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Bar Admissions

Rule Amendments Regarding the Uniform Bar Examination

Beginning in February 2017, South Carolina will use the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners.  To implement this change, the Court has filed an order amending Rule 402 of the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules. 

As indicated by the amended rule, a UBE score of 266 or higher will be required for admission in South Carolina.  Further, applications seeking admission based on an existing UBE score from another jurisdiction will not be accepted until May 1, 2017. 

In place of the Bridge the Gap Program which is currently required for admission, the amended rule requires applicants to successfully complete a Course of Study on South Carolina Law.  This Course of Study will be an on-line course that can be completed in less than 8 hours.  The South Carolina Board of Law Examiners is currently developing this Course of Study, and it is anticipated that this Course of Study will be available by January 1, 2017, at the latest.

Persons desiring to take the February 2017 or later bar examination in South Carolina should carefully review the amended rule to determine the filing deadlines and other requirements.

As indicated by the order, these amendments have no impact on the July 2016 South Carolina Bar Examination.  Instead, the version of Rule 402 prior to these amendments continues to govern all aspects of admission based on South Carolina Bar Examinations conducted prior to February 2017.

Announcement Concerning Computer-Based Testing for July 2016 Bar Examination

Applicants interested in using laptops to complete their answers to the essay sections of the July 2016 South Carolina Bar Examination must complete and return the attached "Request to Participate" form by Friday, June 10, 2016.

Results of the February 2016 Bar Examination
and Swearing-In Ceremony

The results of the February 2016 Bar Examination were posted on this page at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 22, 2016. Additionally, a letter notifying each bar applicant of the results will be mailed on Friday, April 22, 2016. Telephonic requests for information about these results will not be accepted until 9:00 a.m. on Monday, April 25, 2016.

The swearing-in ceremony for applicants who have passed the examination and have completed all other requirements for admission will be held at the Koger Center for the Arts in Columbia, South Carolina, on Monday, May 23, 2016, beginning at 2:30 p.m. Applicants who are eligible to be sworn-in during this ceremony will receive detailed instructions regarding this ceremony in the letter notifying them of the results of the bar examination.

You must have Adobe Reader installed to view the results. A free download is available at

South Carolina Bar Application

A downloadable Word version of the South Carolina Bar Application is now available for applicants seeking to take the South Carolina Bar Examination. The file is password protected, but if you have Word 2000, you can open the file, fill in the blanks, and save it using a new filename. It is important to use the "Tab" key to navigate between the fields and not the "Enter" key. Once completed, the application must be printed, signed and mailed to the Bar Admissions Office along with all supporting documentation.

Bar Application in Word Format (February 2016 Use Only)

Supplemental Application (February 2016 Use Only)

Bar Application in Word 2000 Format (July 2016 Use Only)

Supplemental Application (July 2016 Use Only)

Amendment to Application in PDF

Amendment - Change of Address Form in PDF

Character Affidavit (Word)

Law School Verification (Word)

*If you are uncertain about which application to file,
please contact the Office of Bar Admissions

The Court will provide applicants who fail the bar examination with a short period of time in which to file a Supplemental Application and pay the applicable filing fee for the examination immediately following the failed examination. The letter stating the applicant's results will provide the filing deadline for submission of the Supplemental Application and filing fee.

General Information

The Bar Admissions Office is responsible for processing applications to be admitted to practice law in South Carolina to include supervising the administration of the South Carolina Bar Examination. Additionally, it provides administrative support for the Board of Law Examiners and the Committee on Character and Fitness.

Except for certain law professors and applicants for limited certificates to practice law, all applicants for admission must take and pass the South Carolina Bar Examination. Further, only persons who have received a JD or LLB degree from law school which was approved by the Council of Legal Education of the American Bar Association at the time the degree was conferred are eligible to sit for the Bar Examination.

The South Carolina Bar Examination is given twice a year on the last consecutive Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in February and July. On Monday and Tuesday, applicants must answer essay questions prepared by the Board of Law Examiners. These questions are given in 6 sections with each section lasting two hours. An applicant must receive a score of 70 out of 100 points to pass an essay section. On Wednesday, applicants complete the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners. The examination involves two examination periods of 3 hours, each containing100 multiple choice questions. The MBE counts as one section of the Bar Examination and an applicant must receive a scaled score of 125 or higher to pass this section. To pass the Bar Examination, an applicant must receive a passing score on at least six of the seven sections. Beginning with the July 2002 Bar Examination, an applicant who receives a scaled score of 110 or less on the Mutistate Bar Examination will fail the entire Bar Examination without any grading of the essay sections.

The filing period for the July Examination is December 1 until January 31, and the filing period for the February Examination is August 1 until September 30. The application fee varies as shown below:

July Applications Filed Between: February Applications Filed Between: Filing Fee
December 1 to January 10 August 1 to August 31 $700
January 11 to January 31 September 1 to September 30 $1,050

Additionally, an applicant who has been admitted in another state or the District of Columbia for one year or more must file one (1) additional copy of the application along with an additional fee of $800. A portion of this fee will be used to obtain a character report from the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

Rule 402 of the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules (SCACR) contains additional information about the requirements for admission in South Carolina.

In addition to regular admissions, the Bar Admissions Office processes applications for limited certificates to practice law in South Carolina. Additional information on these limited certificates to practice law is contained in Rules 405 (corporate or business counsel), 414 (clinical law program teachers), 415 (retired attorney pro bono participation program), and 427 (judge advocates).  The Bar Admissions Office also processes applications for foreign legal consultants.  Information on foreign legal consultants is contained in Rule 424.

Rule 403, SCACR, establishes trial experiences which must be completed before a lawyer may appear alone in any matter pending before a court in South Carolina. The certificate (Word version/Acrobat version) or affidavit showing compliance with this rule should be submitted in duplicate to the Bar Admissions Office.

For information about the Bridge the Gap Program, to include an application form for that Program, please go to the South Carolina Bar Website, and click on the link CLE. On the CLE page, there is a link to material about the Bridge the Gap Program.

For information about the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE), including registration, fees and test dates, please go to the National Conference of Bar Examiners Website,

Office Location:
Supreme Court Building
1231 Gervais Street
Columbia, SC 29201

Office Hours:
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Excluding state holidays

Mailing Address:
Office of Bar Admissions
Supreme Court of South Carolina
P.O. Box 11330
Columbia, SC 29211


Voice: (803) 734-1080 *
FAX: (803) 734-0394
TTY: (803) 734-6365

* The Office of Bar Admissions accepts telephone calls between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.