Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
For complete information, please refer to the Georgia Supreme Court Rules Governing Admission to the Bar as well as corresponding areas of this website. No information provided on this website overrides, waives, or amends the provisions of the rules and regulations.For technical assistance with our website via email or to provide feedback regarding the website, click here.
General Admission Questions
|-||LAPTOP TESTING FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS|
Fitness Application/Certification of Fitness
|-||I WAS JUST ADMITTED TO ANOTHER JURISDICTION. CAN I CONVERT FROM THE TWO-DAY TO THE ONE-DAY EXAM?|
|-||WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE IN THE TWO-DAY EXAM AND THE ONE-DAY EXAM?|
|-||WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FOR SUBMISSION OF TRANSCRIPTS?|
|-||WHAT IS THE TRANSCRIPT DEADLINE, AND WHAT IF MY LAW SCHOOL CAN’T GET MY TRANSCRIPT TO THE OFFICE OF BAR ADMISSIONS BY THE DEADLINE?|
|-||HOW DO I FIND OUT ABOUT EDUCATIONAL WAIVERS?|
|-||HOW DO I DETERMINE IF I AM ELIGIBLE FOR ADMISSION ON MOTION WITHOUT EXAMINATION?|
|-||WHAT ARE SOME UPCOMING DEADLINES?|
General Admission Questions
WHO GOVERNS ADMISSION TO THE BAR IN GEORGIA?
The Constitution of the State of Georgia grants jurisdiction to the Supreme Court of Georgia to control admission to the bar. A set of Rules promulgated by the Supreme Court governs bar admission policies and procedures. The Rules are administered by two separate and distinct boards. The Board to Determine Fitness of Bar Applicants inquires into the character and fitness of all applicants, and the Board of Bar Examiners deals with questions of the applicant's competence. Both Boards must certify the applicant to the Court for the applicant to be eligible for admission. The staff of the Office of Bar Admissions reports to both Boards.Back to TOP
WHO IS ON THE TWO BOARDS?
The Supreme Court of Georgia appoints all the members of both Boards. The Fitness Board has ten members (six lawyers, one former Chair of the Board of Bar Examiners, and three public members). The Board of Bar Examiners has six members, all of whom are lawyers. The men and women on the Boards come from all areas of the state, and the lawyer members represent different types of practices.Back to TOP
WHO WILL BE RECOMMENDED FOR ADMISSION TO THE BAR?
The Boards will recommend the admission of those applicants who meet the good character and fitness standards and pass the bar examination, including the separate examination on professional responsibility. The bar examination is a written test, containing essay, performance and multiple choice questions, administered and graded by the Board of Bar Examiners and its agents two times a year (in February and July).Back to TOP
WHAT DO THE GOOD CHARACTER AND FITNESS STANDARDS REQUIRE?
The good character and fitness standards require that an applicant to the bar be one whose record of conduct justifies the trust of clients, adversaries, courts and others. The hallmark of such a person is honesty, especially in connection with the application for admission to the bar. Persons with a record showing a deficiency in honesty, trustworthiness, diligence, or reliability might not be recommended for admission.Back to TOP
WHAT KINDS OF CONDUCT MIGHT SHOW A DEFICIENCY IN THE NECESSARY QUALITIES OF HONESTY, TRUST-WORTHINESS, DILIGENCE, OR RELIABILITY?
Any of the following will be considered by the Fitness Board to be a basis for further inquiry before recommending admission:
- unlawful conduct
- academic misconduct
- making a false statement, including omission of relevant facts
- misconduct in employment
- acts involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation
- abuse of legal process
- neglect of financial responsibilities, especially failure to repay student loans
- neglect of professional obligations
- violation of an order of a court, especially failure to pay child support
- evidence of mental or emotional instability that affects an applicant's ability to function at school or work
- evidence of drug or alcohol dependency
- denial of admission to the bar in another jurisdiction on character and fitness grounds
- disciplinary action by a lawyer disciplinary agency or other professional disciplinary agency of any jurisdiction
HOW DOES THE BOARD CONDUCT FURTHER INQUIRY, WHEN THAT IS NECESSARY?
The applicant may be asked to provide facts and explanation, in addition to the questions on the fitness application. In order to verify the accuracy of the information provided in the application, or to obtain additional information, the Board will contact the applicant's personal references, employers, and schools, and it may contact police agencies, credit agencies, and others.Back to TOP
HOW DOES THE BOARD DETERMINE THE APPROPRIATE WEIGHT AND SIGNIFICANCE TO BE GIVEN THE PRIOR CONDUCT?
