Online training to be required for new attorneys

The Michigan Board of Law Examiners (BLE) has unveiled the new Michigan Law Basics online training requirement for all UBE transfer score applicants and bar applicants starting next February, when the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) is administered for the first time in Michigan. 

All bar applicants and UBE transfer score applicants must successfully complete this Michigan-specific training prior to licensure in Michigan.

“Newly-admitted Michigan attorneys should be familiar with basic Michigan law,” said Michigan Supreme Court Justice Brian K. Zahra, MSC liaison to the BLE. “The BLE has tested Michigan law for over a century. This training maintains a Michigan component after transition to the UBE.”

The BLE is working with the Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE), the education provider of the State Bar of Michigan, to provide the Michigan specific interactive online training to prospective members of the Michigan Bar. ICLE has more than 50 years of experience helping Michigan lawyers to successfully master core Michigan practice areas and meeting the needs of their clients.

“We are excited and honored to partner with the BLE on creating this important training, and are confident that applicants will walk away better prepared to serve their Michigan clients,” said ICLE Executive Director David Watson.

Highlights of the Michigan Law Basics online training component include:

• The BLE will require education on areas of Michigan law that new lawyers are most likely to encounter in their early years of practice. These areas of law were identified through robust research that included analysis of State Bar data, survey statistics, and extensive conversations with experienced practitioners across the state.

• The training will consist of engaging video-based guidance, demonstrations and expert overview for six practice areas: Civil Litigation; Criminal Law; Family Law; Probate and Estate Planning; Real Property; and Torts and No-Fault.

• Applicants are not graded on the training but are required to correctly answer the questions in each lesson.

• After successful completion of all modules, applicants will receive a certificate of completion for transmittal to the BLE.

Additional UBE information and information regarding the Michigan Law Basics training will be provided online in August and will be updated periodically. Applicants are expected to regularly visit the BLE website for updates.

The UBE, a nationally administered bar examination, tests knowledge of general principles of law, legal and factual analysis, reasoning, and communication skills to determine readiness to enter legal practice in any jurisdiction. 

Among other duties, the BLE will grade the written portions of the exam and determine the passing score.

By order issued October 13, 2021, as amended on December 15, 2021, the Michigan Supreme Court directed that the bar examination to be given in Michigan is the UBE as prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners. 

In addition, the Michigan Legislature passed HB 5541, which provided that the Michigan Bar Examination would consist of the UBE. 

Last April, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that bill into law , allowing for the first administration in Michigan to be in February 2023. 

More information regarding  the bar exam and the BLE is available at www.courts.michigan.gov/administration/committees-boards/board-of-law-examiners.


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