Processing the Fitness Application
Part A, Section 6(a) of the Rules Governing Admission to the Practice of Law states, “Prior to certifying an applicant as having the integrity and character requisite to be a member of the Bar of Georgia, the (Fitness) Board shall make such an investigation as it deems necessary into his or her character, reputation and background.”
Note: All applications are processed on an individual basis with specific consideration given to the matters discussed in the Policy Statements. Of particular interest to the Fitness Board is whether applicants have dealt honestly and responsibly with their creditors. The Policy Statements address financial responsibility as well as other significant fitness issues.
The following is a general overview of the stages involved in the processing of the Fitness Application.
Check for completeness – Fitness Application is checked for eligibility of the applicant and timely receipt of all required fees, forms and documentation.
Assignment of an Application Analyst – Fitness Applications are processed in order of the date they are received in the Office of Bar Admissions. Once the Fitness Application has been assigned to an Analyst for processing, an email is sent to the applicant indicating the name, email address and direct telephone number of the assigned Analyst. This will be the individual who actually processes the Fitness Application and who should be contacted with any specific questions regarding the processing. From the time your Fitness Application is assigned to an Analyst, the process takes, at the very minimum, 12 weeks.
Initial Review – Upon an initial review of the Fitness Application, the applicant will be notified of one of the following:
- 1. A review of the information disclosed on the Fitness Application indicates that the applicant is not eligible and all filing materials will be returned; or
- 2. The complete Fitness Application was submitted on a timely basis but additional information is required in order to begin the investigation process; or
- 3. The Fitness Application is ready for processing, and the Application is placed in line for distribution to an Application Analyst.
A delay in processing can be caused by the following:
- Incorrect or incomplete mailing address, email address or telephone number or other information provided by the applicant.
- Failure of applicant to provide updated contact information.
- A delay in responses from employers, references or other contacts made with regard to the processing.
- Failure of the applicant to respond to correspondence from the Office of Bar Admissions.
Amendments to the Fitness Application – Applicants are required to update their Fitness Application online within thirty (30) days of any occurrence which would change the answer to any question on their application. To amend an application, simply login to your online account and select the “Amend Application” button under your current application.
Decision of the Board to Determine Fitness of Bar Applicants – If, at any time during the investigation process, the Fitness Application warrants presentation to the Fitness Board, the applicant will be notified and informed whether additional information or documentation is required by the Fitness Board.
When the investigation process is completed, the Fitness Application will be presented to the Board to Determine Fitness of Bar Applicants for a decision on Certification of Fitness. At the Fitness Board Meeting the Board Members will consider the information gathered during the investigation, and the applicant will be notified of its decision.