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Academic Support and Bar Preparation: Bar Basics

Introduction to the 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.

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.