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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. USC Gould requires applicants for admission to fully disclose responses to the following questions:

  • Have you ever been dropped, suspended, warned, placed on academic or disciplinary probation, disciplined, expelled, or requested or advised to resign from an post-secondary school, college, university, professional school, or law school?
  • Have you ever been arrested or otherwise charged formally or informally with a violation of the law? (You should not provide information about any criminal proceeding which you believe to have been sealed or expunged).
  • Are any charges pending against you?

If the answer to any of the questions is in the affirmative, then a full written explanation must accompany the application. Candor is extremely important and appreciated by the Admissions Committee.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the Board of Bar Examiners of the state(s) in which they intend to practice, in order to secure information regarding the qualifications for admission to the practice of law, including character and fitness requirements, in that jurisdiction. Additional information can be found on website of the National Conference of Bar Examiners. For applicants interested in the practice of law in California, information can be found here or at the State Bar of California website.

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