Most of the states do not consider a felony conviction a factor for disqualification of someone from being admitted to the bar. Thus, even if you have a history of a felony, you might be successful in your attempt to acquire admission to a state bar and obtain a license for practicing law.
However, before you are admitted to the bar, the state will conduct an evaluation of your character and fitness for practicing law. There are rules and regulations against which you will be measured. In a majority of the states, it is important for you to prove that you have a good moral character.
Requirements to Become a Lawyer
- The first thing that you need to do is to think about the state where you would be practicing law. You might have to consult guides and conduct research so as to acquire more information about the specific rules that the state has for admitting someone after a felony conviction to the bar.
- The next course of action for you is to apply to a law school. Law schools tend to ask about criminal history. It is important that you are honest with your application. Do not endeavor to hide stuff as this will only spoil your chances of getting the admission. Law schools have their own policies with regards to the felonies. It is important to keep in mind that if you get admission to a law school despite your felony record, it is not a necessity that you would also get admission to the state bar.
- Once you get admission to the law school, you will have to attain a degree following which you can apply for admission to the bar in the state where you would be practicing. For this, you will have to fill out a detailed application wherein character and fitness details would have to be disclosed. You will also have to provide background information including that of your criminal past.
- If your felony conviction has been pardoned, you will need to provide the bar with the evidence for the same.
- The bar will also have to be provided with evidence that proves that you have a good moral character now and you have left the life of crime behind you.
- The board of bar examiners will then evaluate your application. If your application is approved, you will be granted permission to take the bar examination. If your application is rejected, you cannot take the exam. Sometimes, you are asked to wait for a designated period of time.
What Renders You Disqualified from Becoming a Lawyer?
On the whole, you would be disqualified from becoming a lawyer depending on the charge you were convicted for and the variant of lawyer you want to become. For instance, someone convicted of financial offenses would find it quite tough to become a finance attorney.