Character & Fitness Requirements

courthouse cornaceIn 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.

The law school application asks questions related to your conduct in the past - academic discipline, criminal charges, and even what may seem like minor traffic violations. These questions are the first step in assessing your character and fitness for the legal profession, and how you respond to them can have important implications not just for your admission to law school, but for your admission to the practice of law.  Applicants should answer all questions on their application for admission completely and accurately. Full and honest disclosure is critical in the law school admission process and later in the licensing process.   

As part of your bar exam application, many states ask that you or your law school submit a copy of your law school application. The State Bar or Board of Law Examiners will compare your answers to its questions with those provided in your law school application. Discrepancies can result in adverse consequences, so it is imperative that the information you provide on your law school application is accurate and complete. If your answers on your law school application are inconsistent with those on your bar exam application, the Board of Law Examiners will likely initiate a more intensive review of your file. Should that occur, you may suffer sanctions, including: revocation of law school admission; delay in certification of fitness; or the Board may determine that you are not fit to practice law, which means you will be unable to sit for the bar exam and, subsequently, practice law. Acceptance by Elon Law does not guarantee certification by any state’s Board of Law Examiners.

Every state has its own process for evaluating the character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the Bar of that state, and we encourage you as an applicant to law school to determine what those requirements are in the state in which you intend to practice. You can find detailed information about requirements in various states in the Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements, published by the National Conference of Bar Examiners, or you can contact the board of law examiners in the jurisdiction where you plan to seek admission to practice.

If you have questions about the character and fitness questions or the Elon Law application for admission generally, please contact the Office of Admissions at 336.279.9200.