California Bar Moral Character Application

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Anonymous User
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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:42 pm

I actually had an informal conference about three weeks ago and recieved a positive moral character determination last week.It usualy takes 2 weeks for a determination to be reached, if you have not heard from the bar since January maybe you should call. The Bar is seriously undertaffed, dealing with the Covid-19 crisis and it's impac, don't be afraid to call and ask what is going on. If you get denied the 2 years start when you get denied so the over 1 year for your application determination will not count. Hope this helps and best of luck.
Anonymous User wrote:New to this, but wanted to see if anyone else is going through or has gone through Ca. informal hearing. I have 2 dui's on my record. Showed substantial proof of rehabilitation. I attended my "informal hearing" on Jan. 30, 2020. I have yet to get a final determination. Is there a deadline or time frame the committee has in providing a final decision?

Sucks waiting because bar results will be out in less than 4 weeks and my guess is committee will not issue final decision by the time I learn if I passed (or failed) the bar. Also, assuming I do not get a decision in my favor, when does the 2 year mark to reapply start? I first submitted my Moral App. on December of 2018. Would it be 2 years from then? Or 2 years from when they deny?

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Post by EskimoQuinn » Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I actually had an informal conference about three weeks ago and recieved a positive moral character determination last week.It usualy takes 2 weeks for a determination to be reached, if you have not heard from the bar since January maybe you should call. The Bar is seriously undertaffed, dealing with the Covid-19 crisis and it's impac, don't be afraid to call and ask what is going on. If you get denied the 2 years start when you get denied so the over 1 year for your application determination will not count. Hope this helps and best of luck.
(1) What was their reason for calling you in for the conference, i.e., what was on your background that gave them pause? Would greatly appreciate if you touched on it at a high level.

Also, I've never heard of anyone getting called into the hearing and then getting approved instead of receiving an abeyance or denial; this is great news.

(2) And you had an informal conference three weeks ago which is after the COVID-19 lock down went in place. Was it remote/Zoom/teleconference?

Anonymous User
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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:36 pm

I had a similar issue to the poster, a DUI. The informal conference was remote on the computer via Lifesize. The informal conference really doesn't come as a surprise if you have red flags, so I was pepared and had a positive attitude throughout the process, and I realy think that helped. My advice is to be honest and take accountability.
EskimoQuinn wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I actually had an informal conference about three weeks ago and recieved a positive moral character determination last week.It usualy takes 2 weeks for a determination to be reached, if you have not heard from the bar since January maybe you should call. The Bar is seriously undertaffed, dealing with the Covid-19 crisis and it's impac, don't be afraid to call and ask what is going on. If you get denied the 2 years start when you get denied so the over 1 year for your application determination will not count. Hope this helps and best of luck.
(1) What was their reason for calling you in for the conference, i.e., what was on your background that gave them pause? Would greatly appreciate if you touched on it at a high level.

Also, I've never heard of anyone getting called into the hearing and then getting approved instead of receiving an abeyance or denial; this is great news.

(2) And you had an informal conference three weeks ago which is after the COVID-19 lock down went in place. Was it remote/Zoom/teleconference?

EskimoQuinn

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Post by EskimoQuinn » Wed Apr 15, 2020 8:52 pm

Ah, understood. Thanks kindly for the helpful info!
Anonymous User wrote:I had a similar issue to the poster, a DUI. The informal conference was remote on the computer via Lifesize. The informal conference really doesn't come as a surprise if you have red flags, so I was pepared and had a positive attitude throughout the process, and I realy think that helped. My advice is to be honest and take accountability.
EskimoQuinn wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I actually had an informal conference about three weeks ago and recieved a positive moral character determination last week.It usualy takes 2 weeks for a determination to be reached, if you have not heard from the bar since January maybe you should call. The Bar is seriously undertaffed, dealing with the Covid-19 crisis and it's impac, don't be afraid to call and ask what is going on. If you get denied the 2 years start when you get denied so the over 1 year for your application determination will not count. Hope this helps and best of luck.
(1) What was their reason for calling you in for the conference, i.e., what was on your background that gave them pause? Would greatly appreciate if you touched on it at a high level.

Also, I've never heard of anyone getting called into the hearing and then getting approved instead of receiving an abeyance or denial; this is great news.

(2) And you had an informal conference three weeks ago which is after the COVID-19 lock down went in place. Was it remote/Zoom/teleconference?

