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Everything Law Students Need to Know about the Bar Exam Character and Fitness Requirement

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Summary: Passing the bar exam is a difficult task, but what some people don’t consider is what happens next. After proving their competence by passing a series of tests about their knowledge, candidates are then evaluated on their character.
 
Everything Law Students Need to know about the Bar Exam Character and Fitness Requirement
 
  • Everyone remotely connected with the law school or the practice of law is familiar with the bar exam.
  • But there is one component of the exam that is often not mentioned in this long arduous test.
  • That is the character and fitness requirement, which examines a person’s character to practice law.
  • Keep reading to find out what the character and fitness requirement of the bar exam is and how it can affect your overall bar exam results.
 
Passing the bar exam is a difficult task, but what some people don’t consider is what happens next. After proving their competence by passing a series of tests about their knowledge, candidates are then evaluated on their character. While many make it past this hurdle, some fail; but could that failure have been prevented?
 
In most circumstances, yes, it could have.
 
Bar examiners know that there is a chance that aspiring attorneys have had lapses in judgment, ranging from being suspended from school to something more serious like serving time in prison. For any wannabe attorney who has less than a squeaky-clean background, the way to pass the character and fitness requirement is to show that those actions are in the past and that they have made moves to change. And these efforts need to be done before and during law school, not after.
 
What is the character and fitness requirements of the bar exam?
For anyone wanting to be a lawyer, they must pass the bar in whatever state they seek to practice in. While requirements for a license vary state-to-state, all jurisdictions require some sort of character and fitness component.
 
The character and fitness requirement is a background check that shows bar examiners you have the good moral character to practice law. According to ABA Journal, this process includes a lengthy questionnaire that asks candidates to reveal detailed personal information from their past. “They’re asked to disclose any arrests, academic misconduct charges, job losses, traffic tickets, bankruptcies and in some cases mental health histories.”
 

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