Presentation on theme: "Navigating the Maryland Bar Application"— Presentation transcript:
1Navigating the Maryland Bar Application Put location of Bar Examiners
2Maryland 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 answersHow long each day?
3Criminal Law/Procedure Evidence Real Property Torts FRCP (new in 2015) MBE Subjects Constitutional LawContracts/SalesCriminal Law/ProcedureEvidenceReal PropertyTortsFRCP (new in 2015)Maryland Essay SubjectsAgencyBusiness Assn’s (corporations, partnerships)Commercial TransactionsFamily LawMD Civil ProcedureProfessional ResponsibilityAll MBE subjectsMultistate Performance Test Closed practical problem using instructions, factual data, cases, statutes and reference material supplied by examiners.You may want to consider taking those courses that are offered at UB
4Maryland Exam Locations & Dates Check website regularly forupdates.February: Balt. Convention Ctr.July: Balt. Convention Ctr.Students receiving ADA accommodations take testat another location. (July—UB)DatesFebruary 24-25July 28-29**********************Feb ADA Accommodations will be at CCMIT. July ADA Accommodations TBD (have used UB in the past) .February we are definitely in Baltimore Convention Center. July TBD (most likely same venue as last July..when they know, will put on website). May be Timonium Fairgrounds, UM Law School, UB Law School, Reckord Armory
5Filing Fees and Deadlines Applicant must complete BOTH an application for admission and an original petition to take the bar exam. July 2015 Maryland Bar ExamApplication feeTimely filing: $225 if received by January 16, 2015Late filing: $275 if received by May 20, 2014The Application for Admission must be filedbefore or concurrently with the Original Petition.Original petition to take the exam must be received by May 20th. Original Petition fee: $250Tip: RECEIVED BY DATESor “good cause”Application for admission: 2 parts-1st part contains your eligibility for undergrad (pre-legal education), ..2nd part is the Character Committee questionnaire. Original petition-3 sections: asking to sit for the exam telling when you are completing law school and what exam you will be sitting for. *Laptop fee is paid when you register to pay for the software (pay software company directly). Fee must accompany application when filing.
6Other Important Dates Law School Transcript Be received by September 1, 2015AffirmationMust submit 10 days after results are releasedOath of AdmissionNo more than 24 months after the COA ratifies the results
7ADA 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.
8ADA ACCOMMODATIONS FOR THE MARYLAND BAR EXAM What kinds of accommodations have been granted in the past?Extra timePrivate roomsTesting centers that are wheelchair and handicap accessibleIf your request is granted, you will be notified of the accommodations awarded to you and where your testing center is located.
9ADA 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.
10Helpful Documents to Gather Beforehand Credit report, credit card statements, information about student loans, and other debt obligationsPrevious lawsuits to which you were a partyIncludes divorce proceedingsCriminal and traffic violations – speeding tickets, citations, arrests, etc.If you’ve ever been bonded – you need the dates, name of person/place who bonded youEmployment information for the past 5 yearsAddresses, info, etc. for your 5 referencesDriving record in all states where you’ve held a valid license in the past 3 years
11Helpful Documents to Gather Beforehand Cont’d… Addresses of all places you have lived in the past 10 yearsInfo, address, etc. from undergraduate institution which issued your degreeWhen/where you registered for selective service
12How Far Must You Go Back?Criminal- forever (but you don’t have to reveal juvenile or Md cases that have been expunged)Civil cases- foreverDriving 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.
13How Far Must You Go Back (cont.) Credit- Last 5 yearsHousing- Last 10 yearsJob history- Last 5 years
14Creating an Account Visit www.mdcourts.gov/ble (left hand nav) 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 charactersYou 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.
