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Admission By Transferred UBE Score

Who is eligible to be admitted by a transferred UBE score?

  • The applicant must have an eligible UBE score of 266 or above. The UBE score must either be (1) from a UBE administered within two years immediately preceding the transfer application filing date or (2) it will be accepted up to five years after the UBE administration if you have been regularly engaged in the practice of law for at least two of the last three years immediately preceding the transfer application filing date. The certified score must be received by the board within three months after the application is filed.

  • The applicant must have received an LL.B. or a J.D. degree from a reputable law school fully or provisionally approved by the American Bar Association at the time the applicant graduated to be eligible for admission by transferred UBE score.

How do I apply?

All of the following must be submitted to the Office of Professional Regulation.  Items are considered filed when they are postmarked or when they are hand-delivered to the Office of Professional Regulation, 1111 East Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50319.

1. Prior to submitting the items below, pay the $900 application fee on the Iowa Court Commission website:  The site accepts credit card and e-check payments.  Please print the payment confirmation page and include with the application materials below.

2. The NCBE Online Character Report Application PDF.

  • From the above link, select Iowa as the jurisdiction to which you are applying.  On the next page, click on the NCBE Account Login button and either log in with your credentials or create an account.

  • Click on the Character & Fitness Icon to begin a new application.  Select that you are applying to Iowa and select your Application Category as “Admission by Transferred UBE Score.”  Proceed with completing the application and uploading any necessary attachments.

  • Pay the separate report application fee to the National Conference of Bar Examiners at the time the NCBE online application is finalized and printed.

3. The Iowa UBE Transfer Cover Sheet and Checklist with the completed forms attached, including the payment confirmation page from item 1 and the NCBE Character Report Application PDF mentioned in item 2.

What are the other requirements?

  • The applicant must cause a scaled MPRE score of at least 80 to be filed with the board of law examiners. The score must be transferred directly to the board by the NCBE or by the state in which the MPRE score was earned if not available through the NCBE.  There is no date requirement on the MPRE score for UBE transfer applicants.

  • Applicants seeking admission by transferred UBE score must undergo a character and fitness investigation by the Iowa board of law examiners. Applicants whose initial applications, in the board's sole judgment, reveal substantial questions about the applicant's character and fitness to practice law will be directed to obtain an NCBE investigative report at the applicant's expense.

  • Applicants who have been denied admission or permission to sit for a bar examination by any jurisdiction on character and fitness grounds are not eligible for admission by transferred UBE score by rule.

  • For the complete set of rules governing admission by transferred UBE score, please see chapter 31 of the Iowa Court Rules--specifically Rule 31.4.

Further information on the UBE exam may be found at the NCBE website.

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