Bar – Character and Fitness Evaluation Process

The Character and Fitness evaluation process is a critical part of bar admission.  Prospective law students should carefully review the character and fitness requirements for the state in which they intend to practice. A directory of state bar examiners can be located here: http://www.ncbex.org/.

Student records, including law school applications, may be reviewed by the Board of Law Examiners as part of the Character and Fitness evaluation process. Inconsistencies between the information disclosed on one’s law school application and his or her bar application may subject the applicant to further scrutiny, and require an amendment to his or her law school application. According to the Boyd School of Law Student Honor Code, students who have disciplinary or criminal problems that occur during the application process or after they begin law school have a continuous obligation to bring such problems to the attention of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

Once admitted to Boyd, individuals may direct other bar admission questions and concerns of a confidential nature to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs or directly to the bar authority in the state where the student expects to practice. Students are especially encouraged to seek consultation early in their law school career if they have a history of alcohol or chemical dependency, criminal matters, academic misconduct, significant mental health impairments, or other concerns that may relate to the ability to meet requirements of practice. Students should note that no single condition or incident will automatically prevent admission to the bar; rather, bar examiners encourage students to directly address and treat any condition that may lead to a conduct concern or impair an individual's ability to comply with practice standards. Some states, including Nevada, have also introduced a Conditional Admissions process, which allows a bar applicant with recent impairments to be admitted to practice under certain conditions and supervision. Evidence of current fitness and rehabilitation from past impairments are often important considerations in the Character and Fitness evaluation process. Therefore, seeking appropriate support or treatment is strongly encouraged.

For information regarding the rules regulating the practice of law in Nevada, please visit the Nevada Bar website here: https://www.nvbar.org/sites/default/files/2013%20Rulebook%20-%20Complete.pdf.  The following is a sample of a Nevada Bar character and fitness question asked in recent years:

Have you ever been arrested, cited, indicted or tried for or convicted of any criminal charges including juvenile matters or moving traffic violations? If yes, for each such charge, including moving traffic violations(s), (regardless of the disposition of the charge), attach a statement specifying in detail; (a) the date the charge was made; (b) a description of the charge; (c) the name, address and telephone number of each person or entity initiating or bringing the charge; (d) the name, address and telephone number of each attorney you retained to assist you in defending the charge, if any; (e) the reason why the charges were brought against you; and (f) the disposition of the charge. Additionally, for each such charge (with the exception of minor traffic violations not involving drugs or alcohol) you must attach copies of the docket sheet(s) the charging documents (i.e. criminal information of indictment, police records, etc…) as well as the judgment of conviction, the presentence investigation report (if applicable) and any other relevant pleadings.