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District of Columbia Court of Appeals

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


The following questions are frequently asked about District of Columbia Bar Admissions. Each of the below questions is linked to the corresponding answer.

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Admissions FAQ's


- How do I apply for admission in D.C.?
- How long does it take to be admitted in D.C.?
- When is admission to the practice of law in D.C. complete?
- How do I apply by Exam?
- How do I apply by Motion/Waive In?
- Are bar review courses available through the Committee on Admissions?
- Is there a limit on how many times I can take the Exam?
- Is there a limit on how many times I may take the UBE exam if I am transferring my score from another jurisdiction?
- What are the Bar Exam Fees?
- Are application fees refundable?
- When is a Certificate of Good Standing required with an application?
- Do I have to provide official MBE / UBE score reports?
- Do I have to provide an official copy of my MPRE score report?
- Do UBE, MBE, and MPRE scores expire?
- When uploading documents, is it acceptable if the seal does not appear on the documents?
- What are Motion/Waive and Special Legal Consultant Fees?
- I Was Unsuccessful on the Bar Exam. When I Reapply Do I have to fill out a new NCBE application?
- The Character and Fitness Questionnaire asks for a lot of information. I am not sure how to answer some of the questions. What if I don’t remember past job or residential information?
- What document must I provide from my law school?
- What are the approved 26 credit hour courses?
- Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) Requirements?
- Can I take the bar exam without a passing MPRE score?
- How do I apply for Special Accommodations?
- Can I use my laptop to take the Bar Exam?
- Do you supply laptops?
- How do I withdraw an application?
- How do I request a Wall Certificate Request?
- What is DC Court of Appeals Address?
- How do I update my contact information?
- How much are DC Bar Dues?
- How do I request a Certificate of Good Standing?

Photo Requirements


- What types of applications require an uploaded photo?
- What are the requirements for an uploaded photo?


Admissions FAQ's


How do I apply for admission in D.C.?

All applicants must create an account and answer screening questions to determine eligibility to apply. For your application to be properly filed you must submit the electronic application, any supplemental documents, application fees, and the District of Columbia authorization and release form. Additional instructions related to the background investigation will be provided after you file your application. Specific information on how to apply by the various methods of application can be found on the Information & Applications page.

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How long does it take to be admitted in D.C.?
  • Exam Applicants: February Exam applicants are notified of results in May; July Exam applicants are notified of results in October. The character and fitness review is conducted for successful applicants following the notification of exam results. Most applicants are able to complete the swearing-in process in July and January respectively.
  • Motion/Waive In Applicants: It can take 10 - 12 months to complete the admissions process for motion/waiver applications. (The 10 - 12 months starts from the date you submitted your application) Where the candidate has substantial international experience, the process may take up to 18 plus months. Once the background investigation is completed, the applications is queued for review. 
  • For questions about the status of your application, please log into your account and use the "Create Message" button to send your inquiry directly to the staff reviewer responsible for your application.
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When is admission to the practice of law in D.C. complete?
  • Admission to the practice of law in the District of Columbia is under the jurisdiction of the D.C. Court of Appeals. You may hold out that you are entitled to practice law once you have received notice that the Committee on Admissions of the D.C. Court of Appeals has accepted your swear-in documents. You will receive a email once your swear in documents have be accepted. (Processing time is 5 to 7 business days.)
  • You must also register with the D.C. Bar to receive your attorney license. All registration questions are answered by the DC Bar Membership Office 202-626-3475.
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How do I apply by Exam? You may apply for admission by exam during the exam registration periods by first creating  an account. You will need an email address for your user ID. You may register during an open exam application period  Here. Back to TOP

How do I apply by Motion/Waive In?
  • Please create an account by visiting the Committee on Admissions website. You will need an email address for your user ID. Please register with an email that will be accessible to you for the duration of the application. Please read carefully and select the proper Motion Application.
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Are bar review courses available through the Committee on Admissions?
  • No. This office does not provide bar review courses. In addition to commercial providers, the National Conference of Bar examiners offers some study aids: www.ncbex.org.
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Is there a limit on how many times I can take the Exam?
  • Yes, you are limited to 4 attempts on any component of the exam. See Rule 46(c)(14).
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Is there a limit on how many times I may take the UBE exam if I am transferring my score from another jurisdiction?
  • Yes, you may not transfer a UBE score that was earned on the 5th (or more) attempt on the UBE in any jurisdiction. See Rule 46 (d)(3)(C).
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What are the Bar Exam Fees?

Click here for the breakdown of fees for the July 2021 Bar Exam.

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Are application fees refundable? No, application fees are NOT refundable nor transferable.. Back to TOP

When is a Certificate of Good Standing required with an application?
  • A Certificate of Good Standing is not required to apply for admission. However applicants who are admitted in another jurisdictions and are applying  by Three Year Provision must upload a Declaration of Three Years' Good Standing.
  • Applicants who are applying by MBE Score Transfer may upload a copy of their current registration from the licensing authority's website.
  • UBE Score Transfer applications do not require a certificate of good standing.
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Do I have to provide official MBE / UBE score reports?

