Information & Applications » Admission by Examination » General Information
How to Apply for the
February 2024 Uniform Bar Exam
NOTICE: Per the D.C. Courts’ shutdown plan, a government shutdown would significantly reduce admissions office staffing and operations. As a Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) jurisdiction, D.C. accepts qualifying UBE scores from exams administered by other UBE jurisdictions. Information on other UBE jurisdictions and their exam application deadlines may be found on the jurisdictions’ websites.
Rules Regulating Admission to the Bar in the District of Columbia
Please donot rely upon instructions from other websites or from prior application periods to the District of Columbia. You are responsible for all information published on this website regarding the July bar exam.
Applicants with law degrees from Non-ABA Approved Law Schools
If you did not obtain a JD or LLB from an ABA approved law school, please also read Guidance Regarding 26 ABA Credit hour Requirement for Graduates of non-ABA Approved Law Schools. Pursuant to Rule 46(c)(4), the Committee on Admissions will audit credits from an ABA approved law school transcript to determine if “all such 26 credit hours [have been] earned in courses of study, each of which is substantially concentrated on a single subject tested on the Uniform Bar Examination.”
DC requires that LLB or non-ABA approved JD transcripts demonstrate that applicants’ completed a degree that is substantially equivalent to a Juris Doctor degree that would be awarded by a law school approved by the ABA. Please note: this requirement may differ from the non-ABA approved LLB and JD degree requirements. Please review these instructions for additional information.
Proper Application Filing Process
For your application to be properly filed for the bar exam, you must complete these items (details follow). Your application is not complete until you have followed all of the steps below. You must complete all of these steps by the deadline of November 16, 2023, 5:00pm eastern time. There is no late filing period. There are NO EXCEPTIONS. The required items and steps for a complete application are:
any required supplemental documents
the District of Columbia authorization and release form
your accommodation request, if you wish to apply for accommodations
application fee of $232.00
- Create an Account – You must first create an account and complete screening questions to determine your eligibility for the exam.
- Electronic Application - Complete and submit the application online. If you completed the character and fitness questionnaire on the NCBE website within the past four years for a prior application to the District of Columbia, you will complete the abbreviated Re-Application.
- Filing Fee - After completing all steps you will be prompted to pay the filing fee, either by credit card, debit card, or e-check. We do not accept any other form of payment (You will pay the fee for the background investigation directly to NCBE upon receipt of an invoice requesting payment.)
- District of Columbia Authorization and Release form - Print the A&R form and sign it in the presence of a notary (Forms notarized on-line are acceptable). Scan and save the notarized A&R as a PDF document. The properly signed and notarized A&R PDF must be uploaded to your account by the published deadline. (If you applied for an exam in D.C. within the past 365 days and your background investigation was completed, you may re-upload the same form. If you applied for an exam in D.C. more than 365 days ago you must upload a new notarized A&R.)
- Supplemental forms - All bar exam applicants with a JD from an ABA Approved law school must upload a Declaration of Graduation/Anticipated Graduation Form. If you have previously applied, you may re-upload the form you used for the prior exam.
All bar exam applicants who do not have a JD from an ABA approved law school must upload the following:
- Declaration of Graduation From a Non-ABA approved law school
- Declaration of Completion/Anticipated Completion of 26 Credit Hours at an ABA Approved Law School
- Copy of Diploma from non-ABA approved Law School
- Copy of Official Transcripts from non- ABA approved law school
- Copy of Official Transcripts from ABA approved law school
- Copy of course descriptions from ABA approved law school
- Additional Documentation – The documents that applicants need from third parties or other sources will be determined by your responses to specific questions. Applicants who reply “yes” to questions regarding the following will need to provide additional documentation: arrests, civil litigation, academic disciplinary action, unauthorized practice of law, law school discipline, college/university discipline, military service, alcohol or drug related traffic violation and tax debt. Note: The NCBE analyst performing the background investigation may ask for other information after your application is submitted.
- Uploaded Photo - A photo is required for all exam applications. Note - photos must meet certain requirements. A selfie can usually meet these requirements. A new photo is required each time you apply for a bar exam.
Your photo must meet the following requirements:
- Taken within the past 6 months and reflect your current appearance.
