How does the NY Bar background check work?

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How does the NY Bar background check work?

Postby HarvardHopeful95 » Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:48 am

Hey guys! As a type A future law student wanting to ensure I understand as much as possible, I was wondering how the Bar background check works. If it a normal background check (credit & criminal history), or is it like Federal security clearance checks where they also interview friends, family, and neighbors?

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Re: How does the NY Bar background check work?

Postby yuzu » Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:51 pm

It is somewhat in between the two. You can see the form here:

You also need notarized moral character affidavits from two people you know, preferably including one attorney. New York is unusual in that the character and fitness process does not begin until after you have passed the bar exam. They might contact prior employers and educational institutions, but they shouldn't interview your neighbors or anything like that.

Finally, New York includes a personal interview before you are admitted. But this is typically a 30-second perfunctory interview. Federal security clearances are denied for all sorts of reasons, whereas it usually takes a lot to fail the bar's character & fitness process. Unless you have something fairly serious to disclose, you shouldn't worry too much about it.

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