Presentation on theme: "Navigating the Maryland Bar Application. Maryland Bar Exam is a 2-day exam. Day 1: Ten essays plus one Multistate Performance Test question. Day 2: Multistate."— Presentation transcript:
Navigating the Maryland Bar Application
Maryland Bar Exam is a 2-day exam. Day 1: Ten essays plus one Multistate Performance Test question. Day 2: Multistate Bar Exam, a 200 question, multiple-choice exam. Tip: Bar examiners website has past questions and answers
MBE Subjects Constitutional Law Contracts/Sales Criminal Law/Procedure Evidence Real Property Torts FRCP (new in 2015) Maryland Essay Subjects Agency Business Assn’s (corporations, partnerships) Commercial Transactions Family Law MD Civil Procedure Professional Responsibility All MBE subjects Multistate Performance Test Closed practical problem using instructions, factual data, cases, statutes and reference material supplied by examiners.
Maryland Exam Locations & Dates Location: Check website regularly for updates. February: Balt. Convention Ctr. July: Balt. Convention Ctr. Students receiving ADA accommodations take test at another location. (July—UB) Dates February July 28-29
Filing Fees and Deadlines Applicant must complete BOTH an application for admission and an original petition to take the bar exam. July 2015 Maryland Bar Exam Application fee Timely filing: $225 if received by January 16, 2015 Late filing: $275 if received by May 20, 2014 The Application for Admission must be filed before or concurrently with the Original Petition. Original petition to take the exam must be received by May 20th. Original Petition fee: $250 Tip: RECEIVED BY DATES or “good cause”
Other Important Dates -Law School Transcript Be received by September 1, 2015 Affirmation Must submit 10 days after results are released Oath of Admission No more than 24 months after the COA ratifies the results
ADA ACCOMMODATIONS FOR THE MARYLAND BAR EXAM Should you seek an ADA accommodation? Idea of equal footing. If you received accommodations in undergrad and law school, you should also ask for them during the Bar Exam. Worst case scenario is your request is denied. Accommodations for Physical Disabilities and Cognitive Disabilities.
ADA ACCOMMODATIONS FOR THE MARYLAND BAR EXAM What kinds of accommodations have been granted in the past? Extra time Private rooms Testing centers that are wheelchair and handicap accessible If your request is granted, you will be notified of the accommodations awarded to you and where your testing center is located.
ADA ACCOMMODATIONS FOR THE MARYLAND BAR EXAM When should you submit the paperwork? ASAP – You should submit your request packet by the first filing date for the bar exam you plan to take. Allow time for appeals if your request is denied. Also the application requires documentation from physicians and undergrad institutions. Important for Bar Review courses. You should practice in bar review under the same conditions you will be taking the exam.
Helpful Documents to Gather Beforehand Credit report, credit card statements, information about student loans, and other debt obligations Previous lawsuits to which you were a party Includes divorce proceedings Criminal and traffic violations – speeding tickets, citations, arrests, etc. If you’ve ever been bonded – you need the dates, name of person/place who bonded you Employment information for the past 5 years Addresses, info, etc. for your 5 references Driving record in all states where you’ve held a valid license in the past 3 years
Helpful Documents to Gather Beforehand Cont’d… Addresses of all places you have lived in the past 10 years Info, address, etc. from undergraduate institution which issued your degree When/where you registered for selective service
How Far Must You Go Back? Criminal- forever (but you don’t have to reveal juvenile or Md cases that have been expunged) Civil cases- forever Driving history- Entire history for each jurisdiction you had a license in in the past 3 years. ADA Accommodations- As far back as the SAT to show you had accommodations.
How Far Must You Go Back (cont.) Credit- Last 5 years Housing- Last 10 years Job history- Last 5 years
Creating an Account Visit (left hand nav)www.mdcourts.gov/ble Your address becomes your User Name. Password must be a minimum of eight characters and must contain at least a letter, a number, and any of these special characters You must have a U.S. issued social security number. If you do not have one, you must contact the Maryland Bar Examiners. Helpful Hint: You must keep the same address until after the swearing-in ceremony.
STEP ONE: Application for Admission the Online Bar Application Part I- Eligibility College Education Part II- Character and Fitness Personal Identification Marital History Court Ordered Spousal or Child Support Residential History Continued on next slide
Part II Continued Educational History (academic records) Armed Forces Details Credits History Legal Proceeding History (Civil and Criminal) Bond History Employment History Mental Health/ Addiction History Personal References
Residence Where you have lived within the last 10 years When you are filling in your Residence details, you must put a beginning and end date even if you still live at that address EVERY residence—including dorm rooms Helpful Hint: Any changes to your address subsequent to submitting your Application must be made in writing to the State Board of Law Examiners office.
