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District of Columbia Court of Appeals

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How to Apply for Admission by Examination for the February 2022 Uniform Bar Exam

Please review exam policies in connection with Covid 19 protocols that were previously announced:exam announcement.

Rules Regulating Admission to the Bar in the District of Columbia

You are responsible to read and understand the rules governing admission and unauthorized practice of law: D.C. App. R. 46 (https://admissions.dcappeals.gov/rule-46) and D.C. App. R. 49 (https://admissions.dcappeals.gov/admin/getpdfformfromadmin.action?queryType=1&id=389) Please note that the admissions rules were amended this year.

Because of the Covid 19 pandemic, there are additional requirements for persons wishing to sit for the February 2022 Bar Exam: https://admissions.dcappeals.gov/feb-2022-exam-announce

If you did not obtain a JD or LLB from an ABA approved law school, please also read Guidance Regarding 26 ABA Credit hour Requirement for Graduates of non-ABA Approved Law Schools. (https://admissions.dcappeals.gov/admin/getpdfformfromadmin.action?queryType=1&id=388)

DC requires that LLB or non-ABA approved JD transcripts demonstrate that applicants’ completed a degree that is substantially equivalent to a Juris Doctor degree that would be awarded by a law school approved by the ABA. Please note: this requirement may differ from the non-ABA approved LLB and JD degree requirements.

The 2021-2022 Standards and Rule of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools “require, as a condition for graduation [with a Juris Doctor degree], successful completion of a course of study of not fewer than 83 credit hours.”

Pursuant to Rule 46(c)(4), the Committee on Admissions will audit credits from an ABA approved law school transcript to determine if “all such 26 credit hours [have been] earned in courses of study, each of which is substantially concentrated on a single subject tested on the Uniform Bar Examination.”

Applicants must satisfy both requirements to be eligible to take the DC Bar exam.

Proper Application Filing Process

For your application to be properly filed for the bar exam, you must submit the following:

  1. electronic application
  2. any required supplemental documents
  3. your attestation that you intend to apply for admission to practice law  and to practice law in the District of Columbia
  4. your attestation regarding your Covid 19 vaccination status, and the District of Columbia authorization and release form by the published filing deadline
  5. your accommodation request, if you wish to apply for accommodations
  6. your photo
  7. application fee of $232.00

Because of the seating capacity limits, you should apply as early as possible, beginning on November 2, 2021. The application will close when the seating capacity is reached.

1. Create an Account – You must first create an account and complete screening questions to determine your eligibility for the exam.

2. Application - Complete and submit the application online. If you completed the character and fitness questionnaire on the NCBE website within the past four years for a prior application to the District of Columbia you will complete the abbreviated Re-Application.

3. Filing Fee -  After completing all steps you will be prompted to pay the prescribed filing fee, either by credit card, debit card, or e-check. We do not accept any other form of payment.

4. District of Columbia Authorization and Release form - Print the A&R form and sign it in the presence of a notary. Scan and save the notarized A&R as a PDF document. The properly signed and notarized A&R PDF must be uploaded to your account by the published deadline. If you previously applied for an exam in D.C. you may re-upload the form you used with your prior application.

5. Supplemental forms

All bar exam applicants with a JD from an ABA Approved law school must upload a Declaration of Graduation/Anticipated Graduation Form. If you have previously applied, you may re-upload the form you used for the prior exam.

All bar exam applicants who do not have a JD from an ABA approved law school must upload the following:

a. Declaration of Graduation from a non-ABA Approved Law School

b. Declaration of Completion/Anticipated Completion of 26 Credit Hours at an ABA    

Approved Law School

c. Copy of Diploma from non-ABA approved Law School

d. Copy of Official Transcripts from non- ABA approved law school

e. Copy of Official Transcripts from ABA approved law school

f. Copy of course descriptions from ABA approved law school

 

5. Additional Documentation – The documents that applicants need from third parties or other sources will be determined by your responses to specific questions. Applicants who reply “yes” to questions regarding the following will need to provide additional documentation: arrests, civil litigation, academic disciplinary action, unauthorized practice of law, law school discipline, college/university discipline, military service, alcohol or drug related traffic violation and tax debt. Note: The analyst performing the background investigation may ask for other information after your application is submitted.

 

6. MPRE Score Report – A minimum score of 75 on the MPRE is required for admission. You must request that your MPRE Score be reported to the District of Columbia.

7. Uploaded Photo - A photo is required for all exam applications.  Note - photos must meet certain requirements. A selfie can usually meet these requirements.  See list of requirements here. A new photo is required each time you apply for a bar exam.

8. Vaccine Attestation Form – As explained above, this form must be submitted with your application.

9. Attestation as Bonafide applicant – A bona-fide applicant for the purposes of the February 2022 exam is an applicant who intends to apply for admission to the District of Columbia, and who intends to practice in D.C. upon admission. Only applicants who meet this definition are eligible to take the exam. This attestation must be submitted with your application.

 

Background Investigation

Within 7-10 business  days after filing your application with the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, you will receive an email from the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) with instructions on how to submit payment for the background investigation. Note that although your filed application is sufficient for applying to sit for the bar exam, the background investigation is required for your character and fitness review. If you re re-applying and have completed a character and fitness application questionnaire for the District of Columbia within the past four years you will complete the character and fitness questions on the Re-Application 

If you are a first time applicant to the District of Columbia who has already completed and made payment for a character and fitness questionnaire through the NCBE website for a District of Columbia application, you will also complete the Abbreviated Re- Application. You will not pay additional for the Re-Application and you will not receive an email from NCBE.

Electronic Communications

All information and announcements are posted on our website at https://admissions.dcappeals.gov/home. You are expected to regularly visit the Committee on Admissions (“COA”) web site to review the announcements and information posted there. COA corresponds with applicants primarily via e-mail. You should use an e-mail address that you can access even after graduation from law school. You are required to maintain a current e-mail address and mailing address on your personal COA Registration Account, and to regularly read all mail from this office, whether sent electronically or by postal service. It is your responsibility to ensure that e-mails from COA are not filtered as spam and to add @dccourts.gov to your e-mail address book.