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Qualifications for Admission to the Bar

In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

Students should be aware that each state sets its own rules for admission to the bar and that these standards vary significantly state to state. For example, certain states require that students register their intent to take the bar in that jurisdiction at the beginning of the legal studies, and others require students to have completed certain courses while in law school. Students are responsible for learning the admission rules in the jurisdiction or jurisdictions in which they intend to practice. A list of links to all state bar examiner's web pages and other information is available.

Students also should be aware that all jurisdictions impose character and fitness requirements, which differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. All students should familiarize themselves with the requirements in any jurisdiction in which they intend to practice. Students also should be aware that many jurisdictions verify bar applications and criminal background checks against disclosures made by students on their application to law school to determine if the student disclosed fully on their law school applications. If the bar authorities discover that a candidate was not candid in the law school admissions process, even if the candidate discloses voluntarily to the bar authorities, this lack of candor may pose a significant obstacle in gaining admission to the bar. Please be sure that you have been completely candid in your application to the law school and contact the senior associate dean of students to determine the process for amending your application if an omission was made.

Matriculated law students are required to report in a timely manner any arrest, written warning, incident in which they are taken into custody, or accused formally or informally of any offense (other than a minor traffic violation for which they received a citation or ticket), regardless of disposition of the matter. Failure to make a timely report to the senior associate dean of students may constitute a violation of the Code of Conduct.

For more information, please review the Student Handbook.