The Board will use the following factors in assigning weight and significance to prior conduct:
- the applicant's age at the time of the conduct
- the recency of the conduct
- the reliability of the information concerning the conduct
- the seriousness of the conduct
- the factors underlying the conduct
- the cumulative effect of conduct or information
- the evidence of rehabilitation
- the applicant's positive social contributions since the conduct
- the applicant's candor in the admissions process
- the materiality of any omissions or misrepresentations
WHAT CAN I DO IF MY RECORD INCLUDES PROBLEMS OR EVENTS THAT MIGHT CAUSE THE BOARD TO INQUIRE FURTHER?
As an applicant, you are obligated to cooperate fully with the Fitness Board's investigation, providing prompt and complete responses to all questions and requests for records or explanation. If you have had a problem in the past, you may wish to offer the Board additional evidence of rehabilitation. It is suggested that you review the "weight and significance factors" listed above in considering what additional evidence you might offer. Absolute candor in completing the application and responding to the Board's inquiries is critically important.Back to TOP
WHY IS EVIDENCE OF REHABILITATION SO IMPORTANT?
Evidence of rehabilitation is the most critical factor the Board uses to determine whether past problems should lead to denial of admission. The Board's standard for admission is current good character and fitness. Generally, the Board will assess whether the problems of the past continue and, if they do not, whether the applicant's life has changed in ways that suggest they are unlikely to recur. Please see In Re: Cason, 249 Ga 806 (1982) for guidance.Back to TOP
WHAT KIND OF INQUIRY WILL BE CONDUCTED IF I HAVE A HISTORY OF DRUG OR ALCOHOL ABUSE OR ADDICTION, OR TREATMENT FOR EITHER?
Because evidence of drug or alcohol dependence or abuse is one of the "relevant conduct" factors about which the Board must inquire, you should be prepared to provide treatment records, as well as other records of incidents that were associated with the addictive behavior.Back to TOP
IF I SEEK ALCOHOL OR DRUG TREATMENT DURING LAW SCHOOL, WON'T IT DELAY MY ADMISSION?
No. The purpose of the Board's inquiry is to determine the current fitness of an applicant to practice law. The application asks only whether the applicant has a condition that can affect the ability to practice law, or to function at work or school. This information, along with other information provided in the application, is treated confidentially by the Office of Bar Admissions and the Fitness Board. Treatment for all mental health issues is strongly encouraged and viewed favorably.Back to TOP
WHAT KIND OF INQUIRY WILL BE CONDUCTED IF MY RECORD INCLUDES A HISTORY OF PSYCHIATRIC OR PSYCHOLOGICAL COUNSELING?
The purpose of the Board's inquiries is to determine the current fitness of an applicant to practice law. This information along with all other information is treated confidentially by the Office of Bar Admissions. The mere fact of treatment for mental health problems or addictions is not in itself a basis on which an applicant will be denied admission. To date, the Board has never denied an applicant admission based solely on this information. Further, the Board has routinely certified individuals for admission who have demonstrated personal responsibility and maturity in dealing with mental health and addiction issues. The Board encourages applicants who may benefit from treatment to seek it.Back to TOP
ONCE I DISCLOSE MY CONFIDENTIAL MEDICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, OR CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY TREATMENT RECORDS TO THE BOARD, WILL THE BOARD KEEP THOSE RECORDS CONFIDENTIAL?
The Board is required to hold in the strictest confidence all records received in the admission process. Part F, Section 4(b) of the Rules Governing Admission to the Practice of Law in Georgia specifically addresses this issue.Back to TOP
WHY DOES THE BOARD INQUIRE ABOUT MISDEMEANOR OR FELONY ARRESTS THAT DID NOT RESULT IN CONVICTIONS?
The Board is required to inquire into all areas of possibly relevant applicant misconduct. The applicant is required to report all incidents, and to provide evidence of rehabilitation and evidence of current good character. Obtaining an acquittal or dismissal is relevant, but not dispositive of the issue. This is not to suggest that the Board will assume that any arrest was due to guilty conduct on the part of the applicant. The applicant's obligation is to be completely candid regarding all matters about which the Board inquires.Back to TOP
WHY ARE FINANCIAL PROBLEMS, SUCH AS PAST DUE DEBTS OR AN OLD BANKRUPTCY, RELEVANT TO MY ADMISSION?
