Published on January 2, 2024

Professor Jon J. Lee Appointed Distinguished Scholar in Residence at NCBE

Press Release

MADISON, WISCONSIN, January 2, 2024—The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) announced today that Professor Jon J. Lee has been appointed Distinguished Scholar in Residence at NCBE. Professor Lee will contribute his expertise to a wide variety of initiatives at NCBE, including the development of the NextGen bar exam, drawing on his many years of experience as a legal educator and scholar. Professor Lee was a member of the Content Scope Committee that developed the NextGen test content specifications, and he currently serves as a member of the Item Set Drafting Committee and Tasks and Rubrics Advisory Committee for the new exam.

Currently an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Maine School of Law, Professor Lee is a recognized leading scholar in the fields of intellectual property law and legal ethics. His most recent article on private lawyer sanctions was awarded the 2024 Fred C. Zacharias Memorial Prize for Scholarship in Professional Responsibility. Professor Lee likewise is renowned for his teaching excellence. He has taught courses across a number of areas, including property, torts, contracts, evidence, professional responsibility, intellectual property, and legal research and writing. He previously served as a faculty member at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, the University of Minnesota Law School, and the University of North Carolina School of Law, and is the recipient of multiple teaching awards. 

Professor Lee has also served in several senior leadership roles and has been heavily involved in academic support and bar examination success. While serving as the Assistant Dean for Academic Excellence at the UNC School of Law, he expanded the law school’s nationally recognized preorientation program, designed the school’s comprehensive bar support program, and worked individually with hundreds of students to prepare for their licensure exams.

In addition to his service with NCBE, Professor Lee currently serves as Treasurer for the Association of American Law Schools Professional Responsibility Section and on the Law School Admission Council’s Emerging Markets Committee. He is an American Bar Foundation Fellow. Professor Lee holds a JD from the University of North Carolina School of Law. 

“I’m humbled that NCBE has asked me to take on this new role,” said Professor Lee. “With the upcoming major shift for the bar exam, this is an exciting time at NCBE and an invigorating moment to work collaboratively to ensure that newly licensed attorneys possess the knowledge and client-centered lawyering skills needed to competently and ethically practice.” 

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About the National Conference of Bar Examiners

The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, is a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1931. NCBE promotes fairness, integrity, and best practices in bar admissions for the benefit and protection of the public, in pursuit of its vision of a competent, ethical, and diverse legal profession. Best known for developing bar exam content used by 54 US jurisdictions, NCBE serves admission authorities, courts, the legal education community, and candidates by providing high-quality assessment products, services, and research; character investigations; and informational and educational resources and programs. In 2026, NCBE will launch the next generation of the bar examination, ensuring that the exam continues to test the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for competent entry-level legal practice in a changing profession. For more information, visit the NCBE website at

About the Next Generation of the Bar Exam 

Set to debut in July 2026, the NextGen bar exam will test a broad range of foundational lawyering skills, utilizing a focused set of clearly identified fundamental legal concepts and principles needed in today’s practice of law. The skills and concepts to be tested were developed through a multi-year, nationwide legal practice analysis, focused on the most important knowledge and skills for newly licensed lawyers. Designed to balance the skills and knowledge needed in litigation and transactional legal practice, the exam will reflect many of the key changes that law schools are making today. NCBE is committed to ensuring a systematic, transparent, and collaborative implementation process, informed by input from and participation by stakeholders, and guided by best practices and the professional standards for high-stakes testing. For more information, visit or