(505) 271-9706 info@nmexam.org

Application by Bar Examination

Application Process

Forms and deadlines are available on the right side of this page. Please note that our deadlines are in-office, and not postmark deadlines. Questions? Visit our Q&A section on Slack (free, registration required).

Examinees who only wish to sit in New Mexico in order to transfer their scores to other states must submit all required items listed under “The following documents must be submitted by the filing deadline” and “The following documents must be submitted before you can be approved to sit for for the exam,” below.

You are responsible for reviewing the Rules Governing Admission to ensure that you are qualified to apply to sit for the bar examination in New Mexico.

All applicants to the New Mexico Bar must take an in-person course in New Mexico law prior to admission.

The following documents must be submitted by the filing deadline*: 

*Examinees who do not seek admission in New Mexico may omit items number 6, 7, and 9.

  1. New Mexico Bar Exam Cover Sheet, filled out in full and initialed. Additional instructions are found on the cover sheet and below.
  2. Applicable filing fee in the form of a personal or business check, money order, or certified check payable to the NM Board of Bar Examiners or by credit card via our credit card authorization form. The Board does not accept cash payments.
  3. NCBE Character and Fitness Application Form and any additional documents required as part of that form. One copy signed and notarized. Please take the time to make a copy for your records. May be printed double-sided; must contain original signature. This application is completed on the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) website and there is a $25 fee paid directly to the NCBE.  The application link takes you to the NCBE web site to access their Character and Fitness Application, which is also our application for the bar exam. The application must be filled out online on the NCBE website and then printed out to be mailed to our office. Please send an original printout of the application with Acknowledgement of Complete Application and three originals of the NCBE Authorization and Release Form; these documents must be signed and notarized (only originals will be accepted).
  4. Statistical Data Form.
  5. Two signed and notarized copies of the NMBBE Authorization and Release Form; must contain original signatures.
  6. Three character and fitness statements from attorneys in good standing in any jurisdiction in the United States. You should request three attorneys that know you to complete these forms. These attorneys must be in addition to (different from) those persons listed in the NCBE Character and Fitness Application Form, and may not be family members. Law school professors may complete these forms, provided they are attorneys in good standing in any jurisdiction in the United States. Among other things, good standing means active membership in a state bar. You may collect these forms and include them with your application (preferred) or have them forwarded directly to the office. In either case, they must be originals and current and must be received either with your application or before the application deadline.
  7. A credit report, preferably with credit score, from one of the three major credit reporting agencies (Transunion, Equifax, or Experian; not Credit Karma) printed within 30 days of submitting your application. You may secure a free credit report from each of these agencies once per year at www.annualcreditreport.com or you may submit a full, paid report from any of the three agencies. Reports secured through third parties (including Credit Karma) and incomplete or abbreviated credit reports will not be accepted. May be printed double-sided. Please note that data on your credit report will be cross-referenced to disclosures on your application; please check it carefully. If you do not know the meaning of a term found on the credit report (e.g.”charge-off”), please research it before assuming it means that you do not still have a liability.
  8. Statement of Social-Security Number. One copy signed and dated; must contain original signature.
  9. Certificate of Good Standing from any state in which you are or have been licensed. This does not apply to any applicant who is not already licensed in another state. If you become licensed after submitting your application to New Mexico, you must also submit a certificate from that new state. You must also include such statements from states in which you are no longer licensed.
  10. Confirmation of NCBE Number Certification. All examinees are required to certify to the National Conference of Bar Examiners that they will be sitting for the bar exam in this state. To certify your NCBE number:
    1. Log into or create your NCBE account at www.ncbex.org
    2. Along the left-hand side of the Dashboard, select Bar Exams
    3. Select Bar Exam Date Month: [select applicable month]
    4. Select Bar Exam Date Year: [select applicable year]
    5. Select Testing Jurisdiction: New Mexico
    6. Click Add New, then print the confirmation page and include a copy of that printout with your application packet.
  11. Laptop Release of Liability Form. You must submit a release of liability form to use your laptop to write the exam; must contain original signature. If you later change your mind and choose not take the exam on laptop, submitting the form does not commit you to registering for the software. Upon registration for the software, you will pay $100 directly to ExamSoft, our software provider.
  12. Test Accommodation Request, if applicable. View the policy, instructions, and forms.

Please keep copies of all documents that you submit to our office. To receive a copy of your submitted materials, you must request a copy of your file [link].