Anonymous User
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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Apr 21, 2020 10:52 am

Hey guys I just received an assigned to investigator email and it worried me. I'm wondering if this is something standard. From what I've read, I believe it is and the end is near, but also not sure. Thanks!

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WhatsUP?

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Post by WhatsUP? » Tue Apr 21, 2020 4:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hey guys I just received an assigned to investigator email and it worried me. I'm wondering if this is something standard. From what I've read, I believe it is and the end is near, but also not sure. Thanks!
That is a sign the end is near! It was for me. Last week, I finally, I received the ever so long awaited email from the State Bar informing me that my Moral Character Application was approved. Now I am anxiously waiting for my Oath packet.

Hang in there. The end is near!!! And congrats.

Anonymous User
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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Apr 23, 2020 11:44 am

If I may ask, what kinds of questions were you asked? Did you have long term sobriety?
Anonymous User wrote:I actually had an informal conference about three weeks ago and recieved a positive moral character determination last week.It usualy takes 2 weeks for a determination to be reached, if you have not heard from the bar since January maybe you should call. The Bar is seriously undertaffed, dealing with the Covid-19 crisis and it's impac, don't be afraid to call and ask what is going on. If you get denied the 2 years start when you get denied so the over 1 year for your application determination will not count. Hope this helps and best of luck.
Anonymous User wrote:New to this, but wanted to see if anyone else is going through or has gone through Ca. informal hearing. I have 2 dui's on my record. Showed substantial proof of rehabilitation. I attended my "informal hearing" on Jan. 30, 2020. I have yet to get a final determination. Is there a deadline or time frame the committee has in providing a final decision?

Sucks waiting because bar results will be out in less than 4 weeks and my guess is committee will not issue final decision by the time I learn if I passed (or failed) the bar. Also, assuming I do not get a decision in my favor, when does the 2 year mark to reapply start? I first submitted my Moral App. on December of 2018. Would it be 2 years from then? Or 2 years from when they deny?

Anonymous User
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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:46 pm

After you send in your bar card, how long does it take to get assigned a bar number? Also, do you get any kind of email that a bar number has been assigned, or do you have to just keep searching for your name on the attorney search?

Anonymous User
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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:43 am

The informal conference lasted about an hour, the bar asked about the incident what happened and if I took accountability for it. Then they asked about my rehabilitative efforts and yes you do need to have long term sobriety. I thought the questions were fair, if you have a copy of your application re-read it before the conference and see what you think might raise a question. You need to be accountable,candid and cooperative. Hope it helps!
Anonymous User wrote:If I may ask, what kinds of questions were you asked? Did you have long term sobriety?
Anonymous User wrote:I actually had an informal conference about three weeks ago and recieved a positive moral character determination last week.It usualy takes 2 weeks for a determination to be reached, if you have not heard from the bar since January maybe you should call. The Bar is seriously undertaffed, dealing with the Covid-19 crisis and it's impac, don't be afraid to call and ask what is going on. If you get denied the 2 years start when you get denied so the over 1 year for your application determination will not count. Hope this helps and best of luck.
Anonymous User wrote:New to this, but wanted to see if anyone else is going through or has gone through Ca. informal hearing. I have 2 dui's on my record. Showed substantial proof of rehabilitation. I attended my "informal hearing" on Jan. 30, 2020. I have yet to get a final determination. Is there a deadline or time frame the committee has in providing a final decision?

Sucks waiting because bar results will be out in less than 4 weeks and my guess is committee will not issue final decision by the time I learn if I passed (or failed) the bar. Also, assuming I do not get a decision in my favor, when does the 2 year mark to reapply start? I first submitted my Moral App. on December of 2018. Would it be 2 years from then? Or 2 years from when they deny?

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Louis88

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Post by Louis88 » Sat Apr 25, 2020 12:36 pm

