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Academic Support and Bar Preparation: First Steps

Register With Your State Bar

First, look up the admission requirements and registration timelines for your jurisdiction.  Find out what certifications, character investigations, personal interviews, or other licensing requirements you must satisfy.  The Florida Board of Bar Examiners requires applicants to be fingerprinted electronically, whether or not you're in Florida.  

  • Find out whether you'll be required to pay fees by credit card or check.  If your state uses an on-line applicant system, create your account as soon as possible.
  • Find out if your state has reciprocity, or admission on motion, with any other jurisdiction or if it permits admission only by attorney exam - see Chart 12 on page 43 of the Comprehensive Guide to Bar Exam Requirements.

Second, search for any checklists, FAQs and forms.  These will save time and help you organize your admissions process.  Virginia has a good interactive FAQ web page: Virginia Board of Bar Examiners, FAQ and Answers. Louisiana also offers a good checklist, designed to be printed: Louisiana Supreme Court Committee on Bar Admissions, First Time Applicant Instructions.

Third, carefully note all the filing deadlines.  Missing a bar application deadline is a costly error.  Some deadlines are several months prior to the bar exam.  

  • Don't forget about other filing deadlines that may affect you, such as the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE), the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), Multistate Essay Examination (MEE) or the Multistate Performance Test (MPT).

Fourth, remember that you'll have to rely on others to provide some of the information, so factor extra time into your own deadlines.  To sit for a July bar exam in Georgia, the filing deadline for the bar exam application is the first week in June.  However, the deadline for filing the certification of fitness application is the first week in December.  Georgia will accept late filings through the first week of March for the fitness application, but a significant late fee is charged, in addition to the regular fitness filing fee.

Bar Certification Requests

Request For Certification
Requests for School of Law certifications are processed by the Office of Academic Affairs: The Office of Academic Affairs typically completes bar certification requests within five (5) business days after the date that the Office receives the written Certification Request Form.

The School of Law does not certify college/pre-legal education.  College/pre-legal education certifications must be obtained from the institution that you attended.

Bar Loan Information

A number of private lending institutions provide loans to cover the cost of a commercial bar preparation course and living expenses during the period immediately after graduation.  Approval for these loans is usually based upon your credit-worthiness.

Bar exam loan applications must be certified by the Office of Financial Aid.  The lending institution mails the checks directly to the individual graduating students.  Application should be made prior to graduation.  There may be some lenders that will accept applications after graduation.

For more information about obtaining a bar loan, you should contact your current educational lender or conduct a web search to identify bar loan providers.




© Howard University School of Law Library. Requests to republish or adapt this guide should be directed to Carmel Henry-Smith.

Updated: January 2023.