Application Submissions

Click on the questions below for more information.

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1. What is required to submit an application?
Each applicant must be eligible for admission and submit an application and fee through the Online Bar Application.* For additional information about eligibility or fees, see the Board’s Eligibility and General Requirements or Fees and Payments FAQs.

The Online Bar Application is designed to lead applicants through submitting the required application information and documents step by step. We encourage applicants to review the documentation that will be required well in advance of applying and to begin making any necessary third-party requests.  For a preview of what documents will be required, please see the following checklists:

*Motion applicants who had already begun completing the paper version of the bar application prior to the Online Bar Application’s launch will be permitted to submit a paper application until October 1, 2022.

2. I sat for the exam previously. Do I need to submit a new application?

Yes.  As a repeat applicant, you must submit a new application and provide all of the required disclosures and supplemental forms in your application, even if you have provided them in a previous application.  These instructions are also included within the Online Bar Application; they appear in Section 3 after you indicate that you have previously applied to our office.

If you are a repeat applicant, certain documentation does not need to be resubmitted, as specified below:

  • You do not need to resubmit any records or supporting documents that were previously attached to or uploaded with your supplemental forms, or were uploaded through your Applicant Portal.  However, you do need to provide any items that were previously posted to the To Do List on your Applicant Portal as deficiencies and were not marked complete.
  • You do not need to provide a new Certificate of Graduation from your law school if the Board received it during a previous application.
  • You do not need to submit new character affidavits if the affidavits in a previous application were executed within the past two years.
  • You do not need to submit a new credit report if you submitted one that is dated within the past 12 months.

In places where the application automatically requires uploads that you are not required to provide, please type “Repeat Applicant” in the Upload Comments field.

3. Can my law school send the Board office my conferral of degree before I have applied?
Yes, your law school can send it before you apply.
4. Can my law school use a third-party vendor to send my transcript to be used as evidence of my J.D. conferral?
For exam (Rule 6) applicants, you must have your law school provide proof of conferral of a J.D. degree to this office on or before 30 days prior to the bar examination. Rule 4C. Your law school must provide this document directly to the Board office. A transcript from a third-party is not acceptable even if the third-party has been authorized by the law school to send the transcript on their behalf. If your law school prefers to submit this document to the Board electronically and has not previously done so, their staff is welcome to contact the Board office to coordinate electronic submission.

For motion (Rule 7) applicants, the Board will send a degree verification inquiry to your law school during the processing of your application to verify compliance with Rule 4A(3). The Board will advise you if there are any issues receiving a response from the law school.

5. Does my law school transcript have to be official? If I haven't graduated, do I need to wait to submit it?
You may submit an unofficial transcript at the time you apply. If an updated or official transcript is required, additional information will be posted to your Applicant Portal after you apply.
6. When are testing accommodations requests due and how do I apply?
Requests for testing accommodations are due at the same time as your application. Read through the Instructions for Requesting Test Accommodations portion of the website for details.
7. What are the requirements for the two affidavits of good character I need to submit?
The affidavits must be uploaded to the Online Bar Application, except as specified in FAQ #10 below. As long as the below requirements are met, the affidavits do not need to be in a specific format and can be in letter form.

The affidavits must be from someone who meets these requirements:

  • Not related to you by blood or marriage, or living at the same residence
  • Has known you at least 1 year
  • Not a fellow law student during your enrollment (if you know a law student from another school, it is okay to use them)
  • Not listed as one of your references (we may be contacting your references, so we want the affidavits from two other individuals who support your admission)

The statement in the affidavit must meet these requirements:

  • Describe how long and the circumstances under which the person signing the affidavit has known you
  • Describe what the person signing the affidavit knows about your character and general reputation
  • Provide any other information about your character and fitness to practice law

Electronic copies are accepted but typed signatures are not.  The affidavit must have been signed by the affiant and must be notarized or include the following language immediately above the signature block: “I declare under penalty of perjury that everything I have stated in this document is true and correct.”  See Rule 2A(1).

