Attorneys Transferring into Virginia Have New Options for Bar License

If you are in good standing and actively licensed to practice law in a state other than Virginia, the Board of Bar Examiners just made it a little easier to get your Virginia license to practice law.

Under new rules recently enacted, attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions who wish to get licensed in Virginia, no longer need to take the Multi-state Bar Exam (MBE) portion of the Virginia exam. This is similar to what some other states may call an “attorney’s exam”. Importantly, you are not transferring in an MBE score from some other jurisdiction, so for this option it does not matter what your prior MBE score was, so long as you were licensed. Your exam will just be “Day 1” — the Virginia Essay Examination. But this is not really a different exam. You would be taking the exact same essay exam as all other students in that exam administration. The difference is that you will not have to return for Day 2 of the Bar Exam (the MBE day).

Unlike those taking the MBE and Essay exam simultaneously, someone who uses this option (the VBBE calls it “option 3”) will not have their essay exam converted into a “scaled score”. Instead, you must attain a raw score of 70 points out of 100 possible points on the exam.

A word of caution for Attorneys who took bar exams in other states: the Virginia Bar Exam is very different. The video below explains some important concepts that make the Virginia Essay Exam unlike the essay exams given in most other states.

LexBar is designed to help you pass the Virginia Essay Exam. Check out our FAQ for more information on how we help out-of-state lawyers prepare to get licensed in Virginia.