1. When petitioning to sit for the Massachusetts bar exam, am I required to complete a character and fitness application that is separate from the general petition for admission?
  2. Does the Board of Bar Examiners have standards regarding Character and Fitness of petitioners?
  3. I am unsure which incidents should be disclosed on my bar petition?
  4. What should I do if I am unable to obtain my court records as required by an affirmative answer to questions 11 or 12 of the bar petition?
  5. Will I be admitted if I have financial matters that have resulted in a judgment being taken out against me?
  6. Can I be admitted while I am serving a probation sentence?
  7. Can I sit for the bar exam if I have pending legal actions?
  8. If I am arrested, named party in a legal action, etc., since filing my bar petition, what should I do?

1. When petitioning to sit for the Massachusetts bar exam, am I required to complete a character and fitness application that is separate from the general petition for admission?

No. The Petition for Admission to the Massachusetts Bar by Examination incorporates character and fitness questions into the general petition.

2. Does the Board of Bar Examiners have standards regarding character and fitness of petitioners?

Yes. The Board of Bar Examiners Rule V pdf format of Rules of the Board of Bar Examiners
details Character and Fitness Standards for Admission.

3. What if I am unsure which incidents should be disclosed on my bar petition?

It is the petitioner's responsibility to research their matters and determine how to appropriately answer the questions on their bar petittion.  However, outstanding questions regarding disclosure may be directed to the Board of Bar Examiners at (617) 482-4466.

4. What should I do if I am unable to obtain my court records as required by an affirmative answer to questions 11 or 12 of the bar petition?

As a petitioner, you are required to make all reasonable efforts to obtain copies of all court records pertaining to questions 11 and 12 of the Petition for Admission to the Massachusetts Bar.  If the required court records are unavailable, the petitioner must provide a letter from the court or custodian of the records confirming that records are not available.  However, if the court or custodian of the records refuses to provide such letter, the petitioner must provide a typewritten statement explaining his or her inability to obtain such a letter.

5. Will I be admitted if I have financial matters that have resulted in a judgment being taken out against me?

Financial matters that have resulted in an unresolved judgment may delay an petitioner's admission to the Massachusetts bar.

6. Can I be admitted while I am serving a probation sentence?

In general, the Board of Bar Examiners will not recommend admission to the Massachusetts Bar prior to the completion of any court ordered sentencing or other criminal sanctions.

7. Can I sit for the bar exam if I have pending legal actions?

Any person who meets the requirements of the rules pertaining to bar admission is eligible to sit for the bar exam. For rules governing the Massachusetts Bar Exam, please see Rules Pertaining to Bar Admission pdf format of Rules of the Board of Bar Examiners
.

8. If I am arrested, named party in a legal action, etc., since filing my bar application, what should I do?

You must immediately report any such action(s) to the Supreme Judicial Court Clerk's Office for Suffolk County and send a copy to the Board of Bar Examiners.