The Fitness Board recognizes that law students sometimes have financial problems associated with the expense of law school, or with ongoing family obligations. The Board also recognizes that mishandling of client funds is a frequent and serious cause for professional discipline. Admission to the bar does not require a perfect credit record. The Board is interested in whether applicants have dealt honestly and responsibly with their creditors, and whether they are doing so at the time of application. Responsible dealings generally include but are not limited to keeping in contact with the creditor, making payment arrangements, and meeting the terms of those arrangements. Defaulted student loans and failure to make child support payments are of particular concern to the Board and may well lead to denial of admission if not resolved at the time of application or soon thereafter.Back to TOP
WHAT IS THE MOST COMMON REASON FOR DENIAL OF A BAR APPLICANT?
A pattern of dishonesty in dealings with employers, schools, and authorities, including the Office of Bar Admissions, is the most frequent reason for denial of bar applicants. Giving false information on the application or failing to be entirely forthcoming and completely candid in the application process is a serious error that will have negative consequences for an applicant. The failure to be fully responsive to application questions, or any other lack of candor in an application, involves sworn statements made to an agency of the Supreme Court itself. Because such dishonesty is both current and ongoing, the applicant to whom it might be charged will have a difficult time showing that rehabilitation, which requires more than contrition, has occurred and will be sustained.Back to TOP
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE A CONCERN ABOUT SOMETHING IN MY RECORD?
Contact your analyst early in the process to discuss your concern. (You can find information about how to contact your analyst below.) You should also file your fitness application early, not during the late filing period, so that the Board will have adequate time to consider your file prior to the bar examination.Back to TOP
WHAT ARE THE DEADLINES FOR SUBMITTING MY FITNESS APPLICATION?
You can view the Fitness Application deadlines by accessing the Deadlines & Fees information on our homepage. Click here (https://www.gabaradmissions.org/deadlines-and-fees)Back to TOP
WHAT ARE THE DEADLINES FOR SUBMITTING MY BAR EXAM APPLICATION?
You can view the Bar Examination Application deadlines by accessing the Deadlines & Fees information on our homepage. Click here (https://www.gabaradmissions.org/deadlines-and-fees)Back to TOP
LAPTOP TESTING FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
For questions regarding laptop testing, please follow the link below:Back to TOP
Fitness Application/Certification of Fitness
HOW (AND WHEN) DO I SEND DOCUMENTS TO MY ANALYST?
Once you have filed your Fitness Application, you will be able to upload documents to your file. (You will not be able to upload documents until after you file your Fitness Application.) You will use the "Upload New Document" button at the bottom of your homepage to send documents to your analyst.Back to TOP
DO I HAVE TO SEND A CERTIFIED DRIVING RECORD/MOTOR VEHICLE REPORT AFTER I FILE MY APPLICATION?
Yes. For each jurisdiction, including, Georgia in which you have held a driver's license during the last 12 months, you must submit a certified copy of your official driving record. You can obtain the record from the Georgia Department of Driver Services (or the issuing agency in the applicable state). The record should include the maximum number of years the state provides (seven years for Georgia) and be dated within thirty days of the submission date. You can use the "Upload New Document" feature on your homepage to send the driving record to your analyst.Back to TOP
HOW DO I GET MY FINGERPRINTS DONE?
You can view information regarding having your fingerprints submitted by accessing the Fingerprint Requirements information found under the Certification of Fitness tab. Click here (https://www.gabaradmissions.org/fingerprint-requirement)Back to TOP
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO PROCESS MY FITNESS APPLICATION?
After your Fitness Application is filed, you will receive a letter on your homepage from your application analyst, which includes information about how to upload documents to your homepage and how to communicate with your analyst. (Please note that you should communicate with your analyst about your Fitness Application, but you should submit questions about your Bar Exam Application to the email address found here.) Once your file is assigned to an analyst, it typically takes between 8 and 12 weeks for your analyst to complete the investigation of your Fitness Application. (If there are problem areas in your file or you fail to promptly respond to any questions from your analyst, it may take longer.) After your analyst completes the investigation, there may be an additional delay until your file is presented to the Fitness Board; the Fitness Board reviews applications based on the schedule described below. Please note that you may not hear from your analyst after the initial letter for several weeks or longer. If your analyst does not need anything from you, you may not hear from your analyst between the time you receive the initial letter from your analyst and the time you are notified that you have been certified as fit to practice law. Do not hesitate to communicate with your analyst if you have questions regarding your Fitness Application, but know that your analyst has begun investigating your file as soon as you receive the initial letter and will only reach out to you if there is additional information that is needed.
