Law School Discussion

admission to the bar -- character & fitness?

admission to the bar -- character & fitness?
« on: July 31, 2005, 03:01:15 PM »
I have a general question about this section of the application to the bar. In my state you have to submit every former emplyer you've had since age 16 or the last 10 years, if you're older, and you have to give a reason for leaving. I was wondering, does anyone know if they actually CONTACT these employers and check up on this stuff? I seriously doubt they'd have the time and resources to do that, but it does say the application takes 6-8 months to go through. I haven't ever been fired or anything like that, it's kind of a long story why I want to know this, but I would really like to know if they contact employers and if so, what do they ask them?

I hope that made sense. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated!

Re: admission to the bar -- character & fitness?
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2005, 04:14:42 PM »
I wondered the same thing about how closely the bar examiners check past employment. My reason for wondering is that I'll be 46 when I graduate and California requires you to go back to age 18, even if that's way more than 10 years. If I'm going to spend dozens and dozens of hours documenting 28 years of employment history, I wanted to make sure I wouldn't be penalized because some place where I worked for six weeks in 1980 or 1981 had been sold two or three times, the building had been razed, or I couldn't remember a supervisor name. (You may have a different reason.)
So my school's assistant dean gave me a contact at the California bar. The woman at calbar was vague, but said the investigators check only things that raise red flags. She also emphasized that applicants should account for any employment gaps of four months or more. And that even though I'm required to go back more than a quarter century, the last 10 years are most important. I came away with the impression she didn't want to get too specific because applicants who have whatever the bar considers a red flag may find a way to create more work for the investigators. But I also got the impression that being middle-aged isn't a red flag by itself.
Oh, and you have to list any legal job (which I think means law-related job) even if it was longer than 10 years ago.

Re: admission to the bar -- character & fitness?
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2005, 10:51:35 PM »
No, they don't.  I don't know how they decide what to check, but I know CA didn't check all my employers.  However, if you take a government position, even an internship, they will call everybody when checking you for a security clearance.  You only have to go back 7 years for that, though, so it's easier.