Bar Application Process Overview

The Bar application process requires attention to detail, researched history of domicile and work, and accurate reporting of all matters relating to academic records and encounters with the legal system.  Candor is of the utmost importance when completing the bar application.

In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. It is up to each student to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission and to do the research necessary to provide accurate answers to all bar application questions. If you have specific questions or concerns about your application process or any character and fitness issue, please contact Madeline Raine at

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  • Beginning the Bar Application Process

    Whether planning to take the Florida Bar or a bar of another state, the first step in the process should be learning about the application process and relevant deadlines for the intended jurisdiction. For more information on the Florida Bar, start here: Florida Board of Bar Examiners Website. For more information on the other bars, start here: Directory of Jurisdiction Bar Admission Agencies.

    After their first semester in law school, students should investigate the process for admission to the Bar including the character and fitness qualifications in the jurisdiction in which they plan to practice.

    In Florida, and in some other jurisdictions, first-year law students have an opportunity for early registration for admission.

    For Those Applying to the Florida Bar
    For Those Applying Outside Florida

    For any jurisdiction outside of Florida, please check that state's website for application deadlines and procedures. The National Conference of Bar Examiner's Bar Admission Information by Jurisdiction and Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements are helpful resources. However, one should still consult the individual state bar's website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

    Please note that some states require early student registration, some states have imposed a cap on the amount of distance learning credits that an applicant can have, and some states have other various specific requirements and limitations that students need to be made aware of in their research into the jurisdiction of their choice.

  • Bar Application Documents

    Certificate of Dean

    When you apply for admission to the Florida Bar, the Florida Board of Bar Examiners (FBBE) will request a Certificate of Dean. To effectuate that process, you must check the box on the graduation application authorizing the School of Law to submit the Certificate of Dean.  Note that you will continue to get automatic reminders from the FBBE regarding the outstanding Certificate of Dean. Once you check the box on the graduation application you have done your part. The Law School will submit the form once your degree is conferred. Assuming all requirements for graduation have been met, May graduates are certified for the following July Bar Examination; August and December graduates are certified for the following February Bar Examination. Graduates may also elect to be certified for a later bar exam.

    The Law Registrar's Office can complete state bar forms, including out of state Dean's Certifications. Please email forms to


    It is each student’s responsibility to order their official transcripts through Canelink to be sent to the FBBE or other state bar upon the completion of your studies. Be sure to check the box to hold the transcript until your degree is conferred.

    Notary Services

    The University of Miami School of Law has various staff members that can provide notary services for Bar related documents. Click here to see a full list of individuals who are notaries and the departments they work in at Miami Law.

  • Character and Fitness (i.e. Background Check)

    Every jurisdiction requires bar applicants to meet the burden of showing they are of good moral character and otherwise fit to practice law. Issues that may concern a board of bar examiners may include prior unlawful conduct, academic misconduct, financial irresponsibility, neglect of deadlines or other professional obligations, or a history of untreated mental health or substance use disorders. Bar examiners may also compare your bar application to your law school application and/or your supporting bar admission materials. Admission may be delayed if there are any omissions or contradicting information among these documents.

    Review Your Law School Application

    You should review your law school application to ensure that all the necessary disclosures were made initially. You can download a copy of your law school application from the LSAC website.

    For additional information about the application process, including the applicable Law School Application Amendment Policy, please see "Amending Your School of Law Application" section below. 

    Investigate Yourself

    Regardless of which state bar you apply to, you should investigate yourself to make sure you report thorough and accurate information. You can check your own credit report, your own driving record, and, if you have a criminal history to report, review police reports and court records. For more information on how to investigate yourself, start here: (Public Records Searches for Bar Applications Presentation - Passcode: Up!DAK0^) and accompanying PPT slides.

    Please note, students only receive access to Public Records searches on Lexis Nexis after their first semester of law school. If a student has trouble or questions regarding searching for information, they may contact Robin Schard, Director of the Law Library at

    Students should also contact their previous institution(s) to request copies of all documents in their student file. These documents will be crucial to ensure you have provided accurate and complete information regarding any previous student conduct violations, disciplinary matters, warnings, etc. on your law school and bar application.

  • LL.M. Students

    LL.M. students should speak with their Program Director and also review the Bar Admissions Information for Foreign Lawyers.

  • Amending Your School of Law Application

    All Miami Law students have a continuing obligation to update their law school applications with character and fitness incidents that have occurred after filing the original application for admission. In addition, you must make late disclosures if matters were not initially disclosed to the School of Law.