Employment Within the past five years. You must fill out employment details even if you have never had a job. Full or part time employment (including unpaid positions). DO report volunteer work which was substantial and regular, such as unpaid internship or externship. DO NOT report unpaid work which was occasional, irregular, or unsupervised.
STEP TWO: Petition Certifies that you will have graduated from a law school approved by the ABA prior to the first day of the bar examination. Submit in good faith recognizing that you will be getting a conferred degree. State when you will graduate State what exam you are sitting for Signature Immediately after the bar examination, you must have the Bursar’s Office submit a final transcript to the State Board of Law Examiners that reflects the award of your JD degree Helpful Hint: Must be filed AFTER or AT THE SAME TIME as the application.
Forms You will need to fill out forms for the following: Request for Use of Laptop (if needed) About 2-3 weeks before you take the bar exam $ fee Request for Special Accommodations (if needed) Helpful Hint: The “Forms Tab” is located at the top of the page next to “My Application.”
Submitting the Hard Copy Go to your “My Status” page. Click on the printer icons to print a copy of your Application. Sign and have notarized. Provide supplemental information as necessary Your application has not been considered completed until the hard copy is FILED. Helpful Hint: If your printed copy has “Void” on it, it means you did not successfully electronically submit the application. Go back to “My Application” and scroll to the bottom of the page until you see “Submit Application.” Click the “Submit Application” and you will receive a confirmation message. Then return to “My Status” to print all documents.
Document Requirement: Driving History You need to “attach a certified copy of your entire driving history from the motor vehicle authority for each jurisdiction in which you held a driver’s license at any time during the past three years.” Regardless of whether you’ve ever received a moving violation “Since many jurisdictions issue a limited history unless specifically asked to do otherwise, you should take whatever steps are required to obtain a complete driving history.”
MD Driving Records You can obtain a certified driving record online, in person or by mail. Take your completed Request for Motor Vehicle Administration Records form and fees to any Maryland MVA office or mail them to: Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration 6601 Ritchie Highway NE, Room 145 Glen Burnie, MD Online Go to: Services/Driving-Record-Information/ Services/Driving-Record-Information/
PA Driving Records Unlike Maryland, in Pennsylvania you cannot apply online for a certified record. This must be done in person or through the mail. Form Available To request a record by mail, complete a Request for Driver Information and mail it along with a check ($10 for a certified record) to: Bureau of Driver Licensing Driver Record Services P.O. Box Harrisburg, PA
VA Driving Records You may obtain a copy of your driver or vehicle record online, by visiting one of the customer service centers, or by writing to DMV. The charge for the record is $8 with an additional $5 for a certified record. You may also send a written request to DMV with the fee. Be sure to include your full name, address, social security number and the reason why you want your record. Send your request to:
Criminal Proceedings History List all criminal legal proceedings you have been a party to. “Must include traffic citations, arrests, and summonses to which you have ever been a party including all motor vehicle citations for moving violations (including all speeding citations) and excluding only occasional parking violations.”
Criminal History (continued) You are “not required to disclose, here or in question 18, any matter adjudicated under laws governing juveniles or any arrest or court proceedings in Maryland, the record of which was expunged pursuant to the law.” Maryland does not expunge convictions. Records from any other state must be disclosed regardless of expungement---per Md. Bar Examiners When in doubt, disclose.
Criminal Proceedings (continued ) You must “attach certified copies of all charging documents, judgments/disposition documents and all docket entries in each proceeding identified above, except motor vehicle offenses not requiring a court appearance.” You need certified copies relating to everything you list in the question. If you do not have copies, you must state what efforts you made to get copies. When in doubt, contact the MD State Board of Bar Examiners.
Character & Fitness 5 personal references from any state Not married to another reference listed Not a fellow law student, relative, or employer Known applicant for at least 5 Years immediately prior to date of questionnaire Character Committee sends out references on your behalf. You only need to provide the name and address of each reference. * New: provide addresses for reference (handwrite them on the forms) Application will not be complete until all references have returned form to Character Committee Your responsibility to make sure references return their forms. Also have refs keep a copy of form.
Reference Form Helpful hint: Make sure you can be identified by the references. How long have you known the applicant? What capacity? Observations of applicant? Unfavorable character? Would you recommend applicant for admission to the bar?