For applicants seeking to take the bar exam in February, the Fitness Application window opens the previous March. (For more detailed information about the application windows for both the Fitness Application and the Bar Exam Application, click here.) The Fitness Board generally will not provide certification of fitness for these (February exam) applicants until after it has considered applicants seeking to take the July exam in the previous year. As a result, the earliest the Fitness Board will provide certification of fitness for these applicants is at its meeting in September, and the Fitness Board considers additional Fitness Applications for these applicants at its meetings in October, November, December, and January. Applicants must be approved by the Fitness Board before they are eligible to file a Bar Exam Application. For applicants seeking to take the bar exam in February, the Bar Exam Application window opens in November of the previous year. Applicants who do not receive certification of fitness at (or before) the January meeting will not be eligible to file a Bar Exam Application for the February exam.
For applicants seeking to take the bar exam in July, the Fitness Application window opens in late October of the previous year. (For more detailed information about the application windows for both the Fitness Application and the Bar Exam Application, click here.) The earliest the Fitness Board will provide certification of fitness for these applicants is at its meeting in March, and the Fitness Board considers additional Fitness Applications at its meetings in April, May, and June. Applicants must be approved by the Fitness Board before they are eligible to file a Bar Exam Application. For applicants seeking to take the bar exam in July, the Bar Exam Application window opens in April. Applicants who do not receive certification of fitness at (or before) the June meeting will not be eligible to file a Bar Exam Application for the July exam.Back to TOP
HOW LONG IS MY CERTIFICATION OF FITNESS VALID?
Once you receive Certification of Fitness, it is valid for five years.Back to TOP
WHAT DO I DO IF MY CERTIFICATION OF FITNESS IS ABOUT TO EXPIRE?
You must hold valid Certification of Fitness to take a Bar examination and to get your results. If your Certification of Fitness is close to expiration, contact the Office of Bar Admissions to determine your deadline.Back to TOP
HOW DO I COMMUNICATE WITH MY FITNESS ANALYST?
After you submit your Fitness Application, you will be assigned an analyst to investigate your file. You should communicate with your analyst by using the "Create Message" feature on your homepage.Back to TOP
HOW DO I UPDATE MY APPLICATION?
Once you have submitted your Fitness Application, you will be able to amend it and add additional information if the answers to any of your questions have changed by selecting the "Amend Application" feature on your homepage.Back to TOP
WHERE CAN I FIND INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE UPCOMING BAR EXAM?
You can find the rules, procedures, and instructions for the next bar exam here.Back to TOP
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR AN UPLOADED PHOTO?
Your photo must meet the following requirements:
Back to TOP
WHAT SCORE IS REQUIRED TO PASS THE BAR EXAMINATION?
A score of 270 is required to pass the Georgia Bar examination.Back to TOP
WHEN IS THE BAR EXAM?
You can find the schedule for upcoming Bar examinations by accessing the Deadlines & Fees information on our home page and viewing the Bar Exam Application Filing Deadlines. Click here (https://www.gabaradmissions.org/deadlines-and-fees).Back to TOP
WHERE IS THE BAR EXAMINATION HELD?
The Georgia Bar Examination is held at the Georgia International Convention Center (GICC) near Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. Click here for directions.Back to TOP
WHEN IS THE PASS LIST POSTED?
Historically, the pass list has been posted to our website on the 4th Friday of May for the February exam and the 4th Friday of October for the July exam. Starting in 2022, we plan to post the pass list on the 3rd Friday of May for the February exam and the 3rd Friday in October for the July exam.Back to TOP
HOW DO I APPLY FOR ADA ACCOMMODATIONS?
You can find information regarding ADA accommodations as well as the application forms in the ADA Testing Accommodation section under the Bar Examination tab on our home page. Click here for more information.Back to TOP
WHAT IF I NEED TO BRING IN A MEDICAL DEVICE OR BREAST PUMP TO THE EXAM?
If you need to bring a medical assistive device or other such item to the exam, you will need to fill out an Administrative Accommodation Request Form. You may find information about Administrative Accommodations under the Bar Examination tab on our home page. Click here for more information.Back to TOP
WHAT ARE THE MPRE REQUIREMENTS?
An MPRE score of 75 or higher is required to receive a Certificate of Eligibility to Practice Law, and Georgia does not impose an expiration date on MPRE scores. You may take the Bar Examination even if you have not yet passed the MPRE, but you will not receive your Certification of Eligibility until your passing MPRE score is received. For more information about MPRE requirements, click here.Back to TOP
DO YOU ACCEPT TRANSFERRED MBE SCORES?
No, Georgia does not accepted transferred MBE scores. If you are eligible to sit for the one-day Attorneys’ Examination, you will be assigned a score of 135 on the MBE portion. A total score of 270 is required to pass.Back to TOP
WILL YOU TRANSFER MY MBE SCORE TO ANOTHER STATE?
