(a) Appointment. There is a State Board of Law Examiners. The Board shall consist of seven members appointed by the Court. Each member shall have been admitted to practice law in Maryland. The terms of members shall be as provided in Code, Business Occupations and Professions Article, § 10-202 (c).

(b) Quorum. A majority of the authorized membership of the Board is a quorum.

(c) Authority.

(1) Generally. The Board shall exercise the authority and perform the duties assigned to it by the Rules in this Chapter and Chapter 200 of this Title, including general supervision over the character and fitness requirements and procedures set forth in those Rules and the operations of the character committees.

(2) Adoption of Rules. The Board may adopt rules to carry out the requirements of this Chapter and Chapter 200 of this Title. The Rules of the Board shall follow Chapter 200 of Title 19.

(d) Amendment of Board Rules--Posting. Any amendment of the Board's rules shall be posted on the Judiciary website at least 45 days before the examination at which it is to become effective, except that an amendment that substantially increases the area of subject-matter knowledge required for any examination shall be posted at least one year before the examination.

(e) Professional Assistants. The Board may appoint the professional assistants necessary for the proper conduct of its business. Each professional assistant shall be an attorney admitted by the Court of Appeals and shall serve at the pleasure of the Board.

Committee note: Professional assistants primarily assist in writing and grading the bar examination. Section (e) does not apply to the secretary or administrative staff.

(f) Compensation of Board Members and Assistants. The members of the Board and assistants shall receive the compensation fixed by the Court.

(g) Secretary to the Board. The Court may appoint a secretary to the Board, to hold office at the pleasure of the Court. The secretary shall have the administrative powers and duties prescribed by the Board and shall serve as the administrative director of the Office of the State Board of Law Examiners.

(h) Fees. The Board shall prescribe the fees, subject to approval by the Court, to be paid by applicants under Rules 19-202, 19-204, and 19-208 and by petitioners under Rule 19-213.

Cross reference: See Code, Business Occupations and Professions Article, § 10-208 (b) for maximum examination fee allowed by law.

When the Board of Law Examiners or a Character Committee questions your character and fitness for bar admission, bar applicants should retain an attorney to assist in disclosing information relevant to character and fitness, to guide them through the bar admissions process, and to represent applicants in hearings before the Character Committee, Board of Law Examiners and Court of Appeals of Maryland to determine whether they are fit to practice law. Character and fitness concerns may arise in connection with prior criminal convictions, academic dishonesty and honor code violations, addictions, drunk driving, neglected debts, and a failure to disclose material information on law school applications or on bar applications. If you have a history of misconduct, traffic citations, crimes, arrests and other facts to disclose in response to the character portion of the Maryland Bar Application, you should strongly consider retaining bar admissions counsel if you want to avoid denial of a law license and be granted a license to practice law. This is even true for applicants for admission to law schools as these applications ask similar questions about character. A failure to disclose facts material to your admission could result in a denial of bar admission.

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