- Richard F. Celeste, Former U.S. Ambassador to India & Governor of Ohio
- Amy Cohen dishes about the ‘supermarket revolution’ and its effects on developing countries
- 2L hoping to leverage language skills in legal practice
- 1L thrilled by mergers, acquisitions on a global scale
- 1L sees borderless possibilities
DC Bar Requirements
For official guidance on the bar examination process in the District of Columbia, go to: http://www.dccourts.gov/internet/appellate/admincommittee/main.jsf. Phone: (202) 879-1010
An applicant who graduated from a law school not approved by the American Bar Association (which includes law school outside of the United States) shall be permitted to take the bar examination only after successfully completing at least 26 semester hours of study in the subjects tested in the bar examination in a law school that at the time of such study was approved by the American Bar Association. Current bar examination subjects are: administrative law, contracts, agency, Uniform Commercial Code, equity, business associations, conflicts of laws, evidence, torts, wills, trusts, administration of estates, family law, real and personal property, civil and criminal procedure, constitutional law, criminal law, legal ethics and tax law. Therefore, the 26 semester hours of credits should be selected from that list (or, in other words, the most current list of test subjects in D.C.). In its discretion, the Committee may change the subjects. All such 26 semester hours shall be earned in courses of study, each of which is substantially concentrated on a single tested subject.
Refer to Rule 46(b)(8)(iii) for the most up to date list of subjects that may appear on the D.C. bar examination: http://www.dccourts.gov/internet/documents/rule46b_admission_by_examination_rev.pdf
As of March 2015, applications must be typed and accompanied by a $100 certified check, cashier’s check, or money order made payable to the “Clerk, D.C. Court of Appeals.” This fee is non-refundable and if you submit your application late (within 15 days after the deadlines specified in the table below), you must include a $200 certified check, cashier’s check, or money order also made payable to the “Clerk, D.C. Court of Appeals” for the late fee. Separate certified checks, cashier’s checks or money orders made payable to the “National Conference of Board Examiners” also have to be submitted at the time of application for purposes that are specified on the application form.
|Examination||Deadline by which Applications Must Be RECEIVED (NOT merely postmarked)|
Applicants who earned their first law degrees from non-ABA approved law schools must submit:
- A Bar Exam Registration Questionnaire,
An executed Certificate A from the non-ABA-approved law school which awarded your law degree,
An executed Certificate A from the ABA-approved law school(s) in which you successfully completed your required 26 semester hours of study in the tested subjects: administrative law, contracts, agency, Uniform Commercial Code, equity, business associations, conflicts of laws, evidence, torts, wills, trusts, administration of estates, family law, real and personal property, civil and criminal procedure, constitutional law, criminal law, legal ethics and tax law. In its discretion, the Committee may change the subjects. (see Rule 46 (b)(8)(iii)),
An Official Transcript from the ABA-approved law school(s) containing the course titles, semester/credit hour values, and grades as well as a copy of the law school’s course description for each such course,
An original, current Certificate of Good Standing no more than sixty (60) days old, from the highest state court of each U.S. jurisdiction of which you are a member (if applicable).
- The original NCBE Questionnaire/Application Form,
- An Attestation Page, and
- Authorization and Release Forms (three original copies, all signed and notarized, with the notary’s signature date being within five days of the dates on which you submit your application).
Items 2, 3 and 4 MUST accompany your application at the time of filing, otherwise it will not be accepted nor deemed filed. Applications that are incomplete, hand-written or double-sided will not be accepted.
If your application is accepted by the Committee, you will be assigned an examination number.
If you have a change of address, employment or other circumstances, you MUST notify the Director of the Committee. Provide your examination number in the correspondence if you have been assigned one.
In order to be admitted to the D.C. Bar, applicants must take and pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE)*. In D.C., there is no limit to the number of times an applicant may take the MPRE
* Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE):
The MPRE is administered three times each year, in March, August and November. Applications and information regarding the MPRE is available from NCBE at http://www.ncbex.org/about-ncbe-exams/mpre/.
Admission on Motion
It is possible to be admitted in D.C. without examination:
- If you have been a member in good standing of a Bar of a court of general jurisdiction in any U.S. state or territory for at least five years, or
- You hold a J.D. or LL.B. degree from a law school which, at the time of awarding of the degree, was approved by the American Bar Association,
- You earned a minimum score of 133 on an Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) taken as part of a prior test administration that was completed within 25 months of the present administration,
- The subjects tested in the prior administration are the same subjects being tested on the MBE currently in use, and
- You took and passed the MPRE.
“Special Legal Consultant” Status
Another (significantly limited) alternative available in D.C. to taking the bar exam is to seek “Special Legal Consultant” status. This may be an option for foreign trained lawyers who are admitted to practice in a country outside the U.S. and who are at least 26 years of age. Legal practice and disciplinary provisions are very strict for Special Legal Consultants, but at the Court’s discretion these individuals may be licensed to practice without examination if the foreign attorney meets the good moral character and general fitness requirements of the D.C. Bar and intends to maintain an office in the District of Columbia. A typewritten application and a fee of $450 along with:
- A certificate of admission and good standing from the authority in the foreign jurisdiction;
- A duly authenticated English translation of such certificate, (if not in English); and
- A summary of laws and customs of the foreign country pertaining to the proposed scope of practice.