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Policies and Procedures

Below is a list of all the topics on which you can find information on policies and procedures. The Policies and Procedures page is in the process of being updated. For questions about information not contained below, contact the Dean of Students Office at lawdos@umn.edu.

 

Bar Application & Certification

Admission requirements for the bar vary by state, and students are urged to research the requirements, timelines, and standards for the bar(s) of the state(s) in which they intend to apply at least six months in advance of the scheduled exam date. For a comprehensive guide to the bar application process from the National Conference of Bar Examiners, consult: http://www.ncbex.org/comprehensive-guide-to-bar-admissions/ . For a list of links to bar admissions offices in all 50 states, go to: www.ncbex.org/bar-admissions/offices/. For information about application to the Minnesota bar, see: http://www.ble.state.mn.us/

 

Bar Certification

See Academic Rule 2, 3, 4, & 5

State bars require that the Law School certify applicants as having met all Juris Doctor degree requirements in order to sit for the bar exam. The Law School Registrar’s Office tracks the deadlines and certification requirements for each state to which graduates intend to apply, and keeps detailed lists of certifications by state and by student. State bar certification forms are tracked by the Registrar’s Office based on students’ Graduation Assessment forms. Typically, students must submit the bar certification form to the Registrar’s Office. Certifications are forwarded to the Dean or Dean’s delegate for signature, and then submitted directly to the bar examiners in each state. Students intending to apply for the bar outside of Minnesota should submit the appropriate state bar certification form to the Registrar’s Office at least one month prior to the certification deadline. The Registrar’s Office carefully tracks the bar certification deadlines for each state bar in order to ensure that completed certifications are received in a timely fashion. For questions about your specific certification, contact the Registrar’s Office at lawreg@umn.edu.

If a bar applicant has not completed ALL Juris Doctor degree requirements, the Law School cannot forward a bar certification, and the applicant may not be able to sit for the bar exam. Students with incomplete coursework are responsible for finishing all required assignments, and for following up with the faculty member and Registrar’s Office to ensure a grade is entered.

Character and Fitness

The Character and Fitness evaluation process is a critical part of bar admission in most states, and students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the expectations for practice early in their law school careers. The Character and Fitness standards for admission to the Minnesota Bar are provided at http://www.ble.state.mn.us/character-and-fitness/. Various programming and information is offered to familiarize students with the Character and Fitness evaluation process. For admissions standards in other states, consult the applicable state bar admissions website. The National Conference of Bar Examiners also has information on Character and Fitness at http://www.ncbex.org/character-and-fitness/.

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 a student’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. Students seeking to amend their law school application should consult the Dean of Students Office at lawdos@umn.edu.

Other bar admission questions and concerns of a confidential nature may also be addressed to the Assistant Dean of Students. Students are especially encouraged to meet with the Assistant Dean of Students 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 Minnesota, 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.