In addition to the bar exam, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Almost every character and fitness evaluation will ask a bar applicant to disclose current and historical information about education, employment, residential, and financial information. It will likely also ask questions about school discipline, criminal background, and any involvement the applicant has had in legal proceedings.
The duty to report any character or fitness issues is continuous from the point when you apply to law school through graduation. If you have questions about this continuing duty to report, please contact the Dean of Students.
Conduct Before Starting Law School
The Penn Law admissions application requires students provide information related to character and fitness for any conduct that occurred before matriculation at the Law School. This includes conduct after a submitted admissions application but before beginning law school.
If a student has not fully disclosed conduct that should have been reported, they should amend their application immediately. This can be done by submitting an amendment explaining the conduct and the reason for the failure to initially disclose it. This amendment should be in PDF format and should include the student’s signature. Amendments can be emailed to: email@example.com.
Conduct During Law School
Throughout the course of your enrollment at the Law School, students have a continuing duty to report to the Dean of Students any matters involving interactions with legal authorities, legal actions taken by or against the student, or charges brought by University disciplinary offices. Such actions include but are not limited to, arrests, citations, lawsuits, subpoenas, traffic violations, or violations of Penn policies.
At the time a student applies for Bar admission, the Bar authorities in each jurisdiction will seek to determine that information in the Bar application is congruent with the Penn Law student file. In order to simplify admission to the Bar when being reviewed for “character and fitness,” students must make any such activity known to the Law School immediately on occurrence.