See Rule 4B(4) for complete language or see sample affidavits.

8. Do the two affidavits of good character need to be notarized?
Affidavits may be notarized or may instead include the following language immediately above the signature block: “I declare under penalty of perjury that everything I have stated in this document is true and correct.”  See Rule 2A(1).  The affidavits or electronic copies still must contain an actual signature; typed signatures will not be accepted.
9. Do my affidavits need to be completed by another lawyer?
No.
10. Can one of my law professors complete an affidavit?
Yes.
11. Do the affidavits need to be sent in with my application, or can the person who filled it out send it to the Board office directly?
The affidavits should be submitted along with your application. If you are not able to submit the affidavits at the time of the application because you are waiting for the affidavit from your affiant, please note in the application’s Upload Comment field for the affidavit the name of the affiant and the date you requested the affidavit. When you receive the affidavit, please upload it to your Applicant Portal or mail it to the Board office.
12. I know I had speeding tickets (or other non-criminal moving violations), but I cannot find any records of them. Do I need to disclose them?
Yes, you must disclose them. Provide as much information as you know about the incidents (estimated date, details of incident, disposition, etc.) in the Form 2 (under Question 4.02B) for each citation.  If you are unable to complete Form 2, write and upload an explanation in Section 13.01 (Miscellaneous Documents).
13. If my records were expunged, do I still need to put those on my application?
Yes. You must disclose the incident(s) and attach the expunged records, if available. Please note that many jurisdictions seal rather than destroy expunged records, and the subject of a sealed record is often permitted access to it–the record is simply non-public. If you no longer have copies of the records and cannot obtain them, please provide documentary evidence (e.g. copy of expungement order or policy) or request a letter from the court confirming their unavailability. If no records, documents, or confirmation can be provided, please include the efforts you made to obtain them and the individual(s) with whom you have communicated in doing so.
14. I received a continuance for dismissal. My lawyer told me that I would never need to disclose the charges and that the matter would be like it never existed. Do I need to disclose it?
Yes. You must disclose if you were arrested, cited, or charged. You must disclose even if the charges were dismissed, or if you received a continuance for dismissal and the charges went away after a year. You must disclose all and attach relevant records.
15. How do I know if my out-of-state offense is “the equivalent” of a felony or gross misdemeanor when completing Questions 4.01A and 4.01B of the bar application?
States’ criminal statutes vary and may use different terms, such as “indictable offense” instead of felony, or label their most serious misdemeanors as Class 1 or Class A instead of as a gross misdemeanor.  When trying to evaluate the offense level to which an out-of-state offense would be considered the equivalent, please note that in Minnesota a felony is punishable by over one year in state prison, a gross misdemeanor is punishable by up to 365 days in county jail, and a misdemeanor is punishable by up to 90 days in jail.
16. What if I want to file by the deadline but I’m still waiting on a copy of a police report, court record, or other third-party record?
Because there can be a delay in obtaining third-party records, the Board office recommends that you request those records as soon as possible. If those records are not received by the deadline for the application, you may submit the application without the documents in order to meet the deadline. You must complete all Supplemental Forms responsive to each and every question to which you answered “yes” and note in any applicable Upload Comment fields the specific documents you have requested, the authority you have requested those documents from, and the date the documents were requested. This will assist the Board office in determining whether you have attempted to provide the required documents and whether there will be a need to request additional documentation. After noting this information, you may provide police, court, and other third-party records to the Board office by mail or through your Applicant Portal after submitting your application. If the third-party requests are not tied to a Supplemental Form, you may include a cover letter with the additional information or complete Form 10.
17. Do externships or clinics need to go on the Employment section of the application?
Yes, you should list any sort of work (paid or unpaid) in the employment section of the application.
18. What if I don’t remember my exact dates of employment for a job?
Estimate as best you can. The month and year is enough.
19. What if my old supervisor isn’t there anymore? Or if the office no longer exists or I don’t remember the address?
Include as much information as you can, and note if you are unable to give complete details and the reason. Please do your best to locate the address, including the zip code, as this will prevent delays in the application process.
20. What if I don’t remember my exact dates of residence?
Estimate as best you can. The month and year is enough.
21. Do I need to list a temporary address (e.g., stayed with friends for a few months)?
Yes.
22. What if I’m admitted in another jurisdiction, but I don’t have any attorney references?
Complete Section 9.00 for each jurisdiction in which you have been admitted for more than 6 months. If you are admitted in another jurisdiction but have practiced for less than 6 months, you may request a waiver through the Online Bar Application by answering that you are unable to provide references and completing the waiver form.
23. I previously practiced in another jurisdiction and the lawyers I practiced with have moved out of that state or are retired. Can I list them as references in Section 9.00?
Yes. The individuals listed in Section 9.00 should have knowledge of your practice during the time you practiced in that state. As long as you have current contact information for the individuals, you may include the lawyers in this section.
24. What documents do I need to submit from the other states where I have applied or am licensed?
You must provide copies of:

