FAQ

No. While you do need to wait until you have submitted your Synergy application to send in payment, you should not wait to send in payment until you think all of your documents have been received. The earlier we receive payment the better. Many items, such as letters of recommendation sent directly to the Board and law degree verifications, will never be visible to you, the applicant. Additionally, we do not review applications for missing documents or send notice of such until after payment is received. Once payment is received, applications are reviewed and emails are sent if any items are missing, time permitting. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications and send payment well before the deadline; otherwise, we may not be able to review applications and inform applicants if required documents are missing. Applications are reviewed in the order they are received and paid. Notification is a courtesy. Failure of the Board to notify an applicant of a deficiency does not entitle the Applicant to an extension of time to submit the required documentation.

If you need a copy of the application you submitted to the Board of Law Examiners, first see if it is available online in your Synergy account. You can download the .pdf file and print it yourself.

If you submitted a paper application prior to online copies or need a certified copy, you must submit a written request for a copy of your application with a check for $20.00 for the copy. If your application was submitted more than 5 years ago, you must submit an additional $40.00 for retrieval of your application from Archives. Please note that we can only provide copies of documents you sent to this office directly, such as your application. We do not copy school transcripts, law degree verifications or letters of recommendation. 

Please note that we maintain applications for 10 years; after that, applications are destroyed. If you submitted your application more than ten years ago and need a letter stating that your application has been destroyed, please email a request to BLE.Administrator@tncourts.gov. Please provide us with the your name at the time of the application, if your name has changed in the interim.

 

EXAM Applications: If you have never taken the examination in Tennessee, select the First Time Application even if you previously submitted an application but did not sit for the exam. If you have previously taken the TN Bar exam, select the Re-Exam Application.

WITHOUT EXAM Applications: If you are licensed in another jurisdiction, you may qualify for admission without examination. See information on this site for Comity Admission if you have been in practice for 5 of the last 7 years or Registration of your license if you are working in Tennessee as In-House Counsel

No. We cannot accept payment without a Synergy application. If we receive a check but your Synergy application has not been submitted your application will be returned to you.

Interviews are conducted after the exam. They are typically conducted in March for February exams and August and September for July exams. The BLE office does not schedule interviews; you will be contacted by your interviewer directly. Interviews are assigned based on the county chosen in the exam applications. If you wish the change the county you selected for your interview, you must submit a request in writing by email to BLE.administrator@tncourts.gov no later than ten (10) days after the exam and you must explain why the change is neccessary. Please note that while every effort is made to schedule applicants in their selected counties, we do not always have enough interviewers in each of the 95 Tennessee counties. If the selected county is not available, applicants are typically scheduled in a contiguous county when possible.

Applicants must appear for a personal interview. The preference of the Board is for the interview to be conducted in person. However, in cases of extreme hardship, you may file a written request via email to BLE.administrator@tncourts.gov for a Skype/Facetime or similar video conference interview. The interviewer must agree to the request before your request will be submitted to the Board for consideration.The request must include an explanation as to why the Applicant cannot appear in person at the interview.  Travel requirements alone do not constitute a hardship.

Re-exam Applicants are typically only required to appear for another interview if it has been more than two years since the last interview or there have been significant amendments to the applicantion since the previous interview.

The interview requirement cannot be waived. Applicants will not be eligible for licensing until the interview has been completed. For more info See Board Policies and Procedure P-6.02.

Applicants who are licensed in another jurisdiction and have a pending application for admission by examination or without examination may practice after registration pursuant to Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 7, §§ 5.01(g) or 10.04. For information regarding the process and to access the application for registration, scroll to the bottom of the page for Admission by Examination/First Time or Re-Exam" or  Admission Without Examination/Comity. 

Unless you are working as In-House Counsel in the state of Tennessee and register your active license from another state pursuant to Rule 7, section 10.01, you do not qualify for admission without examination if you have been practicing for fewer than 5 of the last 7 years. Registration as In-House Counsel is not admission but relies on your active license remaining in good standing in another jursidication. In calculating the 5 year time period, activities that were performed pursuant to a provision similar to section 10.04 or section 5.01 (g) of  Rule 7 in advance of bar admission in a state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia do not count as time in practice. If you legal education was received at a non-ABA accredidated school (Nashville School of Law) or educated in a country outside the United States or its territories, you are not eligible for admission without examination.

Any matter, other than matter resolved as a Juvenile, must be disclosed to the Board in your application, even if expunged. See generally  State v. Schindler, 986 S.W.2d 209 (Tenn. 1999), Wright v. Tennessee Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission, 277 S.W.3d 1 (Tenn. 2008). 

To withdraw from an exam, please send an email to BLE.administrator@tncourts.gov indicating that you are withdrawing from the exam. The email must affirmatively state that you are withdrawing from the examination. An email that indicates you are considering withdrawing from the exam will not be considered as a withdrawal from the exam. Emails must be received by July 1st for a July exam and February 1st for a February exam in order to receive a partial refund ($150). Fees cannot be applied to a future exam.
 
Board Polices and Procedures 1 (c):Fees are non-transferable. If an applicant withdraws from an exam prior to the date of the exam, Applicant might be entitled to a partial refund; the balance of the fee is administrative and cannot be applied to future applications for admission, regardless of the type of application.

The passport photo should be saved as a .jpg between 600x600 and 1200x1200  dpi. It should be a 2x2 photo headshot, facing forward against a light colored backdrop. DO NOT SCAN YOUR ACTUAL PASSPORT! If you are scanning a photo to save as a .jpg, please make sure that it is cropped to just the 2x2 headshot.

