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Florida Character & Fitness Investigation Attorney

Essential Eligibility Requirements for The Florida Bar

The Board of Bar Examiners looks for evidence of the following qualities in all applicants (Rule 3-10.1 paraphrased):

  1. they know the law and how to apply it;
  2. they know how to logically and correctly analyze legal issues; and,
  3. they show that if their admission is recommended, they:
    1. will meet deadlines;
    2. will communicate honestly and respectfully with peers, the courts, clients and others;
    3. will manage finances ethically and responsibly;
    4. won’t do anything that could or does put anyone in danger;
    5. won’t cheat or steal; and
    6. will obey the laws, orders of the court, and the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Conversely, adverse/disqualifying conduct can route an application for investigative hearing, and in some cases, might be the basis for denial of admission (Rule 3-11):

  1. unlawful conduct;
  2. academic misconduct;
  3. making or procuring any false or misleading statement or omission of relevant information, including any false or misleading statement or omission on the Bar Application, or any amendment, or in any testimony or sworn statement submitted to the Board;
  4. misconduct in employment;
  5. acts involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation;
  6. abuse of legal process;
  7. financial irresponsibility;
  8. neglect of professional obligations;
  9. violation of an order of a court;
  10. evidence of a mental disorder that may impair the ability to practice law;
  11. evidence of a substance use disorder that may impair the ability to practice law;
  12. denial of admission to the bar in another jurisdiction on character and fitness grounds;
  13. disciplinary action by a lawyer disciplinary agency or other professional disciplinary agency of any jurisdiction; or
  14. any other conduct that reflects adversely on the character or fitness of the applicant.

Having one or more of the adverse/disqualifying factors doesn’t automatically mean you’re not going to get admitted to the Florida Bar. The Board looks at the circumstances around the adverse conduct, to give the incident(s) appropriate weight and significance (Rule 3-12):

  1. age at the time of the conduct;
  2. recency of the conduct;
  3. reliability of the information concerning the conduct;
  4. seriousness of the conduct;
  5. factors underlying the conduct;
  6. cumulative effect of the conduct or information;
  7. evidence of rehabilitation;
  8. positive social contributions since the conduct;
  9. candor in the admissions process; and,
  10. materiality of any omissions or misrepresentations.
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