    During the fall of students’ 1L year, the School of Law holds a mandatory meeting regarding bar admission and character & fitness. Members of the Florida Board of Bar Examiners (FBBE) present information at the meeting; however, attendance is mandatory for all students, regardless of the intended jurisdiction of practice. 

    Law School Application Amendment Policy

    Students have thirty (30) days from the date of the FBBE presentation to amend their law school application. Full candor is expected during this period so that all applications are fully, accurately, and completely updated, and all disclosures are current. All amendments are reviewed both by the Dean of Students and the Dean of Admissions

    Under Section 1.03 (g) of the University of Miami Law School Honor Code, conduct that could subject a student to sanctions under the Code includes:

    Materially misrepresenting, by act of omission, one’s academic or professional qualifications, conduct, … on any document or in any oral statement, including but not limited to applications for admission to this or any law school or to any state bar….

    Any material misrepresentations in the law school application process would both be evaluated under the Miami Law Honor Code, and also by the Admissions Committee. Further, any student who fails to file a required amendment to their application to the School of Law within the thirty-day period set forth above will be referred to the Dean of Students. The failure to disclose will be handled pursuant to the Honor Code and documented as such for disclosure to state bar authorities.

    Any questions regarding amendments to your law school application should be directed to Madeline Raine at

    Please click the link below to complete a Law School Application Amendment Form:


  • Disability-Related Accommodations for the Bar Exam

    Each jurisdiction has its own set of requirements and deadlines for requesting testing accommodations for their respective bar exams. It is each student’s responsibility to review the specific requirements and submission deadlines of the relevant jurisdiction. Be sure to visit the jurisdiction’s website early in your bar application process to ensure that you can gather all the necessary documentation to timely apply.

    If you have any questions or need additional assistance obtaining accommodations for the bar exam, please contact the Office of Accessibility and Inclusion at least two weeks before your application deadline. Please note that requests made to the Office of Accessibility and Inclusion to complete history of accommodation forms may take up to five business days.

  • Hearings Before the Bar Examiners

    Any student who might be called for an investigative hearing should file their application for admission to the Bar as soon as possible to avoid delays in their character and fitness clearance process as well as their ability to be sworn in.

    If a student receives a letter requesting their appearance at a hearing, respond immediately to request the time and hearing of the hearing, then contact Madeline Raine, Assistant Director of Student Life to discuss the next steps.

    As a reminder, a student's responses on the application for admission to the School of Law must conform with those on their application for admission to the Bar, and both must conform to what the Board of Bar Examiners will discover in their investigative process.

    Typical issues include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Failure to report academic probation/suspension at another institution
    • Failure to report disciplinary measures taken at another institution, including, but not limited to residence hall warnings, sanctions imposed such as requirements to take a course, pay a fine, write a paper, etc.
    • Failure to report "minor" events such as minor in possession, underage drinking, open container violations, etc.
    • Failure to report traffic offenses where the actual paid fine was in excess of $200
    • Failure to report termination from employment
    • Failure to report delinquent financial obligations
    • Failure to report incidents that occurred after the original law school application was filed

Specific State Bar Requirements

This information is provided as a courtesy and should be used as general guidance, but each student should complete their own research of the application requirements, deadlines, and other information related to the bar of their choice.

For students seeking admission to the Florida Bar, your first step should be to create an account online. Upon completion of your student registration, the Florida Bar will initiate a thorough investigation into your character and fitness to practice law.

Carefully follow the instructions while completing the bar application

Remember, you will be required to submit certain documents, including:

This information is provided as a courtesy and should be used as general guidance, but each student should complete their own research of the application requirements, deadlines, and other information related to the bar of their choice.

New York is a Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) jurisdiction but also has additional requirements. In addition to passing the bar exam and MPRE, to be sworn into the NY Bar, an applicant must:

  • Comply with New York's distance education and degree limits
    • J.D. applicants are limited to 15-credit limit for “distance education.
      • The NY BOLE waived the strict credit limit on distance education during the coronavirus health emergency but as of Summer 2022 reinstituted the limit. As such any distance education courses taken during Summer 2022 or later do count against the 15-credit limit for J.D. students.
  • For foreign-trained LL.M.s, the LL.M. Rule (Sec. 520(6)) does not allow credit for any online coursework, so do not enroll in courses that feature any online component. 
    • The NY BOLE waived the prohibition on a distance during the coronavirus health emergency but as of Summer 2022 reinstituted the prohibition. As such, courses taken by LL.M. students with any online component during Summer 2022 or later will not be counted by the NY BOLE.
  • Pass the New York Law Exam (NYLE)
  • Certify the completion of 50 pro bono hours
  • Completion of the Skills Competency Requirement
Miami Law School’s Certification of its Graduates for Satisfying the NYS Skills Competency Requirement for Admission

The New York Court of Appeals has identified five pathways through which applicants for admission to practice may satisfy the requirement to "demonstrate that the applicant possesses the skills and values necessary to provide effective, ethical and responsible legal services in this State."

