|First attorney admitted to the Iowa Bar by UBE|
Meredith Cooney, who took the Uniform Bar Exam in the State of Washington, is officially the first person to be admitted to the Iowa Bar by a transferred UBE score. She filed her application just days after the Supreme Court opened the transfer admissions process Dec.1, 2015, and was sworn in Dec. 29, 2015.
The Iowa Supreme Court announced last year that the Iowa Bar Examination would consist of the UBE prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners. The UBE consists of a multiple choice portion, six essay questions, and two performance tests. The first UBE will be given in February 2016, but giving the test is only one aspect of the UBE’s impact.
"Certainly the primary benefit of the UBE is enabling applicants who take the examination here to obtain a portable bar exam score they can take to other participating states and seek admission without having to take another bar examination,” said Dave Ewert of the Office of Professional Regulation. "This benefit not only improves job opportunities and lowers costs for beginning lawyers, but it also gives firms the ability to expand their reach by having young lawyers licensed in multiple jurisdictions.”
The UBE also allows firms to more quickly bring in new attorneys who have achieved a UBE score in another state that meets Iowa’s passing score. The applicants just have to pass the character and fitness process and meet any other conditions of admission.
"I am thrilled to return to my home state and look forward to practicing law in Iowa,” said Cooney. "I am so glad I was able to utilize the UBE score transfer process to do so. Obtaining my license via UBE score transfer was quick, efficient, and allowed me to return to Iowa without the stress of studying and sitting for another bar exam. A process that would typically take several months took only a few weeks. The UBE recognizes that we are living in an increasingly mobile society and provides a way for attorneys to start practicing in their new jurisdiction in far less time than before. I am confident Iowa's adoption of the UBE will attract talented attorneys from other UBE jurisdictions and strengthen the caliber of our bar, and I am so proud to be its newest member.”
"Cooney will no doubt be a welcome addition to the Iowa bar, and UBE should be a boon to Iowa for years to come,” said Ewert.