(a) Scheduling. The Board shall schedule a written general bar examination twice annually, once in February and once in July. The examination shall be scheduled on two successive days. The total duration of the examination shall be not more than 12 hours nor less than nine hours, unless extended at the applicant's request pursuant to Rules 19-204 and 19-205. At least 30 days before a scheduled examination, the Board shall post on the Judiciary website notice of the dates, times, and place or places of the examination.

(b) Purpose of Examination. The purpose of the general bar examination is to enable applicants to demonstrate their capacity to achieve mastery of foundational legal doctrines, proficiency in fundamental legal skills, and competence in applying both to solve legal problems consistent with the highest ethical standards. It is the policy of the Court that no quota of successful applicants be set but that each applicant be judged for fitness to be a member of the Bar as demonstrated by the examination answers.

(c) Format and Scope of Examination. The Board shall prepare the examination and may adopt the MBE and the MPT as part of it. The examination shall include an essay test. The Board shall define by rule the subject matter of the essay test, but the essay test shall include at least one question dealing in whole or in part with professional conduct.

(d) Grading.

(1) The Board shall grade the examination and, by rule, shall establish a passing grade for the examination. The Board, by rule, may provide that an applicant may adopt in Maryland an MBE score that the applicant achieves in another state in an administration of the MBE that is concurrent with Maryland's administration of the Written Test to that applicant.

(2) At any time before notifying applicants of the results, the Board, in its discretion and in the interest of fairness, may lower, but not raise, the passing grade it has established for any particular administration of the examination.

(e) Voiding of Examination Results for Ineligibility. If an applicant who is determined by the Board not to be eligible under Rule 19-201 takes an examination, the applicant's Notice of Intent to Take a Scheduled General Bar Examination shall be deemed invalid and the applicant's examination results shall be voided. No fees shall be refunded.

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.


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