Maryland Bar Application Presentation

Navigating the
Maryland Bar
Maryland Bar Exam is a 2-day exam.
• Day 1: Ten essays plus one Multistate
Performance Test question.
• Day 2: Multistate Bar Exam,
a 200 question, multiple-choice exam.
Tip: Bar examiners website has past questions and answers
• MBE Subjects
• Constitutional Law
• Contracts/Sales
• Criminal Law/Procedure
• Evidence
• Real Property
• Torts
• FRCP (new in 2015)
• Maryland Essay Subjects
• Agency
• Business Assn’s (corporations, partnerships)
• Commercial Transactions
• Family Law
• MD Civil Procedure
• Professional Responsibility
• All MBE subjects
• Multistate Performance Test
• Closed practical problem using instructions,
factual data, cases, statutes and
reference material supplied by examiners.
Maryland Exam Locations & Dates
• Location:
• Check website regularly for
• February: Balt. Convention Ctr.
• July: Balt. Convention Ctr.
Students receiving ADA accommodations take test
at another location. (July—UB)
• Dates
• February 24-25
• July 28-29
Filing Fees and Deadlines
• Applicant must complete BOTH an application for
admission and an original petition to take
the bar exam.
• July 2015 Maryland Bar Exam
• Application fee
• Timely filing: $225 if received by
January 16, 2015
• Late filing: $275 if received by
May 20, 2014
The Application for Admission must be filed
before or concurrently with the Original Petition.
• Original petition to take the exam must be
received by May 20th.
• Original Petition fee: $250
or “good cause”
Other Important Dates
- Law School Transcript
• Be received by September 1, 2015
• Affirmation
• Must submit 10 days after results are released
• Oath of Admission
• No more than 24 months after the COA ratifies the
Should you seek an ADA accommodation?
• Idea of equal footing.
• If you received accommodations in undergrad and
law school, you should also ask for them during
the Bar Exam.
• Worst case scenario is your request is denied.
• Accommodations for Physical Disabilities and
Cognitive Disabilities.
What kinds of accommodations have been
granted in the past?
• Extra time
• Private rooms
• Testing centers that are wheelchair and
handicap accessible
If your request is granted, you will be notified of
the accommodations awarded to you and where
your testing center is located.
When should you submit the paperwork?
• ASAP – You should submit your request
packet by the first filing date for the bar exam
you plan to take.
• Allow time for appeals if your request is
denied. Also the application requires
documentation from physicians and undergrad
• Important for Bar Review courses.
• You should practice in bar review under
the same conditions you will be taking
the exam.
Helpful Documents to Gather
• Credit report, credit card statements, information about
student loans, and other debt obligations
• Previous lawsuits to which you were a party
• Includes divorce proceedings
• Criminal and traffic violations – speeding tickets,
citations, arrests, etc.
• If you’ve ever been bonded – you need the dates, name
of person/place who bonded you
• Employment information for the past 5 years
• Addresses, info, etc. for your 5 references
• Driving record in all states where you’ve held a valid
license in the past 3 years
Helpful Documents to Gather
Beforehand Cont’d…
• Addresses of all places you have lived in the
past 10 years
• Info, address, etc. from undergraduate
institution which issued your degree
• When/where you registered for selective
Far Must You Go Back?
Criminal- forever (but you don’t have to reveal
juvenile or Md cases that have been expunged)
Civil cases- forever
Driving history- Entire history for each
jurisdiction you had a license in in the past 3
ADA Accommodations- As far back as the SAT to
show you had accommodations.
How Far Must You Go Back (cont.)
• Credit- Last 5 years
• Housing- Last 10 years
• Job history- Last 5 years
Creating an Account
• Visit (left hand nav)
• Your e-mail address becomes your User Name.
• Password must be a minimum of eight characters and
must contain at least a letter, a number, and any of these
special characters !,@,#,$,%,&,*
• You must have a U.S. issued social security number.
If you do not have one, you must contact the Maryland
Bar Examiners.
Helpful Hint: You must keep the same e-mail
address until after the swearing-in ceremony.
STEP ONE: Application for Admission the
Online Bar Application
• Part I- Eligibility
• College Education
• Part II- Character and Fitness
• Personal Identification
• Marital History
• Court Ordered Spousal or Child Support
• Residential History
Continued on
next slide
Part II Continued
Educational History (academic records)
Armed Forces Details
Credits History
Legal Proceeding History (Civil and Criminal)
Bond History
Employment History
Mental Health/ Addiction History
Personal References
• Where you have lived within the last 10 years
• When you are filling in your Residence details, you
must put a beginning and end date even if you still
live at that address
• EVERY residence—including dorm rooms
Helpful Hint: Any changes to your address subsequent
to submitting your Application must be made in writing to
the State Board of Law Examiners office.
