Character and Fitness Overview

Before issuing a certificate for admission to the bar to an applicant, the Board of Law Examiners will conduct an investigation of and make a determination about the character and fitness of the applicant for the bar. The primary purpose of the character and fitness screening is to protect the public.

An applicant must file a complete application and provide background information that will aid the Board in its investigation. The burden of proof is on the applicant to demonstrate he/she has the character and fitness required for admission. For involvement in any incidents or any prior conduct incompatible with that expected of an attorney, an applicant must provide a detailed explanation and documentation. To verify the accuracy of the information on the application, or to obtain additional information, the Board may contact an applicant's employers, colleges and law schools, courts, medical providers, police agencies, credit agencies, and other sources.

For a bar exam application, the Board staff makes a determination on character and fitness after the applicant passes the bar exam. The character and fitness review process can take from a few weeks to more than one year depending on the nature of the investigation, the issues involved, response to requests for additional information, cooperation from outside sources, and other factors.

For any unanswered questions, additional information, or details on where to send supplemental information, applicants should consult the contact information for the Board office.