I have two DUI's (2003 and 2010). So basically when I tell them I had been sober for a year and a half, had a brief slip in January, giving me 4 months of sobriety, I can expect that will probably extremely bad for me? Ugh, this is so frustrating.
Anonymous User wrote:The informal conference lasted about an hour, the bar asked about the incident what happened and if I took accountability for it. Then they asked about my rehabilitative efforts and yes you do need to have long term sobriety. I thought the questions were fair, if you have a copy of your application re-read it before the conference and see what you think might raise a question. You need to be accountable,candid and cooperative. Hope it helps!
Anonymous User wrote:If I may ask, what kinds of questions were you asked? Did you have long term sobriety?
Anonymous User wrote:I actually had an informal conference about three weeks ago and recieved a positive moral character determination last week.It usualy takes 2 weeks for a determination to be reached, if you have not heard from the bar since January maybe you should call. The Bar is seriously undertaffed, dealing with the Covid-19 crisis and it's impac, don't be afraid to call and ask what is going on. If you get denied the 2 years start when you get denied so the over 1 year for your application determination will not count. Hope this helps and best of luck.
Anonymous User wrote:New to this, but wanted to see if anyone else is going through or has gone through Ca. informal hearing. I have 2 dui's on my record. Showed substantial proof of rehabilitation. I attended my "informal hearing" on Jan. 30, 2020. I have yet to get a final determination. Is there a deadline or time frame the committee has in providing a final decision?

Sucks waiting because bar results will be out in less than 4 weeks and my guess is committee will not issue final decision by the time I learn if I passed (or failed) the bar. Also, assuming I do not get a decision in my favor, when does the 2 year mark to reapply start? I first submitted my Moral App. on December of 2018. Would it be 2 years from then? Or 2 years from when they deny?

Anonymous User
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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Apr 25, 2020 1:30 pm

Louis88 wrote:I have two DUI's (2003 and 2010). So basically when I tell them I had been sober for a year and a half, had a brief slip in January, giving me 4 months of sobriety, I can expect that will probably extremely bad for me? Ugh, this is so frustrating.
Anonymous User wrote:The informal conference lasted about an hour, the bar asked about the incident what happened and if I took accountability for it. Then they asked about my rehabilitative efforts and yes you do need to have long term sobriety. I thought the questions were fair, if you have a copy of your application re-read it before the conference and see what you think might raise a question. You need to be accountable,candid and cooperative. Hope it helps!
Anonymous User wrote:If I may ask, what kinds of questions were you asked? Did you have long term sobriety?
Anonymous User wrote:I actually had an informal conference about three weeks ago and recieved a positive moral character determination last week.It usualy takes 2 weeks for a determination to be reached, if you have not heard from the bar since January maybe you should call. The Bar is seriously undertaffed, dealing with the Covid-19 crisis and it's impac, don't be afraid to call and ask what is going on. If you get denied the 2 years start when you get denied so the over 1 year for your application determination will not count. Hope this helps and best of luck.
Anonymous User wrote:New to this, but wanted to see if anyone else is going through or has gone through Ca. informal hearing. I have 2 dui's on my record. Showed substantial proof of rehabilitation. I attended my "informal hearing" on Jan. 30, 2020. I have yet to get a final determination. Is there a deadline or time frame the committee has in providing a final decision?

Sucks waiting because bar results will be out in less than 4 weeks and my guess is committee will not issue final decision by the time I learn if I passed (or failed) the bar. Also, assuming I do not get a decision in my favor, when does the 2 year mark to reapply start? I first submitted my Moral App. on December of 2018. Would it be 2 years from then? Or 2 years from when they deny?
Have you ever looked at having those charges expunged? The application states that you are excluded from disclosing charges that have been expunged in California under certain statutes or similar statues of other jurisdictions. I had a couple of similar charges, and I had them expunged. Didn't disclose, and they didn't ask about them.

Louis88

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Post by Louis88 » Sat Apr 25, 2020 1:54 pm

My video conference is in two weeks. They already know about the DUI's and I had to send the addendum discussing my relationship with alcohol. I am pretty screwed I feel. Also, we are in a pandemic and I am not going to AA right now as I live with a cancer survivor and pretty much avoid going anywhere

Anonymous User
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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Apr 25, 2020 2:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The informal conference lasted about an hour, the bar asked about the incident what happened and if I took accountability for it. Then they asked about my rehabilitative efforts and yes you do need to have long term sobriety. I thought the questions were fair, if you have a copy of your application re-read it before the conference and see what you think might raise a question. You need to be accountable,candid and cooperative. Hope it helps!
Anonymous User wrote:If I may ask, what kinds of questions were you asked? Did you have long term sobriety?
Anonymous User wrote:I actually had an informal conference about three weeks ago and recieved a positive moral character determination last week.It usualy takes 2 weeks for a determination to be reached, if you have not heard from the bar since January maybe you should call. The Bar is seriously undertaffed, dealing with the Covid-19 crisis and it's impac, don't be afraid to call and ask what is going on. If you get denied the 2 years start when you get denied so the over 1 year for your application determination will not count. Hope this helps and best of luck.
Anonymous User wrote:New to this, but wanted to see if anyone else is going through or has gone through Ca. informal hearing. I have 2 dui's on my record. Showed substantial proof of rehabilitation. I attended my "informal hearing" on Jan. 30, 2020. I have yet to get a final determination. Is there a deadline or time frame the committee has in providing a final decision?

