Professional ethics

California State Bar Moral Character Application (passing the one year mark). Why are they taking so long?

I am 36 years old and a single father. I graduated last year from law school & passed the California Bar Exam. I submitted my moral character determination application the day it was available online which was last February 2014. I submitted the paper copy of the application with the credit, bankruptcy etc. forms a couple weeks after that. I don't have very good credit (mostly from years ago). I am still working on that. I had a bunch of unpaid tickets that I paid off before I started law school since I got a settlement from an accident. I had a bankruptcy from about 15 years ago that was dismissed (didn't go through with it). I have a checkered past but no criminal record and I have shown steady improvement. I also have letters from a judge and a professor to the bar. Will I be denied?

Nathan’s Answer

Congrats on passing the bar exam! You may be rightly proud. If you have a lot of sub-issues, your time for determination can be extended. There is no way to tell if you will be outright denied but chances are better for you the longer ago these issues were. Have you called the Bar to inquire? That would be a good starting point - but do not rely on anything anyone tells you as gospel unless it is in writing. If you are concerned the process is taking too long still, you may want counsel to speak on your behalf since too long of a delay starts becoming an issue.

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