For Immediate Release
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Maryland Court of Appeals Accepts Recommendation to Adopt Uniform Bar Examination
(ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND, November 20, 2017) – The Maryland Court of Appeals at its Conference on November 16 voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of the Advisory Committee to Explore the Feasibility of Maryland’s Adoption of the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) to adopt the UBE, along with a Maryland law supplement to the examination, to be implemented in 2019. The Advisory Committee, comprised of judges, law school deans, attorneys from small and large firms, members of the State Board of Law Examiners, and others*, studied the potential benefits and disadvantages of adoption of the UBE in lieu of the traditional Maryland bar examination, and concluded that “the benefits of a uniform, portable, exam were significant and outweighed all disadvantages . . . [.]” In September, the Court of Appeals received the Advisory Committee’s report and recommendations and thereafter received public comments for a 30-day period.
“I am pleased with the Court’s decision to consider carefully and accept the Committee’s recommendation to adopt the Uniform Bar Examination,” said Maryland Court of Appeals Judge Sally D. Adkins, Chair of the Advisory Committee. “The Advisory Committee’s research helped the Court to determine that, in adopting the Uniform Bar Examination, Maryland bar applicants would continue to be required to pass an examination of sufficient rigor that assures their competency to practice law.”
“The Court is grateful for the Advisory Committee’s diligence in examining this issue,” said Mary Ellen Barbera, Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals. “The Uniform Bar Examination, along with the Maryland law component, will assure that applicants possess the knowledge and skills necessary to practice law in Maryland, plus afford those who pass the exam the portability of transferring their results to other jurisdictions that have also adopted the Uniform Bar Examination.”
The Court of Appeals will form a committee to address the subject matter and format of the Maryland component of the UBE and other aspects of implementation of the UBE.
The Advisory Committee’s report is available on the Maryland Judiciary website: http://mdcourts.gov/coappeals/ube/pdfs/ubeadvisoryreport.pdf
Public comments to the report are available here: http://www.mdcourts.gov/media/news/pdf/ubecomments201711.pdf.
For more information, visit the UBE Advisory Committee’s webpage:
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*The members of the Advisory Committee are Chair, Hon. Sally D. Adkins (Court of Appeals), Hon. Christopher B. Kehoe (Court of Special Appeals), Hon. Sherrie R. Bailey (Circuit Court for Baltimore County), Sheelagh Allston, Esq., Sara H. Arthur (Maryland State Bar Association President), Jonathan Azrael, Esq. (Chair, State Board of Law Examiners), James D. Bragdon, Esq., Andrew D. Levy, Esq., Matthew T. Mills, Esq. (Member, State Board of Law Examiners), Sydney M. Patterson, Esq., Jeffrey Shipley, Esq. (Secretary to the State Board of Law Examiners), Donald B. Tobin, Esq. (Dean, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law), Ronald Weich, Esq. (Dean, University of Baltimore School of Law). JaCina Stanton, Esq., is the Committee’s Judiciary Staff Counsel (Administrative Office of the Courts).