The Character and Fitness Application Process
Allow ample time to complete the entire application. Although you must submit your application with all questions answered by the application deadline, you do not have to upload all documentation in support of your application by that deadline. You will begin uploading documents in support of your application after you have submitted your application and paid the applicable filing fee. Please keep in mind, however, that you will not be qualified to sit for a bar exam until all of your required documents are uploaded and reviewed by the Board to Determine Fitness of Bar Applicants and the Board certifies you as fit.
Read the questions (and any preamble to the questions) carefully and completely and provide accurate answers. Be sure to include correct dates and information on all areas of the application. Inaccurate and incomplete answers can delay the processing of your application or result in further review by the Board to Determine Fitness of Bar Applicants.
After you submit your application and pay the applicable filing fee, you will gain access to a personal online User Homepage that will allow you to upload documents to your file. You will also be assigned an Application Analyst who will review your application and contact you through your Homepage if any required documentation is missing. It is your responsibility to check your Homepage when you receive an email notification regarding an update on your Homepage. Respond promptly to requests from your Analyst. Use the “create message” button on your Homepage to communicate with your Analyst.
A character and fitness investigation for a completed file will generally take 8-12 weeks, but the time frame can be made shorter or longer depending on the responsiveness of the applicant. For example, you can speed up the process by making sure that you provide complete email addresses and information for your former and current employers and your personal references.
When a fitness file does not present any major matters of concern, the Analyst will forward the file to the Assistant Director, who will then review the file and present it to the Board to Determine Fitness of Bar Applicants for final approval. Once approved by the Board, you will receive notice on your Homepage that you have been certified as fit.Please keep in mind that your fitness application is a “continuing application,” which means that you must amend your application online within 30 days of any occurrence which would change the answer to any question on your application. To amend your application, go to your Homepage and select the “amend application” button for your Character and Fitness Application. Your duty to amend your application ends after you pass the bar exam, receive your Certificate of Eligibility to Practice Law, and officially join the State Bar of Georgia.