This requirement applies to

  • J.D. students commencing their studies after August 1, 2016
  • LL.M. students commencing their studies after August 1, 2018.

Prior to applying to the New York Bar, all students should review carefully the information provided by the New York Court of Appeals as well as the FAQs.

Skills Competency Requirement for J.D. Candidates
Pathway 1

Pathway 1 allows applicants to satisfy the skills competency requirement by submitting a certification from their law school confirming that (1) the school’s curriculum incorporates the teaching of skills and professional values required for participation in the legal profession, and (2) that the applicant has acquired sufficient competency in those skills and sufficient familiarity with those values.

Fulfillment of Requirement:

Miami Law J.D. students are introduced to a core set of skills and professional values beginning in our mandatory orientation programming and then continuing through the standard required curriculum. In order to satisfy Pathway I, students must complete the educational program described below:

  • New Student Orientation: This mandatory programming introduces students to the professional values and competencies necessary for the ethical and effective practice of law.

The following classes:

  • At least four credits in the Legal Communication & Research Program, which teaches the following list of skills:
    • Legal analysis
    • Legal research
    • Written communication, including
      • organization of legal writing
      • persuasion and legal rhetoric
      • reflection, editing, and revision
      • proper documentation of and citation to research sources appellate brief writing
    • Oral communication and advocacy
      • Client Communication
      • Negotiation
    • Professionalism
  • At least six additional skills credits that satisfy ABA Standard 303(a)(3), which may be earned in a combination of clinics, externships, simulations, and practica. For specific information about experiential offerings, see Experiential Learning | University of Miami School of Law | University of Miami
  • A professional responsibility course
  • At least two courses faculty-supervised writing and research projects

Miami Law will certify transfer students if they have completed at least three credits of legal writing and research courses prior to transferring to Miami Law and then complete the remaining professional responsibility, skills, and writing requirements described above. Foreign-trained J.D./LL.M. students who complete the requirements outlined above qualify for certification under Pathway 1 as well.

Fulfillment of Requirement:

J.D. candidates who have successfully completed the educational program detailed above, may submit the required forms to the Law Registrar’s office,, to certify via Pathway 1.

Skills Competency Requirement for LL.M. Candidates
Pathway 4 or 5:

LLM students may meet the Skills Competency Requirement through either Pathway 4 (Apprenticeship) or Pathway 5 (Practice in Another Jurisdiction), as outlined in subsections (a)(4)and (a)(5) of §520.18 of the Rules of the New York State Court of Appeals for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law. Please review Skills Competency Requirement FAQs for detailed information about Pathways 4 and 5, and may submit any required forms to the Law Registrar’s office,

LL.M Certificate of Attendance 

Any foreign-educated applicant who is required to complete an LL.M degree to cure a deficiency in their foreign legal education under Court Rule 520.9(b)(3) will be directed to answer questions about their LL.M. course of study on the electronic Certificate of Attendance form before they are able to apply for any given administration of the UBE.

If this section applies to you, AFTER your LL.M degree has been conferred, you must order a PDF copy of your official transcript through CaneLink to be sent to Associate Law Registrar, Claudia Osorio, at so that the Law School can upload it along with your Certificate of Attendance.

This information is provided as a courtesy and should be used as general guidance, but each student should complete their own research of the application requirements, deadlines, and other information related to the bar of their choice.

District of Columbia

The District of Columbia (DC) is a Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) jurisdiction. The DC jurisdiction recently amended a rule for applicants looking to waive into the jurisdiction. You must now accrue three years of good standing before applying for admission in conjunction with a qualifying score from the other jurisdiction. Please be aware, this process can take up to a year. Additional information on the DC Bar admissions process:


The California Bar requires an applicant to register and complete the Moral Character application. The Character and Fitness process can take 6 months or longer, so students interested in taking the California Bar should complete the Moral Character application before registering for the actual exam.

Other States