Upon request, we will transfer your MBE to another state if you took the MBE in Georgia prior to February 2011. You may access the request form on the Application Forms tab on our home page. Click here to access the request form. If you took the MBE in Georgia in February 2011 or after, you will need to contact NCBE to request a transfer. The NCBE website is www.ncbex.orgBack to TOP
I WAS JUST ADMITTED TO ANOTHER JURISDICTION. CAN I CONVERT FROM THE TWO-DAY TO THE ONE-DAY EXAM?
If you meet the deadline and are otherwise eligible, you may convert from the two-day to the one-day exam if you become admitted in another jurisdiction. You may access information regarding converting under Bar Examination Information located on the Bar Examination tab. Click here for more information.Back to TOP
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE IN THE TWO-DAY EXAM AND THE ONE-DAY EXAM?
If an applicant is admitted to the bar in another jurisdiction, he or she may be eligible to take the Attorneys’ Exam, which consists of the two MPT and four Essay questions. (The Attorneys' Exam does not include the MBE.)Back to TOP
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FOR SUBMISSION OF TRANSCRIPTS?
Official Transcripts must be submitted by the degree-granting institution (not the applicant) and must be issued to the Georgia Office of Bar Admissions. Transcripts may be sent in either of two ways:
Official electronic transcripts are accepted so long as the email delivering the transcript is delivered through a secured electronic delivery service such as Parchment, Student Clearinghouse, Credentials Solutions, or SCRIP-SAFE International. Scanned PDFs of transcripts or transcripts sent through an unsecured email are not accepted. Electronic transcripts should be sent to email@example.com.
Official hard-copy transcripts should be mailed directly by the degree-granting institution to:
Supreme Court of Georgia
Office of Bar Admissions
Nathan Deal Judicial Center
330 Capitol Avenue SE
Atlanta, GA 30334
Additional information about transcript requirements and deadlines can be found here.
WHAT IS THE TRANSCRIPT DEADLINE, AND WHAT IF MY LAW SCHOOL CAN’T GET MY TRANSCRIPT TO THE OFFICE OF BAR ADMISSIONS BY THE DEADLINE?
Transcripts must be received by the Office of Bar Admissions by 4:00 p.m. on the transcript deadline (which is January 31 for the February exam and June 30 for the July exam). Transcripts must indicate the degree awarded and the date conferred. If you have not yet graduated from law school, do not cause your law school to send a transcript before your transcript shows that you received your degree. If your law school is unable to provide a degree-conferred transcript prior to the transcript deadline because your graduation date is near the deadline, ask your law school to submit a letter (to firstname.lastname@example.org) certifying that you graduated within the six months prior to the bar exam you wish to take. This certification letter will enable you to sit of the bar exam, but your official law school transcript will be required for you to receive your score.Back to TOP
HOW DO I FIND OUT ABOUT EDUCATIONAL WAIVERS?
You can access information about educational waivers under the Policy Statements of the Board to Determine Fitness of Bar Applicants under the Rules & Policies tab on our home page. Click here for more information.Back to TOP
HOW DO I DETERMINE IF I AM ELIGIBLE FOR ADMISSION ON MOTION WITHOUT EXAMINATION? Back to TOP
WHAT ARE SOME UPCOMING DEADLINES?
Upcoming Deadlines for the February 2022 Exam:
The window to file a Fitness Application has closed.
The Regular Bar Exam Application Filing Period has closed.
Jan. 5, 2022-Feb. 4, 2022 (at 4 pm): Final Bar Exam Application Filing Period (requires an additional fee)
Jan. 13, 2022-Jan. 27, 2022 (at 4 pm): Laptop registration period (for those who wish to take the exam on their laptop)
Jan. 31, 2022 (at 4 pm): Transcript deadline
Feb. 22-23, 2022: Bar Exam (at Georgia International Conference Center)
Upcoming Deadlines for the July 2022 Exam:
Dec. 1, 2021-March 2, 2022: Final Fitness Application Filing Period (requires an additional fee)
April 8, 2022-June 1, 2022: Regular Bar Exam Application Filing Period
May 1, 2022 (at 4 pm): Deadline to request ADA or administrative accommodations
June 1, 2022-July 1, 2022: Final Bar Exam Application Filing Period (requires an additional fee)
TBA: Laptop registration period (for those who wish to take the exam on their laptop)
June 30, 2022: Transcript deadline
July 26-27, 2022: Bar Exam