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

Office of Academic Affairs | Bar Exam Preparation

 

General Information

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.

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. (New York requires the information, but at a later step in the process.) The questionnaire will request information about where you have lived (specific addresses), where you have gone to school, where you have worked, names of work supervisors, any prior school disciplinary issues or criminal charges, any credit issues and serious health issues. These questionnaires take a substantial amount of time to complete. Please be sure to obtain the forms early in your last year of school and allow sufficient time to obtain the information and complete the form in plenty of time to meet the applicable deadline.

Every state defines “character” and “fitness” to practice law slightly differently, but all are focused on reviewing your background and assessing your candor in the application. It is essential that you provide the Examiners with full disclosure of any prior criminal or disciplinary charges.

Part of the assessment of candor includes confirmation that any such disclosures have also been made to the law school. This is why we remind you of your continuing obligation to notify the school of any criminal or disciplinary issues before you apply to law school and following admission to law school. Each student is asked to confirm that full disclosure has been made upon matriculation to school (LINK: Confirmation of Full Disclosure Form.) Any questions regarding this obligation and disclosure of any new matters should be addressed to Dean Crowley.

We will create a written confirmation of matters disclosed by the student and provide a copy to the student in exactly the form that we will report the information to the Bar Examiners. This will assist you as you prepare your Bar Application. Please advise us promptly if there are any edits or additions necessary to that confirmation memo.


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

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 here).
     
  • 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. The Office of Academic Affairs will automatically produce a final certification. It will be your responsibility to upload it to your bar application. 


Virginia

  • 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 here). 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.


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 certification request form is located hereStudents 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.


Maryland

  • 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.


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.