State Bar Information/MPRE
It is important to review the bar exam requirements for each state in which you are considering taking the exam, as requirements vary and in some cases may influence your course selections. Some states' bar admission requirements prescribe certain courses that must be taken in law school. Some states, such as California, require that law students register within a certain short period of time after they begin law school study; otherwise, they must pay a substantial penalty fee.
The National Conference of Bar Examiners offers a useful resource guide online. Their web site also lists contact information for the agencies offering the bar examination in all 50 states and other U.S. jurisdictions. The listings include web addresses for the agencies that have web sites. The American Bar Associations's Comprehensive Guide to Admission Requirements is also a useful source of information.
Bar Admission for International Students
Because the Executive LL.M. in International Business Law Program is not intended to be a preparatory program for international attorneys leading to the practice of law in the United States, students are expected to return home after completing their studies. Each of the fifty states has its own criteria and procedures for admitting lawyers to practice, and achieving the LL.M. degree does not qualify international lawyers to apply for admission to take the bar examination in every state or to practice law in every state. Because of frequent changes in requirements, foreign lawyers should seek information by contacting directly the board of bar examiners of the state in which they wish to practice.
A number of international LL.M. students, however, do take the New York State Bar examination each year. Current regulations for foreign law graduates can be located from the Board's web site. The current regulations generally allow foreign attorneys whose prior studies are not both durationally and substantively equivalent to a legal education at an American Bar Association approved law school to "cure" either a durational or substantive deficiency by taking a 20 credit program of law study in the U.S.(such as the Graduate Program in Banking and Financial Law, which includes at least "two basic courses in American law." Board rule 6000.6 sets forth the list of courses that count as "basic courses in American law."
The Board has represented to us that an introductory course, such as Introduction to the American Legal System, also counts as a "basic course." Two other courses in the Graduate Program also count as basic American Law courses: Securities Regulation and Commercial Lending, both offered in the fall semester.