New York Disciplinary Defense Lawyer | McDonough & McDonough

mcdonough-and-mcdonough-logo

Confidential Consultation

Character and Fitness Representation

Character and Fitness Representation in New York

Becoming an attorney is a lengthy, complicated process. Not only must prospective lawyers complete law school and pass the bar examination — admission into the state bar involves additional procedures. One crucial component of bar admission is an evaluation of an applicant’s “character and fitness.” 

Character and fitness is a slippery concept. It can be difficult for a new lawyer seeking admission, or a former attorney seeking readmission, to understand what is expected and required within this process. For this reason, it is crucial to have experienced New York character and fitness attorneys on your side who can help. 

Our New York character and fitness team can assist you with all aspects of bar admission and reinstatement matters. We are available to answer any questions you may have and help you navigate this unfamiliar situation.

What is “Character and Fitness”?

Becoming an attorney does not only require the proper education, knowledge, and skills. To be admitted to the bar an applicant must be found to be fit to join the profession. 

A character and fitness evaluation is a step in the bar admission process in which the applicant’s past and current levels of integrity are assessed. There is no universally agreed upon standard of review or manner in which a character and fitness evaluation proceeds. 

Each applicant is investigated according to the facts and circumstances presented by their application. The committees look at the totality of the applicant’s past and present to determine an applicant’s eligibility. 

To evaluate your character and fitness, the committees may look over issues and evaluate elements such as: 

  • Severe debt, financial irresponsibility and other fiscal issues 
  • Ethical concerns as a student 
  • Drug and alcohol abuse 
  • Mental health 
  • Social media presence 
  • Criminal convictions 
  • Bankruptcy and civil matters 
  • Disciplinary actions in school 
  • Providing incomplete or fraudulent information on an application 
  • Failure to fully items disclose on your law school application 
  • Bar exam problem

 

In New York, character and fitness evaluations are typically conducted after a law student takes the bar exam. It is important to understand what is expected of you during this time, and to be prepared. You should anticipate what may be asked and be sure to answer honestly and truthfully. 

The support of an attorney can be a helpful resource as you complete this important last step toward becoming a lawyer.

Our New York Character And Fitness Representation Attorneys Can Help

Our team is available to discuss the details of your situation and help you get started on your admission. We are here to provide you with guidance throughout the character and fitness evaluation process and will be available to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to speak with our attorneys.

Chris McDonough, Brian Griffin, and, Thomas Foley
Our New York Character and Fitness Representation Attorneys Can Help
How an Attorney Can Help In addition to evaluating an applicant’s character and fitness, committees look at other elements of an applicants’ qualifications to ensure they are suitable for membership in our profession. Understanding each step of the application process and keeping track of everything you must complete before becoming a member of the bar can be overwhelming, and failing to fulfill these responsibilities can result in delay or possible rejection. Our legal team can assist you with every aspect of your application for bar admission and your character and fitness evaluation.
Our attorneys can help you understand the character and fitness evaluation process and ensure your bar application is complete and compliant. It is our goal to help you successfully navigate this process, be admitted to the bar, and become an attorney. We will guide you through the entire process and ensure you are supported throughout each step.