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New York Please Adopt the UBE

A letter to the New York State Board of Law Examiners urging them to adopt the Uniform Bar Exam.
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  1 Moshe Y. Admon Tucson, Arizona 85718 (520) 247-9669 11/7/14 Diane Bosse Chair, New York State Board of Law Examiners Corporate Plaza, Building 3 254 Washington Avenue Extension Albany, NY 12203-5195 Dear Ms. Bosse and Members of the New York State Board of Law Examiners, I am writing to urge that the great State of New York adopt the UBE. I am a native New Yorker born in Manhattan. I worked as a commodity broker in the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4 World Trade Center prior to attending Rutgers University in New Jersey, graduating with a B.Eng. and a B.A. I ultimately decided to pursue law, graduating in the top 5% of my class with an LL.B. from the University of London, and am now in my final year of a joint JD / LL.M. at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law in Tucson, Arizona. Upon completion of my LL.B. I made a decision to forsake the traditional “international” route of pursuing an LL.M. and sitting for the New York Bar, and instead chose to undertake a JD. I initially looked at Tier 1 law schools in New York but the cost was prohibitive, particularly when aggregating living expenses with tuition. I enrolled in the University of Arizona College of Law and am immensely happy with my choice. My classmates and professors are exceptional, the course and clinic offerings are extraordinary, the learning environment is outstanding, and the cost is very manageable. There is no doubt in my mind, nor in the mind of multiple law school ranking committees, that the legal education I am receiving in Arizona is on par with the that offered by any top tier law school in New York. Subsequent to graduating I have a keen desire to return to my home town of NYC to start my legal career but am concerned about locking myself into the current New York Bar, which has no  2 lateral flexibility for new practitioners. As you are fully aware, the legal landscape in the US has changed drastically in the past several years, with a pronounced amount of graduates from the entire spectrum of law schools struggling to find meaningful and financially rewarding employment. Astutely, in response to this economic reality fourteen states, including Arizona, have adopted the UBE. The flexibility of the UBE offers new graduates the pragmatic freedom of movement so indispensable in today’s  employment climate. Presently, if quality students contemplate sitting for the New York Bar, they have to think long and hard before making their decision. If they fail to secure a job or have the misfortune of  being laid off they must repeat the hardship and expense of sitting for a different state bar exam. By adopting the UBE, New York will maximize its potential to attract the best out-of-state talent, and additionally will provide in-state students maximum value and versatility. I have read several legal pundits stating that the New York B ar is a “rite of passage,”  and by adopting the UBE New York will lose its “special” standing. This argument is without any merit. As the entire world is aware, New York is a beacon of freedom and opportunity, and will forever have “special” standing on i ts own virtues with or wit hout the UBE. New York’s only concern should be making itself more accessible for the world’s best talent to practice there. Additionally, if these pundits are correct that the New York Bar Exam is the only worthy standard, the present rules allowing New York to grant Admission on Motion/Reciprocity, or Admissions on Pro Hac Vice basis seem out-of-place. Factually, graduating law school is our rite of passage into the legal profession. Sitting for multiple bar exams merely increases the already enormous pressures we face as law students, and in many ways only benefits bar-exam-preparation companies. The ultimate goal of passing the bar is not for the sake of hanging a New York Bar certificate on our wall to gain respect and recognition, it is to grant us the means to successfully and skillfully practice our trade, benefiting our clients, the greater public, and our esteemed profession as a whole. Ultimately rules of ethics and, a fortiori, the highly competitive New York market will separate the wheat from the chaff, and not the bar exam. Because of this, I respectfully urge you to adopt the UBE. Yours Sincerely, Moshe Admon, B.Eng., B.A., LL.B. 2015 JD / LL.M. Candidate, University of Arizona President, National Jewish Law Students Association
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