  1. Each application for admission or for any bar exam that included character and fitness questions.
    1. For jurisdictions that use a single bar application, you must provide a copy.
    2. For jurisdictions that have separate applications for exam registration and character and fitness, provide a copy of the character and fitness application. If you only registered for the exam, a copy of the registration form is not required.
  2. An authentic document from the proper authority in each jurisdiction where you have been licensed stating that you are in good standing.
  3. An authentic document from the proper authority in each jurisdiction where you have been licensed indicating whether you are the subject of any pending complaint or charge of misconduct.
  4. (If not listed on the certificate of good standing) An authentic document from the proper authority in each jurisdiction where you have been licensed showing your date of admission to the bar.

See Rule 4D.  You must contact the jurisdiction where you have applied or are admitted to request these documents, except bar applications that you have retained a copy of to provide. See the Board’s website for contact information in other jurisdictions.

25. Who is the proper authority to issue the certificate of good standing and disciplinary document referenced in Rule 4D?
The state supreme court is typically the proper authority to issue a certificate of good standing, unless the authority to do so or to maintain the state’s official registry of attorneys authorized to practice law in the state has been affirmatively delegated to a mandatory state bar association. The disciplinary office that investigates attorney complaints or grievances is typically the proper authority to issue the disciplinary document, since the document must contain information about matters that are pending.
26. What does the disciplinary document required by Rule 4D(4) need to state?
Rule 4D(4) states that “[a]n applicant who has been admitted to practice in another jurisdiction shall also file or cause to be filed . . . [a] document from the proper authority in each other jurisdiction where admitted indicating whether the applicant is the subject of any pending complaint or charge of misconduct” (emphasis added).  Common reasons for deficient documentation include when it states: no discipline has been imposed, that there is no record of public discipline, or that a lawyer is currently in good standing without any reference to pending matters.  A document stating that no complaints have ever been filed against you would implicitly satisfy the requirement.  Please note that you may need to execute an authorization or waiver in order to facilitate the release of this information, since information concerning pending disciplinary matters is typically non‑public.  Please contact the disciplinary office in the other state(s) in which you are licensed to obtain a certificate, letter, or other document that indicates whether you are the subject of any pending complaint or charge of misconduct.
27. Do I need to provide a separate certificate of admission?
A certificate of good standing is generally sufficient, because the Board is not presently aware of a jurisdiction that does not include the lawyer’s admission date on its certificates of good standing, and that is the information required by Rule 4D(2). If that were to change, a certificate of admission would be required.
28. I previously obtained a certificate of good standing or disciplinary document and am now ready to apply. Will the document still be accepted as current?
A document that is more than six months old is not considered current. Board staff may also request updated jurisdictional documents during the application process on a case-by-case basis.
29. What if I cannot provide a certificate of good standing in a jurisdiction where I was licensed to practice law because I am not currently in good standing?
Please see the Eligibility and General Requirements FAQs for additional information.

 

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