I can't speak for all states, but Illinois does have some fairly strict background requirements for being accepted into the bar. Often times, a law school will not accept you if they think that you won't be eligible for the Bar. You will have to disclose all of your prior arrests and convictions, as well as the little stuff like traffic tickets.If we are talking about things such as fraud, violence, or theft, you will likely not be considered for Bar entrance. The reason for this is that lawyers are entrusted with peoples lives and often times, large amounts of money in the form of trusts or estate management. You can sometimes get in with things such as a DUI on your record, but I have heard that two DUI's is seen as big red flag.
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