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.

In New York State, character and fitness requirements and screening are the jurisdiction of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the Department of your residence at the time you apply for admission. To learn more about New York State's character and fitness requirements and process, visit the website of the New York State Board of Law Examiners.


Additional Resources

Bar Admission Requirements (Spring 2016) <pptx>
UBE/NYLE/MPRE Frequently Asked Questions <pdf>

National Conference of Bar Examiners (ncbex.org)

  • Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements
    • See "Chart II," pp. 4-7, which covers requirements regarding character and fitness determinations.
    • See section on "Moral Character and Fitness" (pp. vii - ix) which includes examples of issues that might be cause for further inquiry before the bar examining authority decides whether the applicant possesses the character and fitness to practice law.
  • Character and Fitness

Bar Admissions (americanbar.org)