Yes, request that NCBE send your scores  to the District of Columbia.

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Do I have to provide an official copy of my MPRE score report?
  • No, but you must request that your MPRE score be reported by NCBE to the District of Columbia.
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Do UBE, MBE, and MPRE scores expire?
  • Exam Applicants: A UBE score (266) expires after 5 years after it was earned. See Rule 46(d)(3)(B)
  • Motion/WaveIn Applicants Only: An MBE score of 133 or higher used for an application by motion/waiver DOES NOT EXPIRE.
  • MPRE scores DO NOT EXPIRE.
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When uploading documents, is it acceptable if the seal does not appear on the documents?
  • Yes, however, please keep the original document. You may be asked to produce it.
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What are Motion/Waive and Special Legal Consultant Fees?

Click here for a breakdown of the Motion/ Waive In Fees and Special Legal Consultant Fees.

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I Was Unsuccessful on the Bar Exam. When I Reapply Do I have to fill out a new NCBE application?
  • Exam re-takers are required to complete the Abbreviated Re-Application.
  • Exam re-takers who completed the character and fitness questions more than four years ago will be required to complete the full character and fitness questionnaire.
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The Character and Fitness Questionnaire asks for a lot of information. I am not sure how to answer some of the questions. What if I don’t remember past job or residential information?
  • The Committee on Admissions cannot advise you on your disclosures. Please answer all questions based on your understanding of the question to the best of your ability.
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What document must I provide from my law school?

Rule 46(c)(3) requires that applicants have a JD or LLB from an ABA approved law school, Rule 46(c)(4) requires that applicants who do not have an J.D. or LLB from an ABA approved law school earn an additional 26 credit hours at an ABA approved law school that meet specific requirements. See Rule 46.

 

All applicants with a JD from an ABA Approved law school must upload a Declaration of Graduation/Anticipated Graduation Form.

All 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

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What are the approved 26 credit hour courses?
  • Please refer to the memo “Guidance for Graduates of non-ABA Approved Law Schools: Here
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Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) Requirements?
  • The Committee requires a minimum-scaled score of 75 on the MPRE.
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Can I take the bar exam without a passing MPRE score?
  • Yes, you may take the bar exam, however you will not be admitted to the bar without having earned a passing score of 75 or higher.
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How do I apply for Special Accommodations?

  • Here are links to materials needed to apply for accommodations:  Guidance for Medical Documentation & the Applicant Request Form. Documents may be uploaded to your account.  If you received accommodations for a prior D.C. bar exam and are requesting the same accommodation you must still upload your request form.  If you have already submitted a request and supplementary documents for the current exam, please upload your request form only to your application.
  • For the February 2022 exam, accommodations requests are due by November 29, 2021 (5 pm EST).
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Can I use my laptop to take the Bar Exam?
  • Yes, you may use a laptop for the essay portion of the exam.
  • Software for the exam is provided by a third party and applicants must register and pay during the registration period which is approximately 3 to 6 weeks before the exam.
  • The District of Columbia is not responsible for any electrical failure/software failure or any other occurrence that interferes with the functioning of the laptop at the exam.
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Do you supply laptops? No, Applicants must provide their own laptop computers. Back to TOP

How do I withdraw an application?

Withdrawals must be made in writing. To withdraw your application, email a letter to the contact email with the alphabetical range containing your last name.

A to Ch - kallen@dcappeals.gov

Ci to Gr - nlane@dcappeals.gov

Gs to Kr - sparrish@dcappeals.gov

Ks to Ni  - jmsmith@dcappeals.gov

Nj to Sh - ddade@dcappeals.gov

Si to Z - rhunter@dcappeals.gov

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How do I request a Wall Certificate Request? Back to TOP

What is DC Court of Appeals Address?

Committee on Admissions DC Court of Appeals,

Room 123 430 E Street,

NW Washington,

DC 20001

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How do I update my contact information?
  • Login to your account, “click update profile” and make edits.
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How much are DC Bar Dues? Back to TOP

How do I request a Certificate of Good Standing? Back to TOP

Photo Requirements


What types of applications require an uploaded photo?

Only bar exam applications require a photo.

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What are the requirements for an uploaded photo?

Your photo must meet the following requirements:

  • Taken within the past 6 months and reflect your current appearance.
  • Color photo.
  • Individual photo taken in front of a plain white background.
  • Full face view, directly facing the camera, with a neutral expression and both eyes open.
  • Taken with uniform lighting. Photo must not show shadows or shadowing of facial features.
  • No hat or head covering unless worn for religious purposes.
  • Glasses are permitted; however, a glare or light reflection in the lenses of glasses in the photo is not acceptable (glare can be avoided with a slight downward tilt of the glasses or by turning off the flash).
  • 300 x 300 once uploaded and cropped.
  • Photo file type must be a .png, .jpg., or .jpeg
  • Photo should only include your head and your shoulders.

Image result for front head silhouette

 

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