- Color photo.
- Individual photo taken in front of a plain white background.
- Photo should only include your head and shoulders.
- Full face view, directly facing the camera, with a neutral expression and both eyes open.
- Taken with uniform lighting. Photo must not show shadows or shadowing of facial features.
- No hat or head covering unless worn for religious purposes.
- Glasses are permitted; however, a glare or light reflection in the lenses of glasses in the photo is not acceptable (glare can be avoided with a slight downward tilt of the glasses or by turning off the flash).
- Photo file type must be a .png, .jpg., or .jpeg
Within 7-10 business days after filing your application with the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, you will receive an email from the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) with instructions on how to submit payment for the background investigation. The background investigation is required for your character and fitness review. If you are re-applying and have completed a character and fitness application questionnaire for the District of Columbia within the past four years you will complete the character and fitness questions on the Re-Application. Please read the instructions carefully on the NCBE notification requesting payment for the background investigation. If you do not make payment timely, or if you fail to respond timely to additional inquiries from NCBE investigation analysts, your character and fitness application can be terminated.
Applicants wishing to apply for accommodations can submit accommodations requests beginning on October 25, 2023 through May 16, 2023, 5:00pm eastern time by sending the request form and supporting medical documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applicants who do not submit supporting documentation (e.g. diagnostic testing, transcripts, proof of prior accommodation grants, etc.) will be denied.
Applicants who have previously been granted accommodations for a D.C. bar exam who do not wish to request different accommodations can upload their request form and a copy of their prior accommodations grant letter.
Repeat Applicants who were previously granted accommodations who want to apply for different accommodations must submit the request form and NEW supporting documentation. The NEW documentation must be labeled as “NEW”. Requests for different accommodations that are not accompanied by NEW supporting documentation will be denied.
There will be no exceptions to the November 16th deadline at 5:00pm ET. Accommodation requests that are not submitted to email@example.com will not be reviewed. There will be no exceptions.
Please refer to the Guidelines for documentation in support of your accommodation request. All documents submitted timely will be reviewed. Please use the Accommodations Request Form to indicate the accommodations you are seeking.
Applicants who breastfeeding and wish to apply for a courtesy schedule can do so by submitting an email to Director Shanks at: firstname.lastname@example.org with their request and medical documentation as proof that they are nursing.
Emergency Accommodations may be granted where an applicant experiences circumstances that create a need for accommodations after the deadline. Emergency Accommodations are granted only where all of the following conditions are met:
- The impairment occurred after the deadline for the submission of accommodation requests.
- The accommodation does not impose an undue burden on the Committee on Admissions.
- The applicant demonstrates a disability within the meaning of the ADA.
- The accommodation does not fundamentally alter the nature of the bar examination
- The accommodation does not jeopardize the security of the exam
For Emergency Accommodations send an email with details and supporting documentation to Director Shanks at: email@example.com.
Please note that accommodation requests may be denied fully or in part. Alternate accommodations may also be granted. Appeals can be made up to ten days after an accommodation grant is denied in full or in part. Appeals must contain new information with supporting documentation. An appeal may not include requests that were not in the original accommodation request. A denial of an Emergency Accommodation is not appealable.
MPRE Score Report – A minimum score of 75 on the MPRE is required for admission. You must request that your MPRE Score be reported to the District of Columbia. An MPRE Score is NOT required to sit for the exam. The MPRE Declaration Form can be found here.
Applicants must pay the software licensing fee of $150 and register their laptops directly with the software vendor, ILG360. The registration period is January 30th through February 7th.
Please use an email address that will be accessible to you at a minimum for the next 18 months. All information and announcements are posted on our website. You are expected to regularly visit the Committee on Admissions (“COA”) web site to review the announcements and information posted there. COA corresponds with applicants primarily via e-mail. You should use an e-mail address that you can access even after graduation from law school. You are required to maintain a current e-mail address and mailing address on your personal COA Registration Account, and to regularly read all mail from this office, whether sent electronically or by postal service. It is your responsibility to ensure that e-mails from COA are not filtered as spam and to add @dccourts.gov and @dcappeals.gov to your e-mail address book.