Sucks waiting because bar results will be out in less than 4 weeks and my guess is committee will not issue final decision by the time I learn if I passed (or failed) the bar. Also, assuming I do not get a decision in my favor, when does the 2 year mark to reapply start? I first submitted my Moral App. on December of 2018. Would it be 2 years from then? Or 2 years from when they deny?
[/quote]

Have you ever looked at having those charges expunged? The application states that you are excluded from disclosing charges that have been expunged in California under certain statutes or similar statues of other jurisdictions. I had a couple of similar charges, and I had them expunged. Didn't disclose, and they didn't ask about them.[/quote]

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CEReds

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Post by CEReds » Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:35 pm

Curious to know when did you finally receive clearance from your investigator if you don’t mind my asking?

I got My clearance about 2 weeks ago and currently still waiting as well
WhatsUP? wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hey guys I just received an assigned to investigator email and it worried me. I'm wondering if this is something standard. From what I've read, I believe it is and the end is near, but also not sure. Thanks!
That is a sign the end is near! It was for me. Last week, I finally, I received the ever so long awaited email from the State Bar informing me that my Moral Character Application was approved. Now I am anxiously waiting for my Oath packet.

Hang in there. The end is near!!! And congrats.

cityb101

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Post by cityb101 » Tue Apr 28, 2020 4:04 pm

Do you guys understand the point of listing all your residence history -- it's such a hassle! It seems odd that they want all past addresses but don't ask for landlord contact info. Is it just to verify that you haven't been evicted through database searches/public records? Do they still reach out to past landlords? Just curious

Anonymous User
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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Post by Anonymous User » Fri May 01, 2020 12:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just another data point:

Submitted 11/11/19
Received "completed/filed" email 1/16/2020 (application status is "Pending Internal Review")

I was expecting 4-5 months or so between submission and completion, so I'm pleasantly surprised.
Assigned to Investigator 5/1/2020

Edited to add: positive determination the same day!! Overall fewer than 6 months from submission

Anonymous User
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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Post by Anonymous User » Sun May 10, 2020 4:17 am

Hi all, I'm about to apply and have a few questions. I passed the CA Bar in 2017, I don't practice law, but want my license before the results expire. Not expecting any one person to answer all of this, but if people have any insight on anything here would be so helpful:

1. I have really bad credit, in the 400's. I didn't make payments on my student loan (entire debt is ~70k, all federal), but I am not in default, and will be up to date by the time I apply and I will continue to make regular payments. I had one credit card closed on me two years ago, and it is fully paid off. I don't have any other debt. How badly is this going to affect my application? Is there a strategy to wait longer before I apply? Will I need to explain myself even I fix it?

2. Anyone have experience with how deeply they look into social media and what they're looking for? I don't have any problems here but more of a privacy question, but if your account or albums are private are they still busting into these somehow?

3. For employment less than 6 months, do they ever come back and ask for references?

4. When they check with previous employers, do they only call the person you listed, or do their investigators go even more deeply, ie: also calling HR?

5. I technically put that I went to law school over the course of 4 years, because I was a few credits short and I took it a year later. But this didn't trigger a "gap" year to explain. Will this be a problem?

6. I got into an accident and have a lawyer to handle the case to collect damages against my own policy. We will likely settle and not go to court, do I have to report this, and if so, at what stage short of filing?

7. I got a restraining order against someone (I was the victim) - do I have to report this?

8. Do they ask for tax returns, or review them on their own, or not at all?

Thank you!!!

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JDJM6215

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Post by JDJM6215 » Mon May 11, 2020 11:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 12:22 pm
Anonymous User wrote:Just another data point:

Submitted 11/11/19
Received "completed/filed" email 1/16/2020 (application status is "Pending Internal Review")

I was expecting 4-5 months or so between submission and completion, so I'm pleasantly surprised.
Assigned to Investigator 5/1/2020

Edited to add: positive determination the same day!! Overall fewer than 6 months from submission
Passed the CA bar exam on Friday, received approval of my moral character extension application today. LIFE IS Good.