The following documents must be submitted before you can be approved to sit for for the exam:

  1. Transcript from law school with evidence of graduation (do not send diploma) and law school certification form. Your final and complete official transcript from law school should indicate that you were awarded your J.D. and on what date. If you are a recent graduate, the Board understands that your final transcript might not be available by the filing deadline. It may be added to your file at a later date but must be received prior to the administration of the bar exam. The transcript must be sent to the Board’s office directly from the law school or university registrar. The law school certification form must be sent directly to the Board’s office from the law school. Student copies and photocopies are not acceptable.
  2. FBI and NM State Criminal Records. Visit this page for information on securing these reports, which are sent directly to the Board by the appropriate agencies. This process often takes several weeks — please plan ahead.

These items must be completed and/or submitted before you can be admitted to the Bar:

Examinees who do not intend to be licensed in New Mexico need not complete these steps. If you do not wish to be considered for licensure in New Mexico, and wish only to use your score in another UBE jurisdiction, please submit this online form [link].

  1. All applicants to the New Mexico Bar must take an in-person course in New Mexico law prior to admission. This course is offered on the Thursday following the bar exam and examinees are automatically registered.
  2. Passing Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination Score (MPRE). You must have a scaled score of 80 or better on the MPRE to satisfy this requirement. If you took this exam previously for another jurisdiction, you may have that score certified here. A passing scaled score of 80 or above achieved no more than five years before filing a first application for admission in New Mexico will be accepted. This board does not administer the MPRE and you may take it in any location/state it is offered. To certify a score or register for the MPRE, please go to www.ncbex.org.

Application materials must be mailed to:
Bar Examination Application
New Mexico Board of Bar Examiners
20 First Plaza Center NW, Suite 710
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Following admission:

All attorneys sworn in to practice law in New Mexico must submit, within 30 days of licensure, the New Lawyer Application/Deferment/Exemption form through the New Mexico State Bar. Please see this page for more information [link].

Deadlines:

July 30-31, 2019: Exam Dates

August 1, 2019: Required Course in New Mexico Law

December 15, 2018: Application acceptance period opens

January 21, 2019 at 5 p.m.: Timely Receipt Deadline for all first-time applicants to the New Mexico bar

Timely Receipt Filing Fees: 

  • Applicants within one year from law school graduation: $500
  • Applicants more than one year from law school graduation: $1000

April 2, 2019 at 5 p.m.: First Late Filing Deadline for all first-time applicants to the New Mexico bar

Late Deadline Filing Fees (includes $200 late fee): 

  • Applicants within one year from law school graduation: $700
  • Applicants more than one year from law school graduation: $1200

May 2, 2019 at 5 p.m.: Final Late Filing Deadline for all first-time applicants to the New Mexico bar

Late Deadline Filing Fees (includes $500 late fee): 

  • Applicants within one year from law school graduation: $1000
  • Applicants more than one year from law school graduation: $1500

May 10, 2019 at 5 p.m.: Re-exam Filing Deadline

Please see Re-Exam section if you have already taken the New Mexico Bar Exam one or more times.

No first-time applications to the New Mexico bar will be accepted after the late deadline in May, and no part of the filing fee or late fee is refundable. All deadlines are in-office deadlines, not mailing deadlines.

February 26-27, 2019: Exam Dates

February 28, 2019: Required Course in New Mexico Law

August 15, 2018: Application acceptance period opens

September 20, 2018 at 5 p.m.: Timely Receipt Deadline for all first-time applicants to the New Mexico bar

Timely Receipt Filing Fees: 

  • Applicants within one year from law school graduation: $500
  • Applicants more than one year from law school graduation: $1000

November 2, 2018 at 5 p.m.: First Late Filing Deadline for all first-time applicants to the New Mexico bar

Late Deadline Filing Fees (includes $200 late fee): 

  • Applicants within one year from law school graduation: $700
  • Applicants more than one year from law school graduation: $1200

December 3, 2018 at 5 p.m.: Final Late Filing Deadline for all first-time applicants to the New Mexico bar

Late Deadline Filing Fees (includes $500 late fee): 

  • Applicants within one year from law school graduation: $1000
  • Applicants more than one year from law school graduation: $1500

December 10, 2017 at 5 p.m.: Re-exam Filing Deadline

Please see Re-exam section if you have already taken the New Mexico Bar Exam one or more times.

No first-time applications to the New Mexico bar will be accepted after the final late filing deadline, and no part of the filing fee or late fee is refundable. All deadlines are in-office deadlines, not mailing deadlines.