Tesser Ryan Blog

What Happens If I’m Accused of Cheating on the Bar Exam?

Although many states have now adopted the Multistate Bar Exam (“MBE”), each state still maintains its own set of rules and regulations for how its bar exam is administered, including setting the requirements for admission, the rules of conduct for taking the bar exam, and a procedure for dealing with violations of the rules of conduct.

In New York, the Board of Law Examiners (“BOLE”) is the organization that is responsible for administering the bar examination. In addition to the MBE, candidates for admission in New York must also complete the New York Law Course (“NYLC”), a series of online video lectures, and the New York Law Exam (“NYLE”) an open-book multiple-choice exam about laws and legal issues specific to New York.

The rules that all applicants to the New York bar must follow is BOLE’s Board Rule on Fraud, Dishonesty, and Other Misconduct (22 NYCRR 6000.13), which prohibits conduct ranging from more obvious violations such as accessing unauthorized material during the bar exam and falsifying information on the bar application to less intuitive violations such as skipping or speeding up videos from the NYLC.

A copy of BOLE’s Rules, including its Rule on Fraud, Dishonesty, and Other Misconduct can be accessed here.

If it is determined that a candidate has violated a Board Rule, BOLE can take a number of disciplinary actions, including nullifying the bar exam, NYLC, and/or NYLE, disqualifying the candidate from future administrations of the exam for up to six years, invalidation of certain answers from an examination, and notifying the New York State courts about BOLE’s determination.

If an applicant is the subject of disciplinary proceeding by BOLE, they will be notified by receiving a Notice of Charges by mail or e-mail. The applicant has a right to request a hearing to contest the charges or to present mitigating considerations. Applicants are entitled to representation by an attorney in BOLE proceedings at their own expense.

An attorney who is experienced with matters before BOLE can help applicants navigate the process of a BOLE proceeding and represent them at a hearing.

If you have questions about BOLE’s Rules or have received a Notice of Charges, call the attorneys at Tesser, Ryan & Rochman, LLP today for a consultation at (212) 754-9000.