I promised I would write up a short explanation on how I passed the CA bar exam. It isn't short now.
I would have to say doing practice essays, PT’s and MBE’s is the only way to pass the test. The rest of the bar review material I think are not helpful in passing the exam.
Creating flash cards of my own helped a little.
First, I set up a daily schedule and sticking to it was key.
With my essays, I would read the facts and the question, decided what subject. I outlined putting down every issue I saw, IRAC was important, I made sure I had all the elements of a rule met or, if not met, then made my conclusion according to the facts. Typed my answer, then I TYPED the MODEL ANSWER to see what I missed. At night before falling asleep, I’d say the rule statements to myself over and over again..
I rotated my schedule, if I did 2 essays in the A.M. on Monday, then the afternoon was spent on 33 MBE’s. The next day 33 MBE’s in the a.m. and essays in the afternoon. Every couple of days, when I would normally have 2 essays, I would sub and type 1 essay with a PT. PT always was first and started around 1:30.
With MBE’s, I would only review my wrong answers making a list of why I messed up. I would redo all those wrong answered MBE’s immediately.
I did all the PT’s (90 minute ones) on CA website. I then did the PT’s that are on the GA bar website starting with the most recent and doing at least two a week. After I did a PT, I would type the model answer to see what the graders are looking for.
On exam day, I did the essay just like it was a practice essay, stopping as close to an hour as possible. The afternoon, I did the PT first, was over by 10 minutes, adjusted my time to finish each essay within 50 minutes. I had just a few minutes left, so then I read my PT, made some changes to make it sound more persuasive to the opposing counsel concluding the court would not allow a forced arbitration based on an affiliates contract that our existing contract would be what the court would solely follow (it was fun).
That’s it, and not very different from my previous attempts. What was different this time: typing the model answers. It helped me see what the graders were looking for. I did over 70 essays, 25 PT’s and over 2600 MBE’s, My MBE average overall was 77% of Adaptibar, NCBE and S&T questions.
I could go on and on, but really, practice essays, PT’s and MBE’s are the best way to retain the information needed for the CA Bar exam.

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Post by JDJM6215 » Mon May 11, 2020 11:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 4:17 am
Hi all, I'm about to apply and have a few questions. I passed the CA Bar in 2017, I don't practice law, but want my license before the results expire. Not expecting any one person to answer all of this, but if people have any insight on anything here would be so helpful:

1. I have really bad credit, in the 400's. I didn't make payments on my student loan (entire debt is ~70k, all federal), but I am not in default, and will be up to date by the time I apply and I will continue to make regular payments. I had one credit card closed on me two years ago, and it is fully paid off. I don't have any other debt. How badly is this going to affect my application? Is there a strategy to wait longer before I apply? Will I need to explain myself even I fix it?

2. Anyone have experience with how deeply they look into social media and what they're looking for? I don't have any problems here but more of a privacy question, but if your account or albums are private are they still busting into these somehow?

3. For employment less than 6 months, do they ever come back and ask for references?

4. When they check with previous employers, do they only call the person you listed, or do their investigators go even more deeply, ie: also calling HR?

5. I technically put that I went to law school over the course of 4 years, because I was a few credits short and I took it a year later. But this didn't trigger a "gap" year to explain. Will this be a problem?

6. I got into an accident and have a lawyer to handle the case to collect damages against my own policy. We will likely settle and not go to court, do I have to report this, and if so, at what stage short of filing?

7. I got a restraining order against someone (I was the victim) - do I have to report this?

8. Do they ask for tax returns, or review them on their own, or not at all?

Thank you!!!
You are asking a bunch of questions, they do a pretty extensive investigation. I would expect that if you explain all these items in your application that they will take everything you state into consideration. In addition, the Board of Trustees just posted a document on their May 13 meeting agenda regarding Moral Character. You should read it. It has a chart of what they look into and may answer some of your questions.

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Post by ashleypark » Mon May 11, 2020 12:45 pm

Because I gained a lot of insight from this board, I wanted to share my experience. I'm already admitted in another state, so some of the info I had to provide was different than new applicants (obviously).