• Within the past five years.
• You must fill out employment details even if
you have never had a job.
• Full or part time employment (including
unpaid positions).
• DO report volunteer work which was
substantial and regular, such as unpaid
internship or externship.
• DO NOT report unpaid work which was
occasional, irregular, or unsupervised.
STEP TWO: Petition
• Certifies that you will have graduated from a law school
approved by the ABA prior to the first day of the bar
• Submit in good faith recognizing that you will be getting
a conferred degree.
• State when you will graduate
• State what exam you are sitting for
• Signature
• Immediately after the bar examination, you must have the
Bursar’s Office submit a final transcript to the State Board
of Law Examiners that reflects the award of your JD degree
Helpful Hint: Must be filed AFTER or AT THE SAME TIME
as the application.
• You will need to fill out forms for the
• Request for Use of Laptop (if needed)
• About 2-3 weeks before you take the bar
• $118.50 fee
• Request for Special Accommodations (if
Helpful Hint: The “Forms Tab” is located at the top of the
page next to “My Application.”
Submitting the Hard Copy
• Go to your “My Status” page.
• Click on the printer icons to print a copy of your
• Sign and have notarized.
• Provide supplemental information as necessary
• Your application has not been considered
completed until the hard copy is FILED.
Helpful Hint: If your printed copy has “Void” on it, it means you did not
successfully electronically submit the application. Go back to “My Application”
and scroll to the bottom of the page until you see “Submit Application.” Click
the “Submit Application” and you will receive a confirmation message. Then
return to “My Status” to print all documents.
Document Requirement: Driving History
• You need to “attach a certified copy of your
entire driving history from the motor vehicle
authority for each jurisdiction in which you
held a driver’s license at any time during the
past three years.”
• Regardless of whether you’ve ever
received a moving violation
• “Since many jurisdictions issue a limited
history unless specifically asked to do
otherwise, you should take whatever steps are
required to obtain a complete driving history.”
MD Driving Records
• You can obtain a certified driving record online, in
person or by mail.
• Take your completed Request for Motor Vehicle
Administration Records form and fees to any Maryland
MVA office or mail them to:
Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration
6601 Ritchie Highway NE, Room 145
Glen Burnie, MD 21062
Online Go to:
PA Driving Records
• Unlike Maryland, in Pennsylvania you cannot apply
online for a certified record. This must be done in person
or through the mail.
• Form Available
• To request a record by mail, complete a Request for
Driver Information and mail it along with a check ($10
for a certified record) to:
Bureau of Driver Licensing
Driver Record Services
P.O. Box 68695
Harrisburg, PA 17106-8695
VA Driving Records
• You may obtain a copy of your driver or vehicle record
online, by visiting one of the customer service centers,
or by writing to DMV. The charge for the record is $8
with an additional $5 for a certified record.
• You may also send a written request to DMV with the
fee. Be sure to include your full name, address, social
security number and the reason why you want your
record. Send your request to:
Criminal Proceedings History
• List all criminal legal proceedings you have
been a party to.
• “Must include traffic citations, arrests, and
summonses to which you have ever been a
party including all motor vehicle citations for
moving violations (including all speeding
citations) and excluding only occasional
parking violations.”
Criminal History (continued)
• You are “not required to disclose, here or in
question 18, any matter adjudicated under laws
governing juveniles or any arrest or court
proceedings in Maryland, the record of which
was expunged pursuant to the law.”
• Maryland does not expunge convictions.
• Records from any other state must be disclosed
regardless of expungement---per Md. Bar
• When in doubt, disclose.
Criminal Proceedings (continued )
• You must “attach certified copies of all
charging documents, judgments/disposition
documents and all docket entries in each
proceeding identified above, except motor
vehicle offenses not requiring a court
• You need certified copies relating to
everything you list in the question.
• If you do not have copies, you must state what
efforts you made to get copies.
• When in doubt, contact the MD State Board of
Bar Examiners.
Character & Fitness
5 personal references from any state
Not married to another reference listed
Not a fellow law student, relative, or employer
Known applicant for at least 5 Years immediately prior
to date of questionnaire
• Character Committee sends out references on your
behalf. You only need to provide the name and address
of each reference. * New: provide email addresses for
reference (handwrite them on the forms)
• Application will not be complete until all references
have returned form to Character Committee
• Your responsibility to make sure references return
their forms. Also have refs keep a copy of form.
Reference Form
Helpful hint: Make sure you can be identified by the references. How long
have you known the applicant? What capacity? Observations of applicant?
Unfavorable character? Would you recommend applicant for admission to
the bar?
