Eligibility and General Requirements

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1. What standards must I satisfy for the Board to recommend my admission?
A candidate must provide satisfactory evidence of the following: good character and fitness as described by the rules, meeting the educational requirements for admission, a satisfactory score on the multi-state professional responsibility (MPRE) examination, good standing in other jurisdictions where licensed, and an eligible score on the UBE or qualification for admission on motion. See Rule 4A.
2. How do I know if I am eligible to apply?
We strongly encourage you to complete the Board’s Eligibility Questionnaire and read Rule 4A before applying, and to contact the Board office if you have any additional questions after doing so.
3. How do I know which type of application to submit?
We encourage you to complete the Board’s Eligibility Questionnaire, which includes questions regarding whether an applicant is eligible for admission without examination.  Those requirements are found in Rule 7, and applicants who do not meet those requirements would submit an application for the bar exam pursuant to Rule 6.
4. What MPRE score is required by Minnesota?
85 or higher. If you have submitted a score report to Minnesota but do not know what your score is, call our office to ask. We cannot tell you what your score is, but we will tell you if you qualify for Minnesota standards.
5. How do I transfer my MPRE score to Minnesota?
If you sat for the MPRE in 1999 or later, the National Conference of Bar Examiners can transfer your score to Minnesota. Visit their website or call (319) 337-1304 for information.

If you obtained your MPRE score before 1999, you may provide the score report from your files or by verification through a jurisdiction to which you previously submitted your score.  The jurisdiction must be able to either provide your score or confirm that an 85 or higher would have been required for your admission to that jurisdiction. 

6. If I was admitted in another jurisdiction without taking the MPRE, can I be admitted in Minnesota without taking the MPRE?
No. Everyone who applies for admission to the Minnesota Bar must take the MPRE and receive a scaled score of 85 or higher.
7. Does the MPRE expire?
No, your MPRE score remains a valid score and does not expire.  Some jurisdictions do require that you submit an MPRE score obtained within a particular timeframe.  Minnesota accepts all valid scores.
8. Can I apply if I don’t have an MPRE score yet?
Yes.  Rule 4E allows an applicant to apply without an MPRE score, so long as the applicant transfers a qualifying MPRE score to the Board within 12 months of receiving a notice from the Board.  If not, the application will be considered withdrawn and closed.
9. What is the educational requirement for admission in Minnesota?
See Rule 4A(3). Minnesota requires one of the following three options:

a) Graduation with a J.D. degree from a law school that is provisionally or fully approved by the American Bar Association;

b) (i) a bachelor’s degree from an institution that is accredited by an agency recognized by the United States Department of Education or foreign equivalent;

(ii) a J.D. degree or equivalent from a law school attended following completion of undergraduate studies;

(iii) the applicant has been licensed to practice law in any state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia in 60 of the previous 84 months; and

(iv) the applicant has been engaged, as principal occupation, in the practice of law for 60 of the previous 84 months in one or more of the activities listed in Rule 7A(1)(C); or

c) the applicant has been licensed to practice law in any state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia for at least 10 years.

Applicants who are eligible only under Rule 4A(3)(b) must apply under Rule 6 to take the Minnesota bar exam, and must have their eligibility confirmed by the Board before being permitted to sit for the exam.  The Board recommends that any such applicants apply for an exam date that is at least six months out from the date on which they apply.

10. I received a law degree from a foreign law school. Can I apply for admission to practice in Minnesota?
See Rule 4A(3) and FAQ #9 above regarding the educational requirements for admission.  Foreign-educated lawyers who have practiced in a U.S. jurisdiction five of the last seven years may be eligible to take the bar exam (see Rule 4A(3)(b)) and foreign-educated lawyers with 10 years of licensure in another U.S. jurisdiction may apply to take the bar exam or may be eligible for admission without examination pursuant to Rule 7 (see Rule 4A(3)(c)).  Foreign-educated lawyers may also be eligible to apply for a Foreign Legal Consultant license that permits the lawyer to practice the law of the country in which they are licensed.  See Rule 11 for more information.
11. I see that Rule 4A(3) references an LL.B. from an ABA-approved law school. I have an LL.B. from a foreign law school. Does that count?
No, only LL.B.’s from an ABA-approved law school qualify.  ABA-approved law schools phased out the LL.B. degree in favor of the J.D. degree in the 1960s and 70s.
12. Can I be admitted in Minnesota with an LL.M. degree?
Generally, no. An LL.M. degree (whether or not from an accredited law school) is not sufficient to meet the educational requirements of Rule 4A.  However, lawyers who have been licensed to practice law in any state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia for at least 10 years should review Rule 4A(3)(c).
13. What if I cannot provide a certificate of good standing in a jurisdiction where I was licensed to practice law because I am not currently in good standing?
If you are not in good standing due to any type of noncompliant status, whether due to a disciplinary matter or an administrative suspension (including for CLE noncompliance, failure to pay dues, etc.), you are likely ineligible for admission under Rule 4A(6). Please review the applicable Rules and/or contact the Board office with any questions. If you are unable to obtain a certificate of good standing for another reason, please contact the Board office for additional information.

 

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