Application submitted: 11/18/19
Extra docs (driving record, LiveScan, Cert of Good Standing) submitted: 1/13/20
Assigned to Investigator: 5/4/20
Passed the bar (!): 5/8/20
Application approved: 5/11/20

So just under 6 months for me. I'm not sure if there's any truth to the rumors that they expedite your application if you've passed the bar--maybe that's why it moved quickly (relative to others), or maybe mine was just in the right place in the pile. Good luck to all!

dismausernameyo

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Post by dismausernameyo » Mon May 11, 2020 5:40 pm

ashleypark wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 12:45 pm
Because I gained a lot of insight from this board, I wanted to share my experience. I'm already admitted in another state, so some of the info I had to provide was different than new applicants (obviously).

Application submitted: 11/18/19
Extra docs (driving record, LiveScan, Cert of Good Standing) submitted: 1/13/20
Assigned to Investigator: 5/4/20
Passed the bar (!): 5/8/20
Application approved: 5/11/20

So just under 6 months for me. I'm not sure if there's any truth to the rumors that they expedite your application if you've passed the bar--maybe that's why it moved quickly (relative to others), or maybe mine was just in the right place in the pile. Good luck to all!
I am also barred in another state and just passed the Cal bar, but I have yet to hear anything about my application. Our timing is about the same; received the "submitted for review" email in early February. I spoke to someone in the moral character office today who said that my application could take another three months before it is reviewed...terrifying, considering I have employment lined up.

Did you hear from any of your former employers as to whether the bar reached out to them? None of mine have received a letter or email regarding a reference for me, so I'm curious as to whether we out-of-staters undergo a different background process.

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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Post by Anonymous User » Mon May 11, 2020 5:53 pm

Answers to your questions are below.
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 4:17 am
Hi all, I'm about to apply and have a few questions. I passed the CA Bar in 2017, I don't practice law, but want my license before the results expire. Not expecting any one person to answer all of this, but if people have any insight on anything here would be so helpful:

1. I have really bad credit, in the 400's. I didn't make payments on my student loan (entire debt is ~70k, all federal), but I am not in default, and will be up to date by the time I apply and I will continue to make regular payments. I had one credit card closed on me two years ago, and it is fully paid off. I don't have any other debt. How badly is this going to affect my application? Is there a strategy to wait longer before I apply? Will I need to explain myself even I fix it?

2. Anyone have experience with how deeply they look into social media and what they're looking for? I don't have any problems here but more of a privacy question, but if your account or albums are private are they still busting into these somehow?

3. For employment less than 6 months, do they ever come back and ask for references?

4. When they check with previous employers, do they only call the person you listed, or do their investigators go even more deeply, ie: also calling HR?

5. I technically put that I went to law school over the course of 4 years, because I was a few credits short and I took it a year later. But this didn't trigger a "gap" year to explain. Will this be a problem?

6. I got into an accident and have a lawyer to handle the case to collect damages against my own policy. We will likely settle and not go to court, do I have to report this, and if so, at what stage short of filing?

7. I got a restraining order against someone (I was the victim) - do I have to report this?

8. Do they ask for tax returns, or review them on their own, or not at all?

Thank you!!!
1. Disclose it and you will almost certainly be fine. There is a good chance you will be delayed by more or less than approximately six months, but it is impossible to make a precise timeline prediction because the amount of time and resources dedicated to each applicant fluctuates considerably based on the nature and length of disclosures. Your total review time from the date you file your C+F application to the date you are approved is likely to be between 6 to 18 months. The number of questions they ask of you in response to your initial app filing will determine the length of delay. Delay is not a horrible thing when the eventual outcome is admission, but it is always stressful for the applicant. California's C+F delays are the subject of significant consternation from current and aspiring members of the Cal Bar, and a survey of a survey of C+F publications and anecdotes online suggests that they are likely the lengthiest in the U.S., on average.

2. In practicality, this likely varies case-by-case, investigator-by-investigator. However, proceed on the assumption that they will do cursory internet searches for you, much like one would when one meets a new acquaintance at a networking function or is vetting a potential online date. The Cal Bar investigator assigned to your file will likely not access private accounts without asking or alerting you first, and they will likely not access private accounts in a deceptive manner (such as through a fake friend request).

3. Sometimes yes. If you have something to hide re: employment, you should disclose it. This includes a termination/firing. Recent precedent would suggest it is unlikely to prohibit you from being granted admission unless they discover you covered something up.

4. They may dig more deeply if there is a reason to believe you were misleading or omitted pertinent information about the cause of your departure or any discipline while working. In cases where employment issues or termination are disclosed, they have been known to send written requests for all information kept by an employer about the former employee/applicant.