Law School Required
- Academic History (Academic Probation)
- Honor Code Violations
- Undergraduate—Not done here.
SBLE recommends use of an undergraduate transcript rather than the prelegal certification form. Applicant should request that the
college/university send an official transcript directly to SBLE before
submitting the hardcopy application. SBLE will email the applicant when
transcript arrives. SBLE will also accept an official transcript in a sealed,
stamped envelope filed by the applicant with the application.
Credit History / Debt
Regarding credit history, you will be prompted as follows:
“During the last five years disclose all established or maintained credit.
Include secured loans, student loans, revolving credit cards and any
other debt obligations you have had.”
Regarding debt owed, you will be prompted as follows:
“I presently owe money, SOME PART OF WHICH HAS BEEN
DELINQUENT FOR MORE THAN 90 DAYS, to the following:”
(Delinquent means you failed to make a required payment when due)
NOTE: If you list past due credit history in answer 10 (b), you must provide a
credit report.
Each question will require you to complete fill-in fields with various
information about yourself, your bank account, creditors, amount due,
dates of incurring debt, etc.
If neither of these situations apply to you, click “none.”
Credit History / Debt Helpful Hints
• You can use a credit report to help you complete this part of
the application
• Federal loan information can be accessed using the loan
• For consolidated loans, use the most recent figures
Helpful Hint: You do not have to have paid off all your debts
– the examiners are looking to see that you are acting
responsibly and have plans in writing that show you are making
a good faith attempt.
Debt and Moral Character
In the Matter of the Application of Kevin Charles Stern for
Admission to the Bar of Maryland,
403 Md. 615, 943 A.2d 1247 (2008).
The applicant admitted his prior financial irresponsibility, but
claimed that he had been rehabilitated. However, he satisfied his
creditors using the resources of others, specifically a loan from
his mother and gifts received after his graduation from law
school. Absent the exigency of the bar admission process, he
likely would have continued to ignore his obligation to repay his
debt. He had allowed his debts to increase even when it appeared
he had the means to resolve his obligations. Further, he was
involved in an inappropriate relationship with a 15 year old
UB Employees
(TAs, Law Scholars, Teaching Scholars, etc.)
• UB will receive an employment letter, just like
any other employer.
• List Karen Devore as employer.
• Will certify that you had good character
and fitness as an employee.
Time Period to Amend
Between submitting the application and taking the exam
Between taking the exam and receiving results
• Applicants must ensure their responses to the bar
application questions are accurate and current at all times
until they are formally admitted to the bar.
This includes:
• changes in contact information
• changes to any question from the application
Between receiving results and being sworn in
Change in Contact Information
Must be submitted more than two weeks before
taking the exam and two weeks before results are
mailed (to be sure)
Must be signed and mailed to Annapolis, do not
call to check on the status – system will be updated
when the form is processed
New: SBLE will accept a change of contact
information form by email. Must be signed &
scanned and come from email address on file.
What Triggers Amending?
Changes to:
• Character and Fitness questions
• i.e. a speeding ticket since you filled out the
• Employment
• When applying, include information about a
job you anticipate having
• If you don’t know for certain, amend later
• ANY change to ANY question response
How to Amend
• There is no form to amend your application
• Write a letter to the bar examiners including:
• The question number you are addressing
• The new information you would like to
• SIGN IT and mail or hand deliver (there is no
way to fax or electronically amend your
MBE Reciprocity with Other Jurisdictions
• Acceptance of MBE Score Transfer
• Applicants MAY transfer an MBE score from
another jurisdiction from a concurrent exam only.
e.g., Michigan & Maryland
• Check each state’s bar examiner’s website
Waiving into D.C.
• Acceptance of MBE Score: An applicant may be
admitted without exam if applicant received a scaled
MBE score of 133 or higher on an exam upon which
applicant was admitted in another jurisdiction, achieved a
scaled score of 75 or better on MPRE, and has a JD from an
ABA accredited law school.
• Pay a substantial fee!
Taking the Washington, D.C. Bar Exam
• Bar Exam Format
• D.C.’s Bar Exam is a 2-day exam
• Day 1: Two 90-minute Multistate
Performance Test questions (worth 25%)
and six Multistate Essay Exam questions
(worth 25%)
• Day 2: Multistate Bar Exam (worth 50%)
a 200 question, multiple-choice exam.
Top 10
1) Start early.
2) If in doubt, ask questions.
3) Don’t get arrested.
4) Err on the side of disclosure.
5) Pay your bills.
6) Pay attention to deadlines.
7) Don’t get divorced. Heck, don’t get married.
8) Check your required classes.
9) Be nice to people. You may need them as a
10) Remember you are not alone when you read
the instructions and think “Seriously!?”

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