The Catholic University of America
Bar Exam Preparation: Bar Exam Application Process

Office of Academic Affairs | Bar Exam Preparation


General Information

We are happy to assist students with information and forms for all jurisdictions. The majority of our students sit in Maryland, Virginia, New York, or District of Columbia, so we summarize information regarding those jurisdictions below. If you have additional questions, please check the official web site of the bar examiners in your jurisdiction and contact us with any questions. The bar application process for many states is quite lengthy and time-consuming. Please start early to ensure you have enough time to complete the process.

Character & Fitness

Every jurisdiction conducts a Character and Fitness Evaluation of every applicant. In most jurisdictions, students will complete a lengthy Character and Fitness questionnaire as part of the application process. See the Character & Fitness tab of this guide for more information.


Bar Exam Application Information: MD, VA, DC, NY


  • Maryland Board of Law Examiners
  • MD Guidance for Certification of Pre-Legal Education

    • The Maryland application is lengthy. Start early to ensure you have plenty of time to obtain the required information.
    • The law school does not complete the Maryland “Pre-Legal Education Form” – you must submit this form to your undergraduate school if you are using it. See the pre-legal education link above.
    • The Maryland application does not require you to submit any forms to the law school for completion. You submit the entire package, including the completed Pre-Legal Education form, to the bar examiners. The Bar Examiners will send us the form certifying your graduation from law school.
    • Maryland does require that you, the applicant, have a transcript sent directly from the university registrar to the Bar Examiners confirming your graduation from law school. See the link in the box on the right for instructions.


  • Virginia Board of Bar Examiners
  • VA Fingerprint Card Request

    • The Virginia application is lengthy. Start early to ensure you have plenty of time to obtain the required information.
    • The July bar exam is given in Roanoke, VA. You should make hotel reservations in Roanoke not later than Fall of your final year of law school.
    • Virginia requires that applicants provide two letters from the Law School. If you are applying to Virginia, please request your first letter using the Bar Certification Request Form (located in the box on the right). Please request Virginia Bar letters no later than March 1 of your final year of law school, so that we can process these letters before the end of semester rush.

      • The first letter states that you are currently enrolled and expected to graduate in May. This letter is provided directly to you and must be enclosed in your application packet.
      • The second letter states that you graduated. We automatically generate this second letter right after graduation for every student who has requested the first Virginia letter. The graduation letters are mailed by us directly to the Bar Examiners.

District of Columbia

  • District of Columbia Committee on Admissions
  • A completed Certificate A form (available at the DC Committee on Admissions website) is required with your DC bar application. Please request completion of this form using the Bar Certification Request Form (located in the box on the right).
  • Students who submit their DC bar application prior to graduation must submit another Certificate A form to the DC Committee on Admissions, confirming the award date of their degree. Please request completion of this second form using the Bar Certification Request Form. Academic Affairs will not automatically submit the second form.

New York

  • New York State Board of Law Examiners
  • Instructions for Juris Doctor Applicants for Completion of Questions on Bar Exam Application
  • New York Pro Bono Bar Admission Requirements

    • The rules in New York can be particularly confusing, so allow yourself enough time to ensure that you understand them.
    • New York requires a relatively simple application in advance of the exam. The Character and Fitness questions (the lengthy portion of the application) are completed after the exam in New York.
    • You will need to complete a handwriting sample, which you can do by writing the sample text in front of one of the Academic Affairs staff members. We do not compare previously written text to your file – we must see you actually write the sample to sign the confirmation.
    • You will also complete a Certificate of Attendance (summary of your coursework in law school) and submit the completed form to Academic Affairs for verification. The instructions for this form are located at the link above. Students are often confused by this form and we are then required to correct entries on the form. This delays the process. Please carefully review the questions, particularly those regarding the counting of externship credits. The classroom component is added to the number of fieldwork credits. We must submit the completed forms to New York no later than February 1 for the February exam and June 15 for the July exam. Please submit your completed form to Academic Affairs as soon as possible, preferably prior to graduation.
    • All applicants for admission after January 1, 2015 must file documentation that they have completed 50 hours of qualifying pro bono work. Questions regarding the pro bono requirement should be addressed to Jen Tschirch, the Law School's Pro Bono Coordinator. For more information, click the pro bono link above.
    • Effective with the July 2014 bar exam, the Board will no longer test UCC Article 3 – Negotiable Instruments – on the New York portion of the bar exam. Effective with the February 2015 exam, Administrative Law will be added.
    • Effective July 2016, New York will require the UBE. Applicants will also be required to complete an online course on New York law and take and pass an online examination on New York law, as a requirement for admission.

Other Jurisdictions


Forms & Transcripts

Bar Certification Request Form
Please use this form to request a letter of certification. The Office of Academic Affairs requires 5-7 business days to process all bar certification requests. We are unable to provide same day or emergency service, so please plan accordingly.

CUA Law Transcripts - How to Request
A number of jurisdictions require that applicants submit final transcripts showing that the degree has been granted. The Law School does not process transcript requests. You must submit a request to CUA's Office of Enrollment Services. Please remember that if you need to submit a final transcript showing the degree, you must specify that you want your request held until the degree is posted.