(a) Participation Required. An applicant who achieves a qualifying score on the UBE in Maryland, transfers a qualifying UBE score to Maryland, or petitions for admission without examination may not be admitted to the Bar unless, prior to admission, the Board receives satisfactory evidence that the applicant has successfully completed the Maryland Law Component described in this Rule.

Committee note: The Maryland Law Component is not part of the bar examination but must be successfully completed as a condition of admission to the Bar. Its purpose is to assure that newly admitted attorneys are familiar with key distinctions of Maryland law and procedure not tested in the components of the UBE and with core requirements for practicing law in Maryland, the violation of which may result in their authority to practice law being suspended.

(b) Preparation and Content. The Board shall supervise the preparation of the Maryland Law Component. The Component shall include

(1) information regarding

(A) substantive distinctions of Maryland law and procedure in subject areas to be designated by Board Rule,

(B) reporting requirements established by the Maryland Rules,

(C) obligations to the Client Protection Fund and Disciplinary Fund established by the Maryland Rules or by statute, and

(D) Rules governing attorney trust accounts and the handling of client funds and papers, and

(2) questions to assure that the applicant has read and understands that information.

(c) Format. The Maryland Law Component may include written materials but shall be in electronic format so that an applicant may participate from a remote location, subject to appropriate verification of the applicant's actual and personal participation.

(d) Approval by Court of Appeals. The Board shall submit the general format of the Maryland Law Component to the Court of Appeals for its consideration and approval.

Committee Note: It is not intended that the actual questions be submitted to the Court, but only the basic structure and outline of the Component.

(e) When Available. Subject to technical limitations, the Maryland Law Component shall be available for completion by applicants at any time after filing a Notice of Intent to Take the UBE in Maryland pursuant to Rule 19-206, a Notice of Intent to Transfer a Qualifying UBE Score pursuant to Rule 19-207, or a Petition for Admission Without Examination pursuant to Rule 19-216.

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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