Tennessee Adopts Uniform Bar Exam

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Tennessee Supreme Court has adopted the Uniform Bar Exam as the key testing component for bar admission for aspiring Tennessee attorneys. The UBE is a nationwide test that has been adopted in 31 jurisdictions and allows test takers to transfer scores between states, greatly improving the mobility of Tennessee attorneys. The change comes after the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners filed a petition with the Supreme Court to adopt the change and a public comment period. The comments received by the Court were overwhelmingly supportive of the change. The UBE allows the Court to adapt to changing times while protecting the public. The UBE will be given for the first time in Tennessee in February, 2019. 

“As the legal field continues to evolve, the Court understands its rules must modernize and adapt to changing practice realities,” said Chief Justice Jeff Bivins. “At the same time, it is essential we ensure attorneys practicing in Tennessee are well-qualified and prepared to represent clients with the vigor and excellence the law requires. The changes we have adopted strike that necessary balance.” 

Under current rules, a Tennessee lawyer needing to obtain a license to practice law in another state has to meet waiver requirements, which often include a significant experience component, or retake the bar exam in that state. The UBE allows scores earned in Tennessee to be transferred to other states for licensure. In addition, attorneys from other states utilizing the UBE can petition for admittance in Tennessee based on those results. 

“Lawyers are more mobile than they once were. No longer do lawyers always settle in one state and practice in that state until retirement,” said Jeffrey Ward, president of the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners. “Multi-jurisdictional, or cross-border, practice is more common, particularly in Tennessee, where we border more states than any other state in the Union. This can be seen in the increase in applications for admissions without examination in recent years.” 

Between 2012 and 2016, the Board of Law Examiners saw a 90.4 percent increase in requests for admission without examination and a 218 percent increase in in-house counsel registration applications. In Tennessee, in order to be eligible for admission without exam, lawyers must be in good standing in at least one other jurisdiction and have at least five to seven years of experience.  The proposal would provide more mobility for younger, or more recently admitted, attorneys. In this region, Alabama, Missouri, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina have adopted the UBE. 

“The Board of Law Examiners recited in its petition the statistics that demonstrate the demand for mobility in the legal profession, and the Tennessee Bar Association agrees that this is a laudable goal in order to encourage lawyers and businesses to operate in Tennessee,” the Tennessee Bar Association stated in its official comment letter. “Toward that end, the proposed rule change, which adopts the UBE, and its portability provisions is positioned to benefit the profession, and the Tennessee Bar Association supports such action.” The Bar Association’s letter was signed by more than 65 local bar associations as well as the Tennessee federal bar, public defenders conference, and associations representing Women, Hispanic, African-American, and Asian attorneys. 

The UBE is prepared and coordinated by the National Conference of Bar Examiners and consists of three parts: the Multistate Bar Examination, which includes 200 multiple choice questions; two Multistate Performance Test tasks, which are 90-minute exercises testing basic lawyering skills; and six Multistate Essay Examination questions. The test covers a dozen topics and is given over two days. The current Tennessee Bar Exam uses the multiple choice questions, one performance test task, and nine Tennessee-specific essay questions. The nine essay questions are prepared and graded in the state. One benefit of using the UBE essay questions is the vast amount of testing and resources that go into developing each question, something that is hard to duplicate on a small scale, according to the Board of Law Examiners. The essay questions will still be graded by Tennessee attorneys. 

The Tennessee Supreme Court will determine the minimum passing score for the UBE. The Supreme Court will also consider requiring newly admitted attorneys to complete a course of study focused on Tennessee law within one year of admission. The Supreme Court will continue to set educational, character, and fitness requirements for those requesting admission to the bar, and the Board of Law Examiners will continue to determine an applicant’s eligibility for admission based on the standards set by the Supreme Court. 

The Court’s Order may be viewed on tncourts.gov.


Local Veteran Brings TruBlue To Chattanooga

New Hamilton County Businesses

Dalton Food City Set to Open On Wednesday


Local veteran and entrepreneur Brian Winton is launching his new house care business, TruBlue of Chattanooga. TruBlue is a full-service company that provides handyman, house cleaning, emergency ... (click for more)

Here are the new business licenses from the County Clerk's office: ANOINTED INSPIRATION WORD DAPHNE WILLIAMS 3 INSPIRATIONAL LIFE COACH RETAIL SALES 1075 GREENWOOD RD CHATTANOOGA TN 37414 ... (click for more)

Shelves are stocked in preparation for the opening of the new Dalton Food City on Wednesday. The 48,600+ square foot supermarket is on West Walnut Avenue and will serve as the area’s second ... (click for more)


Business

Local Veteran Brings TruBlue To Chattanooga

Local veteran and entrepreneur Brian Winton is launching his new house care business, TruBlue of Chattanooga. TruBlue is a full-service company that provides handyman, house cleaning, emergency repairs, yard/lawn care and seasonal services for busy families, seniors and anyone who want the comforts of their own home without worrying about critical property maintenance. TruBlue ... (click for more)

New Hamilton County Businesses

Here are the new business licenses from the County Clerk's office: ANOINTED INSPIRATION WORD DAPHNE WILLIAMS 3 INSPIRATIONAL LIFE COACH RETAIL SALES 1075 GREENWOOD RD CHATTANOOGA TN 37414 ASHLEY'S TAN AND BOUTIQUE ASHLEY SULLIVAN 3 SPRAY TAN AND BOUTIQUE CLOTHING 1635 STARBOARD DR HIXSON TN 37343 BARKS AND BUBBLES AMY L JOLLAY 3 DOG GROOMING 9131 DALLAS BAY RD SODDY ... (click for more)

Breaking News

2 Arrested At Soddy Daisy After Vehicle And Foot Pursuit Tuesday Night

Two people were arrested Tuesday night after leading a sheriff's deputy on a vehicle, then foot pursuit. A Hamilton County Sheriff’s deputy witnessed a vehicle driving erratically in Soddy Daisy about 10 p.m. The deputy attempted to stop the vehicle at which time the driver fled and a pursuit ensued. The deputy pursued the vehicle until it stopped on Clay Hill Drive ... (click for more)

Fire On Hickory Valley Road Displaces Multiple Apartment Residents

A fire broke out at Evergreen Apartments on Hickory Valley Road when fire broke out at approximately 6 p.m. on Tuesday. Robert Knowles said he had just gotten home from work and was walking to his apartment in the H Building when a woman ran out of her apartment across from him carrying two babies in her arms. He said he could see fire toward the back of her apartment. Mr. ... (click for more)

Opinion

Fake News Strikes Again And Again - Response

Two major stories exploded across the headlines this past week which confirm my opinion that the mainstream media (MSM) is biased, incompetent, and can seldom be trusted to impart the news fairly and accurately. The first instance was the BuzzFeed story regarding Michael Cohen and how he allegedly lied on President Trump's behalf to Congress. Virtually all of the big media outlets ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Walmart vs 535 Morons

There is an anonymous paper on the Internet that tells how Walmart could do a better job running America instead of the pompous flops and duds we send to Washington. Please try to connect the dots on Walmart’s 1.6 million employees and the obscene profits that they make versus our 535 members of Congress who blow through money while “WallyWorld” churns out an average of $20-thousand ... (click for more)