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 December 1st; the deadline for the July examination is May 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
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 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 1 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.
Certificate of Dean/Administrator of Law School.
- Certified Transcript.
Handwriting Sample form.
- Two (2)
Certificates of Good Moral Character.
Employer Verification Forms from every employer where you worked full or part-time longer than six (6) months since turning twenty-one (21) years old.
- Criminal background checks from all jurisdictions lived in for six (6) months or more since turning eighteen (18) years old.
Click here for a list of criminal records repositories.
- Current credit report from one of the following three (3) providers: Transunion, Experian, or Equifax (it is the responsibility of applicant to submit a credit report with the Petition/Questionnaire by the application deadline).
- Certificates of good standing from all jurisdictions where admitted to practice law.
- Check in the amount of $725.00 made payable to the Committee on Character and Fitness.
Application for Special Testing Accommodations/Forms or
Administrative Nonstandard Test Accommodations, if applicable (it is the responsibility of the applicant to submit these forms with the Petition/Questionnaire by the application deadline.)
Please refer to Board Rules of Practice 2(b)(v)(1) or 2(b)(vi)(1) for additional information regarding requirements for submitting Special Testing Accommodations or Administrative Nonstandard Testing Accommodations Forms electronically.
The Dean Certificate, Certified Transcripts, Certificates of Good Moral Character, and Employment Verification Forms must be forwarded directly to the Committee on Character and Fitness from the individuals who complete the forms.
After deferral or upon retaking the exam, Rule 1 admission on examination 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 the previous application process.
- Updated credit report.
- Updated Certificates of Good Standing from all jurisdictions where licensed to practice law.
- Updated criminal background checks from the jurisdiction where you have resided for the 6-months prior to the applicable application deadline.
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.
MBE Score Transfer Release Form. Must be submitted along with transfer fee in order to have a MBE score transferred to another jurisdiction.
Click 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.