(a) Who May File. An individual who meets the requirements of Rule 19-201(a)(1) may commence an application for admission to the Bar of this State by filing with the Board a completed Character Questionnaire and the prescribed fee.

Cross reference: See Rule 19-206 (Notice of Intent to Take the UBE in Maryland) and Rule 19-207 (Notice of Intent to Transfer a Qualifying UBE Score). 

(b) Form of Questionnaire.

(1) Generally, The character questionnaire shall be on a form prescribed by the Board and shall be answered under oath. The questionnaire shall elicit the information the Board considers appropriate concerning the applicant's character, education, and eligibility to become an applicant and

(A) require the applicant to provide the applicant's Social Security number, and

(B) include an authorization to release confidential information pertaining to the applicant's character and fitness for the practice of law to a Character Committee, the Board, and the Court.

(2) Pre-legal education. The character questionnaire shall be accompanied by satisfactory evidence that the applicant meets the pre­-legal education requirements of Rule 19-201 (a)(1).

(c) Time for Filing. The character questionnaire shall be filed prior to or contemporaneously with any Notice of Intent to Take the UBE in Maryland pursuant to Rule 19-206 or any Notice of Intent to Transfer a Qualifying UBE Score pursuant to Rule 19-207.

(d) Preliminary Determination of Eligibility. On receipt of a character questionnaire, the Board shall determine whether the applicant is eligible to file a character questionnaire pursuant to section (a) of this Rule. If the Board concludes that the requirements have been met, it shall forward the character questionnaire to a Character Committee. If the Board concludes that the requirements have not been met, it shall promptly notify the applicant in writing.

(e) Updated Character Questionnaire. If a character questionnaire has been pending for more than three years since the date of the applicant's most recent character questionnaire or updated character questionnaire, the applicant shall file with the Board an updated character questionnaire contemporaneously with filing any Notice of Intent to Take the UBE in Maryland or any Notice to Transfer a Qualifying UBE Score. The updated character questionnaire shall be under oath, filed on the form prescribed by the Board, and accompanied by the prescribed fee.

When the Maryland Board of Law Examiners, DC Bar Committee on Admissions, or any 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 character committee hearings and in hearings before the Court of Appeals 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 or the DC Bar's NCBE application, you should strongly consider retaining bar admissions counsel if you want to avoid denial of a law license and get 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.


By The Lawyer's Lawyers | Kramer & Connolly and  who are responsible for the content of this informational website.