Admission to the Rhode Island Bar
The Rhode Island Bar Examination is administered by the Bar Administrator and the Board of Bar Examiners 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 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 application for admission to the Rhode Island bar. Out-of-state attorneys taking the bar examination pursuant to Article II, Rule 2(a)(1-4) are required to take only the local essay, Multistate Performance Test (MPT), and Multistate Essay Examination (MEE) portions of the examination; 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 Examination should be directed to the Bar Administrator at
Applicants for admission pursuant to Article II, Rule 2(a) must submit the following to the Bar Administrator at the above address:
Petition/Questionnaire for Admission to the Rhode Island Bar with documents listed therein, plus one (1) copy of the Petition/Questionnaire only.
Handwriting Sample form. (Rule 2(a) Applicants do not need to have a law school official authenticate the sample, however, the completed form must be notarized).
- Two (2)
Certificates of Good Moral Character.
- Current credit report from one of the following three (3) providers: Transunion, Experian, or Equifax (it is the responsibility of applicant to submit credit report with the Petition/Questionnaire by the application deadline).
- Three (3)
NCBE Authorization and Release forms.
- Certificates of good standing from all jurisdictions licensed in.
National Conference of Bar Examiners Request for Preparation of a Character Report form.
- Check in the amount of $725.00 made payable to the Committee on Character and Fitness.
- Check in the amount of $500.00 made payable to the National Conference of Bar Examiners.
- Notarized Affidavit demonstrating ability to meet the provisions of Article II, Rule 2(a)(2) or (3).
Application for Special Testing Accommodations/Forms, if applicable (it is the responsibility of the applicant to submit these forms with the Petition/Questionnaire by the application deadline.)
Please refer to the Board Rule of Practice 2(b)(v)(1) for additional information regarding requirements for submitting Special Testing Accommodations Forms electronically.
Please note that Rule 2(a) attorney admission applicants are not required to submit a Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) score and are not required to submit criminal background checks or employment verification forms to the Committee on Character and Fitness. Criminal background and employment information is obtained as part of the required NCBE investigation. Rule 2(a) attorney admission applicants must comply with and provide whatever additional information NCBE requires.
After deferral or upon retaking the exam, Rule 2(a) attorney admission applicants must submit the following to the Bar Administrator at the above address by the application deadline for the respective exam:
- Any and all outstanding items from a previous application.
- New Petition/Questionnaire plus one (1) copy (supporting documents previously provided with the original Petition/Questionnaire need only be resubmitted to the Committee on Character and Fitness upon request).
- Three (3) NCBE Authorization and Release forms.
- NCBE Request for a supplemental Character Report form.
- Updated credit report.
- Updated Certificates of Good Standing from all jurisdictions where admitted to practice law.
- Updated Notarized Affidavit demonstrating ability to meet the provisions of Article II, Rule 2(a)(2) or (3).
- Applicable NCBE fees.
The Certificates of Good Moral Character must be forwarded directly to the Committee on Character and Fitness from the individuals who complete the forms.
Amendment Form for Bar Application must be submitted for any changes or additions to the information in the Petition/Questionnaire previously submitted, including contact information.
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.