduate transcript; and, the applicant’s check(s) or money order(s) for the applicable fees.

Questions regarding SBLE’s COVID-19 response cannot be answered by telephone, but should be sent by email to SBLE@mdcourts.gov.

Welcome. The State Board of Law Examiners coordinates the receipt and filing of applications for admission to the Maryland bar, administers the bar examination in Maryland, investigates the legal competence and character and fitness of persons who seek a license to practice law in the state courts of Maryland, and recommends to the Court of Appeals of Maryland those candidates qualified for admission to the Maryland bar.

This site is designed to provide helpful information to understand the process for bar admission in Maryland and to assist you in the application process. It is our experience that applicants who read the information thoroughly, ask questions early, and apply early find that the bar admissions process is very manageable. Good luck in your pursuit to become an attorney in Maryland. In the event you need to contact us, our information is provided in the banner.