5. Likely not, but if you are nervous, you could explain to them through a short supplement that the reason you said "four years" was because of "X" reason (i.e., short on credits and why you were short on credits). Explaining this will not be an issue if your delay was not a product of cheating/substance abuse/discipline/etc. Even if it was, as long as you explain without being asked, and are genuinely contrite, the outcome is likely to go in your favor.

6. You should report it much like you have explained it here, perhaps with more context and detail.

7. You should. While it is likely to trigger a follow up inquiry, it will likely not be a problem for you. A follow up inquiry after you disclosed on your own would be better for you than if they find it and ask for it without you having told them initially.

8. I'm not sure about this last one, but if you have any concerns about tax payments, get current with the IRS/state right now, explain and show proof that you got current once you noticed any discrepancy, and voluntarily submit the proof in an application portal supplement. The only thing that could potentially prevent you from getting admitted or lead to an "abeyance"--based on the content and nature of your questions--is if you are banking on them not finding things that reflect on you negatively in the sources you have inquired about (job, taxes, no contact order, social media). Disclose all and the likeliest outcome is that you will [eventually] be granted admission.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Post by Anonymous User » Tue May 12, 2020 2:36 pm

dismausernameyo wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 5:40 pm
ashleypark wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 12:45 pm
Because I gained a lot of insight from this board, I wanted to share my experience. I'm already admitted in another state, so some of the info I had to provide was different than new applicants (obviously).

Application submitted: 11/18/19
Extra docs (driving record, LiveScan, Cert of Good Standing) submitted: 1/13/20
Assigned to Investigator: 5/4/20
Passed the bar (!): 5/8/20
Application approved: 5/11/20

So just under 6 months for me. I'm not sure if there's any truth to the rumors that they expedite your application if you've passed the bar--maybe that's why it moved quickly (relative to others), or maybe mine was just in the right place in the pile. Good luck to all!
I am also barred in another state and just passed the Cal bar, but I have yet to hear anything about my application. Our timing is about the same; received the "submitted for review" email in early February. I spoke to someone in the moral character office today who said that my application could take another three months before it is reviewed...terrifying, considering I have employment lined up.

Did you hear from any of your former employers as to whether the bar reached out to them? None of mine have received a letter or email regarding a reference for me, so I'm curious as to whether we out-of-staters undergo a different background process.
My references and former supervisors got the forms right away when I submitted. Has yours gone to "Pending Internal Review" yet? Mine was listed as submitted in November, but moved to that pending status in January.

JDJM6215

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Posts: 40
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Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Post by JDJM6215 » Wed May 13, 2020 10:07 pm

ashleypark wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 12:45 pm
Because I gained a lot of insight from this board, I wanted to share my experience. I'm already admitted in another state, so some of the info I had to provide was different than new applicants (obviously).

Application submitted: 11/18/19
Extra docs (driving record, LiveScan, Cert of Good Standing) submitted: 1/13/20
Assigned to Investigator: 5/4/20
Passed the bar (!): 5/8/20
Application approved: 5/11/20

So just under 6 months for me. I'm not sure if there's any truth to the rumors that they expedite your application if you've passed the bar--maybe that's why it moved quickly (relative to others), or maybe mine was just in the right place in the pile. Good luck to all!

I submitted my extension last June 2019
December asked for 3 additional questions to be answered
April 20, 2020, said I would be assigned an investigator in two weeks.
Same week the results released, received a letter that assigning investigator
Two days later asked to provide a credit report.
Passed the bar ! May 8
Application approved May 11

Billy Batts

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Posts: 700
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:43 pm

Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Post by Billy Batts » Thu May 14, 2020 7:28 pm

jgr992 wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:08 pm
Sobriquet44 wrote:Thanks!
jgr992 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How is everyone who has gotten a positive determination going about getting admitted right now with courts closed? What's the best way to go and do that? Any possible way we can just do it remotely and mail it in without going in person? Hope we don't just have to wait till the statewide lockdown is over........Can be hard to apply to jobs without actually being admitted and having a bar number.
A notary public is your best bet - I was in and out in about 15 minutes, oath completed.
Additionally, I sent my oath card in on Friday, and received my bar number the following wednesday, so the Bar is still processing oath cards.
Did they let you know when you got your bar number, or did you have to keep searching your name online?

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

Now there's a charge.
Just kidding ... it's still FREE!


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