15STEP ONE: Application for Admission the Online Bar Application Part I- EligibilityCollege EducationPart II- Character and FitnessPersonal IdentificationMarital HistoryCourt Ordered Spousal or Child SupportResidential HistoryContinued on next slide
16Part II Continued Educational History (academic records) Armed Forces DetailsCredits HistoryLegal Proceeding History (Civil and Criminal)Bond HistoryEmployment HistoryMental Health/ Addiction HistoryPersonal References
17Residence 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 addressEVERY residence—including dorm roomsHelpful Hint: Any changes to your address subsequent to submitting your Application must be made in writing to the State Board of Law Examiners office.
18Employment 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.
19STEP TWO: PetitionCertifies 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 graduateState what exam you are sitting forSignatureImmediately 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 degreeHelpful Hint: Must be filed AFTER or AT THE SAME TIME as the application.
20Forms 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$ feeRequest for Special Accommodations (if needed)Helpful Hint: The “Forms Tab” is located at the top of the page next to “My Application.”
21Submitting 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 necessaryYour 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.
22Document 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.”Must submit driving history even if clean.
23MD Driving RecordsYou 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 Administration6601 Ritchie Highway NE, Room 145Glen Burnie, MD 21062 Online Go to:
24PA Driving RecordsUnlike Maryland, in Pennsylvania you cannot apply online for a certified record. This must be done in person or through the mail.Form AvailableTo 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 LicensingDriver Record ServicesP.O. Box 68695Harrisburg, PA
25VA Driving RecordsYou 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:
26Criminal 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.”
27Criminal 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 ExaminersWhen in doubt, disclose.Helpful hint: MD does not expunge convictions. Some jurisdictions do. Disclose it, regardless.
28Criminal 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.Need certified copies of everything you put down in question 12A except motor vehicle not requiring a court appearance…. When in doubt contact their office
29Character & Fitness 5 personal references from any state Not married to another reference listedNot a fellow law student, relative, or employerKnown applicant for at least 5 Years immediately prior to date of questionnaireCharacter 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 CommitteeYour responsibility to make sure references return their forms. Also have refs keep a copy of form.
30Reference FormHelpful 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?
31Law School Required Disclosures Academic History (Academic Probation)Honor Code ViolationsUndergraduate—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.
33Credit History / DebtRegarding 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.”Helpful hint: pull directly from credit report. Loan that are federal are right on the website
34Credit History / Debt Helpful Hints You can use a credit report to help you complete this part of the applicationFederal loan information can be accessed using the loan website:For consolidated loans, use the most recent figuresHelpful 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.
35Debt 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.
36UB Employees (TAs, Law Scholars, Teaching Scholars, etc.) UB will receive an employment letter, just likeany other employer.List Karen Devore as employer.Will certify that you had good characterand fitness as an employee.
37Time Period to AmendBetween submitting the application and taking the exam Between taking the exam and receiving resultsApplicants 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 informationchanges to any question from the applicationBetween receiving results and being sworn inIf anything changes on that application between filing and being sworn in, you must file an amendment. There is no form (other than change of address form), type something up/amendment to application.
38Change in Contact InformationMust 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 processedNew: SBLE will accept a change of contact information form by . Must be signed & scanned and come from address on file.
39What Triggers Amending? Changes to:Character and Fitness questionsi.e. a speeding ticket since you filled out the applicationEmploymentWhen applying, include information about a job you anticipate havingIf you don’t know for certain, amend laterANY change to ANY question response
40How to Amend There is no form to amend your application Write a letter to the bar examiners including:The question number you are addressingThe new information you would like to includeSIGN IT and mail or hand deliver (there is no way to fax or electronically amend your application)
41MBE Reciprocity with Other Jurisdictions Acceptance of MBE Score TransferApplicants MAY transfer an MBE score from another jurisdiction from a concurrent exam only. e.g., Michigan & MarylandCheck each state’s bar examiner’s websiteMBE Score transfer. Delete/clean up
42Waiving 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 whichapplicant 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!
43Taking the Washington, D.C. Bar Exam Bar Exam FormatD.C.’s Bar Exam is a 2-day examDay 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.
44Top 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!?”