What is the Ohio C&F process?
In Ohio, anyone seeking admission to the bar must demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that he or she possesses the requisite character, fitness, and moral qualifications for admission. Applicants must submit an Application to Register as a Candidate for Admission which includes a Character Questionnaire. The information in the questionnaire is verified by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) and then each applicant is interviewed by two members of a local bar association admissions committee. If the applicant had met the burden of proof, the admissions committee will recommend provisional approval.
How do I apply?
Go to the Ohio Supreme Court Office of Bar Admissions webpage: http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/AttySvcs/admissions/application/default.asp and download the application materials. You may fill out the materials electronically but the Supreme Court requires the application to be submitted in hard copy form only.
What materials are required?
In addition to the character questionnaire, you must also submit a signed Registration Application (checklist), certified transcript of your undergraduate degree, Dean’s Certificate, and a rolled fingerprint card.
What is the filing deadline?
The on-time deadline is November 17th of the second year of law school.
Must the Supreme Court receive my application by the deadline?
Yes. In order for an application to be on-time, it must be received by 5pm on the 17th.
What if I miss the deadline?
If you miss the 2L deadline, you can still submit an application but it will be considered late. You will have to pay additional fees and your provisional approval will be delayed. The late deadline for submitting the Application to Register as a Candidate is Jan 15th of your last year of law school.
How can I check the status of my application?
Use the Office of Bar Admissions Online Services to check your application status: http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/AttySvcs/admissions/onlineSvcs/default.asp
How long does the process take?
The Supreme Court sends your application to the NCBE in Madison Wisconsin and the NCBE verifies all of the information. This takes 4-6 months.
Is this all I need to do to be approved to take the bar exam?
No. This is just the first step to being approved to take the Ohio bar exam. You must also submit a Bar Exam Application between Nov 1- April 1 of your last year of law school. http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/AttySvcs/admissions/examApps/default.asp
Where can I get fingerprint cards?
You can get fingerprint cards from the Registrar’s window or from Professor Kelly.
Where can I get rolled fingerprints?
The Columbus Police Department provides rolled fingerprints M-F, 8-3:45. http://www.columbuspolice.org/Services/Services.html
Make sure to bring: photo ID that includes your date of birth, current address, payment ($10- cash), and name & address of person receiving results.
Important! Ohio statute requires fingerprinting be done by a law enforcement agency. OSU has moved its fingerprinting services to human resources. HR is not a law enforcement agency and cannot provide fingerprinting for the C&F application.
Who signs the Dean’s Certificate?
Fill out the Dean’s Certificate and email it to the Moritz registrar for signature. She will let you know when you can pick it up.
How do I find my past employment history?
Look at your old tax returns and W-2s.
How do I find all the places I’ve lived?
Do a public records search on yourself using Lexis or Westlaw.
How do I find my driving record?
Past 3 years: state BMV website.
4+ years: search the county/municipality where you got the ticket. Most counties have online records and a simple search of your name should reveal your tickets.
If you still can’t find the information, contact Professor Kelly.
What if I can’t find the address or contact information for someone I worked for?
If you worked for a larger company, put down the general HR contact information.
If there is no HR department, put down the name of someone (friend) who can verify that you worked there. Contact this friend and tell him/her what you are doing.
What if some of my references don’t fill out the form?
You cannot control third party actions so don’t worry if all your references don’t respond. You cannot send more than 6 and you don’t need to. Most people don’t have 100% of their information verified so don’t worry if all your references don’t respond.
What items must get notarized?
The following forms must get notarized. Acknowledgement of Completion (1 copy)
- Form 7A- General Authorization and Release (2 copies)
- Form 7D- NCBE Authorization and Release (3 copies)
- If applicable: Forms 7B & &C (mental health and substance abuse)
The number of copies will automatically print when you print your questionnaire.
Where do I turn in my application?
You can either mail or hand-deliver (recommended) your application packet to the Ohio Supreme Court, 65 South Front Street, Columbus.
How are character & fitness amendments filed?
You should amend your application with NCBE and the Ohio Supreme Court.
- Ohio Supreme Court Bar Admissions Online Services: http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/AttySvcs/admissions/onlineSvcs/default.asp
- NCBE amendment forms: http://www.ncbex.org/character-and-fitness/
The NCBE accepts supplements by fax, email, or regular mail.
Who can notarize my application?
Several people at Moritz are notaries: Professor Kelly (308), Susan Edwards (326), Lynda Seelie (clinic), and Malako Hampton (215).
When will I have my C&F interview?
After the NCBE has verified your information it sends the application back to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court then sends it to a local bar association admissions committee. The Committee has 30 days to take action on the file. “Take action” does not mean interview you. It means to contact you and schedule an interview. Interviews are usually scheduled within 1-3 months of the Committee receiving your file.
What does it mean if I just got an email about scheduling an interview? What should I expect from the interview?
You will be interviewed by two Committee members and most interviews last 20-30 minutes. The interviewers might ask questions about past infractions or they might just ask general conversational questions.
What should I wear to the interview?
This is a professional interview so you should wear a suit. Men, make sure you are clean-shaven. Women, you may wear a pant-suit but make sure to dress conservatively.