Please note that a passport photo must be uploaded to each application, including applications for re-exam. If you are submitting a re-exam application you may use the same photo from the last application (providing that it is still representative) but it must be uploaded to the current application.

The TNBLE discourages the use of school email accounts (student@school.edu)  in Synergy as many of these accounts are disabled after graduation. All correspondence from our office, such as exam instructions and bar results, is sent via email to the account you registered in Synergy. If your email is deactivated you will not receive timely information. You cannot change your email address in Synergy; you must request an email address change by contacting the TNBLE at BLE.administrator@tncourts.gov.

The TNBLE is unable to accept credit card payments. Application fees may be paid by check or money order and mailed to the address below or paid in person by check, money order, or cash. Regardless of method of payment, exam fees must be received by closing on the appropriate deadline.

Tennessee Board of Law Examiners
511 Union St., Ste. 525
Nashville, TN 37219
Open M-F, 8-4:30 CT, closed on official State of Tennessee holidays.

Effective January 1, 2016:

Schedules for submitting Applications for Examination (First time or Re-exam) are as follows:

Winter/February Examination: October 1 - December 20

Summer/July Examination: March 1 - May 20

These are the only times during which an exam application may be filed. If your application is not complete and paid in full by the posted deadline, you will not be eligible to sit for the examination. 

The office is unable to offer advisory opinions on eligibility. Please refer to http://www.tncourts.gov/rules/supreme-court/7 for admission requirements.

The Board does not release MBE scores to successful applicants. If you would like to have your score transferred to another state, please contact the NCBE.

Beginning 12/12/2016, applicants may use the NCBE MBE Score Advisory to learn if their score is sufficient for admission solely on the basis of an MBE score in the three jurisdictions that have this method of admission (District of Columbia, Minnesota, and North Dakota). An MBE Score Advisory will not state the examinee's scaled MBE score but will advise if the examinee's score meets or exceeds the scores required by the District of Columbia (133 score required), Minnesota (145 score required), and North Dakota (150 score required) to qualify for admission solely on the basis of an MBE score.

To use the MBE Score Advisory Service, please visit: http://www.ncbex.org/ncbe-exam-score-services/mbe-score-services/

Seating assignments are emailed to applicants two weeks prior to the exam. The office is unable to confirm status before assignments have been emailed.

Laptop fees are paid directly to the software provider during the specified registration period. Do not send the fee to the office with your exam fee. Visit http://www.examsoft.com/tnbar for more info.

No. We only need a transcript from the school you received an undergraduate (bachelor) degree from.

Official transcripts must be received on or before the final deadline. Applicants are encouraged to request their transcripts far in advance as the Board does not have the discretion to waive the deadline. Transcripts must be sent directly to the Board of Law Examiners. Electronic or faxed copies of transcripts will not be accepted.

Your Law Degree Verification Form must be turned in on or before the final deadline. The Board does not have the discretion to make an exception.  If your grades will not be finalized in time, your school should complete the form stating that you are on track to graduate, and then will be required to submit the Late Confirmation of Degree Form (page 4 of the Law Degree Verification) on or before the Friday immediately preceding the exam or the Applicant will not be eligible to sit for the examination.

Certificates must be received on or before the final deadline. Applicants are encouraged to send the form to their schools far in advance as the Board does not have the discretion to waive the deadline.

All documents must be in .pdf form. Other formats such as .doc or .jpg (with the exception of your passport photo) do not upload correctly.

For applicants that are admitted in other jurisdictions, the Board requires a certificate of good standing with disciplinary history from the court of highest authority (not the state bar) in all states where admitted, regardless of active or inactive status.

There is no specific form for letters of recommendation. At minimum, the letters must be signed and dated, state the applicant name, the relationship of the author to the applicant, and whether or not the author recommends the applicant to the bar.  The letters can be sent to the applicant and uploaded to the online application as a .pdf file or mailed directly to the BLE. Letters that are sent directly to the BLE are considered confidential and are not visible to applicants on Synergy.

It is advisable to dress in layers as temperature affects everyone differently and it is cool in the testing rooms. Caps, hats, or hoods, including hooded sweatshirts, jackets or shirts, are not allowed. Please contact the TBLE prior to the exam if head coverings are worn for religious observance.

If there is a medical need, please file for accommodations as soon as possible using the application for non- standard testing in Synergy. Non-medicated eye drops in a clear bottle with the label removed may be left on your table; otherwise you must file an application for accommodation using the application in Synergy.

A sack lunch can be brought to the site but must be left in the designated area during testing; it may not remain at your exam table. You must leave the exam room during lunch. You are permitted to have unwrapped hard candy or hard mints at your table (See below FAQ). If you have a medical need for additional food at your exam table, you need to file for accommodations using the application for non-standard testing in Synergy.

Water stations are provided in the exam room. You may not bring anything to drink in the room with you. Water must be consumed at the water station and may not be taken back to your seat.

Yes, up to two tissues may be kept at the exam table but must be out of the package and placed on table prior to start of exam. It is also okay to go to the restroom during the test by following the correct guidelines given by the proctor during the instruction period.

Hard mints, cough drops or hard candy are permitted, if unpackaged/unwrapped and placed on the exam table prior to the start of the exam. Gum, soft candies or chocolates are not permitted.

No clocks or watches of any kind. There will be a clock provided in the room visible to all.

No. We will provide pens and pencils. No outside writing instruments will be permitted. Scratch paper has been incorporated into the exam question books. There will be several pencil sharpeners available throughout the exam room. White out, liquid or tape, and erasers, other than those attached to pencils provided at the exam site, are not permitted.