Character & Fitness
Each state establishes bar registration and admissions standards for individuals who wish to practice law in that state. One important aspect of admission to practice is an evaluation of an applicant’s character and fitness to practice law. Bar applicants must submit to a rigorous character and fitness investigation before admission to practice. Applicants are strongly encouraged, prior to matriculation, to contact the Board of Bar Examiners in the states where they intend to practice to determine the rules that will apply to their bar admission in those states, including what constitutes proof of sufficient character and fitness.
Given these standards, UF Law has an obligation to ensure incoming students demonstrate the character and fitness necessary to practice law. Our application therefore asks you five questions related to character and fitness.
Question 1 in the Character and Fitness section of the application requires candidates to report any disciplinary action taken against them by any college or university. Question 2 refers to any academic probation, warning, suspension and/or dismissal related to academic performance. Questions 3-5 are about specific violations of law, including any traffic violation resulting in a fine over $200 or which resulted in revocation or suspension of a candidate’s driver’s license.
Applicants must respond completely and accurately to all questions on the law school application. Please note that the existence of a criminal history will not, by itself, disqualify an applicant for admission.
Applicants answering “yes” to any question must provide both a detailed explanation for each response and official documentation from the college/university or court documenting the final disposition of each occurrence. For Question 2, your transcript from the associated institution should suffice as the required official documentation. Official documents must clearly identify the agency that is providing the disposition of the incident. Official documents obtained from an online source must include a web address (URL).
Applicants who are uncertain about their academic and/or disciplinary history should contact the appropriate office at each college or university attended. (Current or former UF students should contact Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution at 202 Peabody Hall, P.O. Box 114075, Gainesville, FL 32611, phone 352-392-1261).
Following a completed application, applicants are required to immediately notify the Levin College of Law of any changes in data that occur either prior to an admissions decision or matriculation. This includes information required by questions 1-5 in the Character and Fitness section of the application. Discrepancies or omissions may call into question the applicant’s fitness for admission to a state bar, since they reflect on the applicant’s character, ability to follow directions, trustworthiness, honesty and reliability.
Failure to furnish required information or misrepresentation of such information can result in the withdrawal of an offer of admission prior to matriculation, dismissal from the college after matriculation, rescission of the student’s degree after graduation, and/or forfeiture of all fees and charges paid and academic credit earned. Any such failure to disclose or any misrepresentation may result in an investigation by the Law School Admission Council’s Misconduct or Irregularities in the Admission Process Subcommittee. It may also affect admission to a state bar.