Law School Required Disclosures -Academic History (Academic Probation) -Honor Code Violations -Undergraduate—Not done here. -SBLE recommends use of an undergraduate transcript rather than the pre- legal certification form. Applicant should request that the college/university send an official transcript directly to SBLE before submitting the hardcopy application. SBLE will the applicant when transcript arrives. SBLE will also accept an official transcript in a sealed, stamped envelope filed by the applicant with the application.
Credit History / Debt Regarding credit history, you will be prompted as follows: “During the last five years disclose all established or maintained credit. Include secured loans, student loans, revolving credit cards and any other debt obligations you have had.” Regarding debt owed, you will be prompted as follows: “I presently owe money, SOME PART OF WHICH HAS BEEN DELINQUENT FOR MORE THAN 90 DAYS, to the following:” (Delinquent means you failed to make a required payment when due) NOTE: If you list past due credit history in answer 10 (b), you must provide a credit report. Each question will require you to complete fill-in fields with various information about yourself, your bank account, creditors, amount due, dates of incurring debt, etc. If neither of these situations apply to you, click “none.”
Credit History / Debt Helpful Hints You can use a credit report to help you complete this part of the application Federal loan information can be accessed using the loan website: For consolidated loans, use the most recent figures Helpful Hint: You do not have to have paid off all your debts – the examiners are looking to see that you are acting responsibly and have plans in writing that show you are making a good faith attempt.
Debt and Moral Character In the Matter of the Application of Kevin Charles Stern for Admission to the Bar of Maryland, 403 Md. 615, 943 A.2d 1247 (2008). The applicant admitted his prior financial irresponsibility, but claimed that he had been rehabilitated. However, he satisfied his creditors using the resources of others, specifically a loan from his mother and gifts received after his graduation from law school. Absent the exigency of the bar admission process, he likely would have continued to ignore his obligation to repay his debt. He had allowed his debts to increase even when it appeared he had the means to resolve his obligations. Further, he was involved in an inappropriate relationship with a 15 year old female.
UB Employees (TAs, Law Scholars, Teaching Scholars, etc.) UB will receive an employment letter, just like any other employer. List Karen Devore as employer. Will certify that you had good character and fitness as an employee.
Time Period to Amend Between submitting the application and taking the exam Between taking the exam and receiving results Applicants must ensure their responses to the bar application questions are accurate and current at all times until they are formally admitted to the bar. This includes: changes in contact information changes to any question from the application Between receiving results and being sworn in
Change in Contact Information Must be submitted more than two weeks before taking the exam and two weeks before results are mailed (to be sure) Must be signed and mailed to Annapolis, do not call to check on the status – system will be updated when the form is processed New: SBLE will accept a change of contact information form by . Must be signed & scanned and come from address on file.
What Triggers Amending? Changes to: Character and Fitness questions i.e. a speeding ticket since you filled out the application Employment When applying, include information about a job you anticipate having If you don’t know for certain, amend later ANY change to ANY question response
How to Amend There is no form to amend your application Write a letter to the bar examiners including: The question number you are addressing The new information you would like to include SIGN IT and mail or hand deliver (there is no way to fax or electronically amend your application)
MBE Reciprocity with Other Jurisdictions Acceptance of MBE Score Transfer Applicants MAY transfer an MBE score from another jurisdiction from a concurrent exam only. e.g., Michigan & Maryland Check each state’s bar examiner’s website
Waiving into D.C. Acceptance of MBE Score: An applicant may be admitted without exam if applicant received a scaled MBE score of 133 or higher on an exam upon which applicant was admitted in another jurisdiction, achieved a scaled score of 75 or better on MPRE, and has a JD from an ABA accredited law school. Pay a substantial fee!
Taking the Washington, D.C. Bar Exam Bar Exam Format D.C.’s Bar Exam is a 2-day exam Day 1: Two 90-minute Multistate Performance Test questions (worth 25%) and six Multistate Essay Exam questions (worth 25%) Day 2: Multistate Bar Exam (worth 50%) a 200 question, multiple-choice exam.
Top 10 1) Start early. 2) If in doubt, ask questions. 3) Don’t get arrested. 4) Err on the side of disclosure. 5) Pay your bills. 6) Pay attention to deadlines. 7) Don’t get divorced. Heck, don’t get married. 8) Check your required classes. 9) Be nice to people. You may need them as a reference. 10) Remember you are not alone when you read the instructions and think “Seriously!?”