Thousands of aspiring lawyers are taking the state bar exam, the 12-hour, multiple choice and essay test spread across yesterday and today.

This July, 12,250 candidates signed up to take the exam, including 5,600 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Manhattan's West Side, according to the New York State Board of Law Examiners. The test is also being given in Albany, Buffalo, Saratoga Springs and White Plains.

Last July, 11,734 candidates took the exam statewide, and 85 percent of first-time takers from New York state law schools passed.