Director’s Tip-Make Sure Your Law School Behavior Doesn’t Raise Red Flags for Bar Character & Fitness

Recently, legal blogs were buzzing about a law graduate who was denied admission to the Louisiana Bar for the fourth time—in part because she embezzled money while serving as SBA President.  (Read about it here– http://www-source.abajournal.com/news/article/for_a_fourth_time_would-be_lawyer_is_rejected_for_bar_admission_on_moral_ch ). While an extreme example, it highlights something important to know—when you are admitted to a bar, you need folks to vouch for your character & fitness to practice law.

When you apply for admission to a bar, you will need to obtain character & fitness references.  Utah’s form asks your reference not only whether you are dishonest, violate confidences, or engage in the practice of law without being licensed, but also whether you have violated “reasonable rules of conduct in any activity,” failed to exercise self-control (including drugs and excessive use of alcohol), and whether you have shown disregard for ethical or professional responsibilities. You can view Utah’s character & fitness form by clicking here—   Keep these things in mind as you progress in law school.