Admission to the Bar of the State of Louisiana Bar Admissions: Process and Pitfalls
The Louisiana State Bar Association, the Louisiana Supreme Court, the Committee on Bar Admissions, and the respective law schools (LSU, Loyola, Southern, and Tulane) located in Louisiana would like to welcome prospective lawyers to the Bar Admissions Process. Be aware that being accepted to law school, successfully graduating, and ultimately passing the bar exam does not automatically entitle you to become a lawyer in the State of Louisiana or any other state.
There is a vigorous character and fitness screening process that goes on before one can be accepted into the profession of law.
In Louisiana, first and foremost, by October 1st of the 2nd Year of law school, the student applicant must do two things:
- Submit their online Louisiana Student Registration Form and $25.00 fee.
- Go to the National Conference of Bar Examiners web site and following the instructions provided, submit a Request for Preparation of a Character Report (Application for Character Report) to the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) in accordance with the instructions provided and fees prescribed by the NCBE. A hard copy of the Request for Preparation of a Character Report must be received at NCBE no later than October 1st of the fall semester of the second academic year of law school.
The Louisiana Supreme Court Committee on Bar Admissions has two main functions:
- Preparing, Evaluating, and Grading the LA Bar Examination;
- Evaluating the Character and Fitness of applicants to potentially practice law in Louisiana.
Both functions are taken extremely seriously. There have been applicants in the past who have successfully completed all aspects of law school and the bar examination but were ultimately denied admission due to character and fitness issues.
Louisiana Supreme Court Rule XVII governing Bar Admissions states:
“The primary purpose of character and fitness screening before admission to the Louisiana State Bar is to assure the protection of the public and to safeguard the administration of justice. The attorney licensing process is incomplete if only testing for minimal legal competence is undertaken. The public is adequately protected only by a system that evaluates character and fitness as those elements relate to the practice of law. The public interest requires that the public be secure in its expectation that those who are admitted to the Bar are worthy of the trust and confidence clients may reasonably place in their attorneys.”
La. Supreme Court Rule XVII, Section 5(A)