CHARACTER AND FITNESS
All law schools are obligated to ensure that their law students have the necessary fitness and character to be lawyers, which is the purpose behind the section of the application entitled, "Character, Fitness, and Bar Exam Clearance."
The questions from this section of the application are shown below so that you may assemble any necessary materials before you actually begin the application. Any applicable supporting documentation related to this section of the application may be sent to the Admissions Office via fax, mail, or e-mail.
If you answer any of these questions affirmatively, you must provide an explanation, which must include the information outlined on the next page. You may attach this statement of explanation to your application electronically or email it separately to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Duty to be truthful
You have a duty to be truthful and accurate as well as a duty to reveal all information even if you do not have complete documentation. You need to disclose details of the result of any criminal charges. Even if the charges were dismissed, adjudication was withheld, a conviction was reversed, a conviction was set aside, a conviction was vacated, a conviction was expunged, or the record sealed, you must provide disclosure. Contrary advice by legal counsel DOES NOT exempt you from this requirement. The charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, driving under the influence of drugs, and reckless driving must be disclosed as criminal charges.
Your answers to these questions are confidential and are limited to a determination of your character and fitness to practice law. You are under a continuing obligation to notify the Admissions Office of any changes in your answers to these questions up until the time of your enrollment. Once enrolled, you are under a continuing obligation to notify the Assistant Dean of Admissions of any changes in your answers to these questions.
- Were you ever on disciplinary (non-academic) probation; have you ever been charged with, penalized for, or adjudicated guilty of a violation of a college or university honor code; or have you ever been suspended or dismissed from any educational institution?
- Are there any disciplinary (non-academic) charges from any educational institution pending against you?
- Have you ever been the subject of disciplinary action for plagiarism at any educational institution?
- Have you been arrested, formally accused, cited, fined, posted bail, subject to a restraining order, or ordered to do community service for the violation of any law?
- Are there any criminal charges pending against you?
- Have you ever been the subject of a court martial hearing, dishonorably discharged from military service, or administratively separated from military service with other than an honorable discharge?
- Have you ever been involuntarily separated from a job?
- Have you ever been sued for a non-criminal act that was alleged to have been intentional?
- Have you ever been subject to disciplinary action by a licensing board or professional association, or had any license denied, suspended, or revoked?
If you answered "Yes" to any of the above questions, please submit a detailed statement that includes the following information (please be as specific as possible):
- Date of incident and your age at the time of the incident
- Parties involved
- Description of incident
- Result (expunged, dismissed, probation, arrest, incarceration, etc.)
- Degree of misdemeanor or felony and code section (Ohio Revised Code or other state or city code involved)
- Photocopy of official court documentation, if applicable
- Information related to post-sentence events (pardon, etc.)
Vague statements are not acceptable. Failure to fully disclose may result in dismissal from the School of Law.
Moving and nonmoving traffic violations
- Have you ever been cited or fined for any moving or nonmoving violations (e.g., speeding tickets, traffic accidents, parking tickets, etc.).
- Were any drug or alcohol-related?
- Did any result in the suspension of your driver's license?
- Did you ever fail to pay any of the resultant fines or ever fail to fulfill any of the requirements that arose from these violations?
If you answered YES to QUESTION 1 ONLY, please submit a statement summarizing minor moving and nonmoving violations. For example, "I have been driving for XX years and have received approximately X parking tickets and X speeding tickets. None of these were drug or alcohol related, nor did any result in the suspension of my driver's license. All of these incidents resulted in minor fines, all of which were paid promptly."
If you answered YES to QUESTION 1 AND ONE OR MORE OTHERS, please provide detailed statements describing each incident that would require you to answer "yes" to these questions. Structure your statements according to the seven points enumerated at the top of this page.
Character, fitness, and Bar admission
The information described above is considered by the Supreme Court of Ohio or other state Supreme Court in determining whether a candidate will be permitted to sit for the Ohio (or other state) bar examination. Such matters are not within the jurisdiction of this law school or any other law school. In Ohio, for example, the board of commissioners on character and fitness and/or the Supreme Court in the state(s) in which the candidate wishes to practice law will determine the candidate's eligibility to sit for the bar exam. We recommend that candidates contact the board of bar examiners of the state(s) in which they plan to practice to learn whether or not such information as disclosed in accordance with the guidelines above may prevent you from becoming a licensed attorney.
Click here to view the Supreme Court of Ohio rules. Especially note Rule I, Sections 10-13.
Click here for a list of state boards of bar examiners.
Note about qualifications for admission to the Bar
In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.