calendar_today December 14 2023, By Pieper Bar Review


Updated December 14 2023. Originally published December 13 2023

The Supreme Court of Kentucky has decided that, starting in July 2027, law school graduates looking to practice law in the state will take the Next Generation Bar Exam (NextGen), replacing the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) used since February 2021. The NextGen exam, developed by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), tests on fewer subjects than the UBE (focusing on civil procedure, contract law, evidence, torts, business associations, constitutional law, criminal law, real property and family law). The exam will cover seven foundational lawyering skills: legal research, legal writing, issue spotting and analysis, investigation and evaluation, client counseling and advising, negotiation and dispute resolution, and client relationship and management.  

Like the UBE, the NextGen exam will be administered twice a year (the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July), but will require only a day and a half to complete (slightly shorter than the UBE which requires a full two days).  The expectation is that by testing on fewer subjects (bar applicants will not be responsible for wills, trusts, secured transactions, and conflict of laws), the exam can better test applicants on their ability to navigate more practical, skills-based problems.

Kentucky joins Arizona, Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, Oregon and Wyoming in adopting the NextGen exam.


Photo by Brandon Randolph