(a) Generally. Beginning on July 1, 2019, an individual is eligible for admission to the Bar of this State under this Rule if the individual:

(1) is a member in good standing of the Bar of a state;

(2) has passed a written bar examination in a state or is admitted to a state bar by diploma privilege after graduating from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association;

(3) has the professional experience required by this Rule; and

(4) possesses the good moral character and fitness necessary for the practice of law.

(b) Required Professional Experience. The professional experience required for admission under this Rule shall be on a full time basis as

(1) a practitioner of law as provided in section (c) of this Rule;

(2) a teacher of law at a law school accredited by the American Bar Association;

(3) a judge of a court of record in a state; or

(4) a combination thereof.

(c) Practitioner of Law.

(1) Subject to subsections (c)(2) and (3) of this Rule, a practitioner of law is an individual who has regularly engaged in the authorized practice of law:

(A) in a state; 

(B) as the principal means of earning a livelihood; and

(C) whose professional experience and responsibilities have been sufficient to satisfy the Board that the individual should be admitted under this Rule and Rule 19-213.

(2) As evidence of the requisite professional experience, for purposes of subsection (c)(1)(C) of this Rule, the Board may consider, among other things:

(A) the extent of the individual's experience in the practice of law;

(B) the individual's professional duties and responsibilities, the extent of contacts with and responsibility to clients or other beneficiaries of the individual's professional skills, the extent of professional contacts with practicing attorneys and judges, and the individual's professional reputation among those attorneys and judges; and 

(C) any professional articles or treatises that the individual has written.

(3) The Board may consider, as the equivalent of practice of law in a state, practice outside the United States if the Board concludes that the nature of the practice makes it the functional equivalent of practice within a state.

(d) Duration of Professional Experience. An individual shall have the professional experience required by section (b) of this Rule for

(1) a total of ten years, or

(2) at least three of the five years immediately preceding the filing of a petition pursuant to Rule 19-216.

(e) Exceptional Cases. In exceptional cases, the Board may treat an individual's actual experience, although not meeting the literal requirements of subsection (c)(1) of this Rule, as the equivalent of the professional experience otherwise required by this Rule.

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.