Admission to the Rhode Island Bar
The Rhode Island Bar Examination is administered the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July each year. The deadline for the February examination is September 1st; the deadline for the July examination is February 1st. There is no provision for late filing.
Applicants are directed to Article II of the Rhode Island Supreme Court Rules and the Board of Bar Examiners Rules of Practice Governing Admission on Examination for information on the bar application process. The Rules of Practice are available
To qualify for attorney admission pursuant to Article II, Rule 2(a), the out-of-state attorney must have been engaged in the full-time active practice of law or full-time teaching of law at a law school accredited by the American Bar Association for at least five (5) of the last ten (10) years immediately preceding the filing of the Petition for Admission to the Rhode Island bar. With the adoption of the Uniform Bar Examination, out-of-state attorneys taking the bar examination pursuant to Article II, Rule 2(a)(1-4) are required to take only the essay portion of the examination: two (2) Multistate Performance Test (MPT) questions, and six (6) Multistate Essay Examination (MEE) questions. The Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) is not required. The raw scores of these applicants will be scaled to the MPT and essay scores of the applicants taking both parts of the bar examination, and a scaled score of 138 is required to pass.
All applicants are permitted to use a laptop for the essay portions of the examination (Tuesday) at no additional cost. This service is strictly optional but applicants wishing to use a laptop must register directly with ExamSoft Worldwide, Inc. by the registration deadline. A representative from ExamSoft Worldwide, Inc. will be onsite during the essay portions of the exam to assist laptop users. The use of a laptop is highly recommended for applicants whose handwriting is illegible. For more information, please visit the ExamSoft Worldwide, Inc. website at
Questions relating to the Rhode Island Bar application process and the examination should be directed to the Bar Admissions staff at
BAR APPLICANTS: PLEASE REFER TO EXECUTIVE ORDER DATED SEPTEMBER 7, 2018.
The Rhode Island Judiciary has launched its electronic bar application filing process. Filing electronically is now mandatory.
The process for Rule 2(a) applicants consists primarily of two (2) steps:
- Applicants must first submit to the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) the electronic Application to the Bar of Rhode Island; and
- Applicants must then submit the Rhode Island Petition for Admission to the Rhode Island Bar that will be available electronically on the Rhode Island Supreme Court Attorney Portal (RISCAP).
More detailed instructions on how to file an application for admission to the Rhode Island Bar are available here:Instructions on How to Apply for Admission to the Rhode Island Bar.
test accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act or
administrative nonstandard testing accommodations must complete and electronically file the applicable forms by the Rule 2(a) application deadline.
Applicants who are eligible to reapply for a bar examination pursuant to Board Rule 2(f) must file a Petition to Reapply for Admission to the Rhode Island Bar electronically on RISCAP.
More detailed instructions on how to file a Petition to Reapply for Admission to the Rhode Island Bar are available here:
Instructions on How to File a Petition to Reapply for Admission to the Rhode Island bar.
Please note that the process for requesting accommodations as part of a Petition to Reapply varies. Please refer to the forms for instructions.
here to view frequently asked questions.
All applicants are subject to the Rhode Island Bar Examination Regulations and Code of Conduct. Violations may result in the applicant being ejected from the bar examination.