FROM LAW STUDENT TO MEMBER OF THE FLORIDA BAR
Congratulations you made it into law school and are now in the process of completing it. Before you know it you will begin the process of becoming a member of The Florida Bar.
It has been my experience that almost every law student has found the admissions process to The Florida Bar to be frustrating and at times a frightening experience. This is hardly the result of the Bar exam. Believe it or not, the taking of the Bar exam is the easy part of the process. It is something that you can prepare for and have some control over the outcome. Should you fail the exam, you can take it again without penalty-you simply retake the exam until you pass.
Florida Board of Bar Examiners Representation
For many applicants the not so easy part, and most frustrating part may be the Moral Character and Fitness part of the application process. If this portion of the application is rejected by the Board, in most occasions you have to start the entire process again. It is during this part of the application process that the Florida Board of Bar Examiners investigate each applicant’s character and fitness to be a lawyer. The reality is that most law students do not have the slightest notion as to the manner and means that the Florida Board of Bar Examiners goes through when investigating each applicant’s moral character and fitness before admitting them to the Bar. The fact is that the Florida Board of Bar Examiners investigates every aspect of the applicant’s entire life, so much so, that in the end the Board probably knows more about the applicant’s life than the applicant.
The investigation starts with your application for admission to The Florida Bar. If you have some issue in your past, whether it be a criminal conviction, arrest, substance abuse, mental or emotional issues, honor code violations, domestic disputes, civil lawsuits, financial irresponsibility, an abundance of traffic or parking offenses, dishonorable discharge from the military, it must be disclosed on your application. How you tell your story in the application can make an enormous difference in where the investigation goes from there. None of the issues mentioned above should prevent you from becoming a member of The Florida Bar, but if not reported on your application and reported properly, then it may become a reason you are disqualified from becoming a member of The Florida Bar for a period of time.
The fact is that no matter what “evil” lies in the applicant’s past, the failure to disclose it will certainly create greater problems than the evil itself. Now the nature of the disclosure and the manner in which it is disclosed together with the explanation provided, or in other words, what to say and how to say it, is critical to the applicant and how the Florida Board of Bar Examiners treats the applicant’s past behavior.
Depending on the applicant’s issues that he or she may have had in the past, the Florida Board of Bar Examiners may request a personal interview with you called an “Investigative Hearing”. In some instances you may be requested to appear before the Board in an adversarial formal hearing.
It is highly recommended for the law student who has any of the issues mentioned above to seek the advice of experienced counsel now before you submit the application. To complete the application on your own, endure a Florida Board of Bar Examiner investigation on your own or appear before the Board for an investigative or formal hearing on your own is not only unwise but it will almost guarantee your rejection to being admitted to The Florida Bar and/or delaying the process of admission for 2 years or more.
An experienced attorney like Richard B. Marx, Esq., who has more than 25 years of experience representing law students and applicants for admission to The Florida Bar, will help you:
- Respond to the applicants questions concerning the application process
- Help the applicant complete and respond to certain questions in the application
- Review Amendments to the application
- Advise the applicant on how to respond to questions asked by the Board through written inquiries
- Prepare the applicant, develop testimony and advise the applicant on the best way to respond to the Board’s questions at an investigatory hearing
- Represent the applicant at an adversarial Formal Hearing before the Florida Board of Bar Examiners, which includes preparing the applicant for testifying before the Board, cross-examination of Bar witnesses and presenting evidence of mitigation and subsequent rehabilitation.
- Appealing the denial of admission to the Florida Supreme Court
Richard B. Marx, Esq. has lectured at law schools on the admission process and has helped hundreds of law students with issues in their past become successful members of The Florida Bar. He is well acquainted with every aspect of the admission process and understands how to present applicants and the applicants issues, no matter how difficult, in a most favorable light.
You have sacrificed too much and invested too much time and money, (and in many instances are responsible for repaying thousands of dollars in student loans) to risk not being admitted because of a prior mistake in judgment or poor choice in life. Call Richard B. Marx, Esq. so that he can help you become a practicing lawyer and admitted to The Florida Bar.
A LAW STUDENTS APPLICATION TO THE FLORIDA BAR BEGINS WAY BEFORE LAW SCHOOL
As a prospective law student you must think ahead when filling out your law school applications. We have seen many cases where the law school applicant answers questions in the law school application that creates problems down the road.
The Florida Board of Bar Examiners will carefully review an applicant’s law school application and look for inconsistencies with the applicants bar application. The temptation to be less than truthful exists when a law school applicant believes that stating the truth may reduce their chances of being accepted by that law school. Do not make that mistake as it will almost certainly ruin your chances of being recommended for admission to The Florida Bar.
An applicant must fully disclose the truth concerning any question contained in a law school application. Failure to do so will create very serious issues with the Florida Board of Bar Examiners.
If you are in the process of applying to law school or to the Florida Board of Bar Examiners and are concerned with your answers to any of these questions call my office and make an appointment.