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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


The following questions are frequently asked about admission to the Arizona State Bar. Each of the questions is linked to the corresponding answer. For complete information, please refer to the Arizona Supreme Court Rules Governing Admission to the Bar as well as corresponding areas of this website.

No information provided on this website overrides, waives, or amends the provisions of the rules and regulations.

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There are 3 primary options for admission to practice law in Arizona: 1) admission by Uniform Bar Examination (UBE), testing in Arizona; 2) admission by UBE, transfer of score earned in another jurisdiction; and 3) admission on motion.

You may be eligible for these programs if you meet the requirements below as well as other requirements established by rule:

  1. Admission by UBE, testing in Arizona:
    • You graduated with J.D. degree from an ABA accredited law school OR
    • You are expected to graduate with a J.D. degree within 120 days of the first day of the exam as an early tester (as certified by your law school)
  2. Admission by UBE, transfer of UBE score earned in another jurisdiction:
    • You graduated with J.D. degree from an ABA accredited law school
    • You earned a score of at least 273 on a UBE exam in a recognized UBE test administration within the prior five years
  3. Admission on motion:
    • You graduated with J.D. degree from an ABA accredited law school
    • You have actively practiced law in the United States for three of the prior five years
    • You were admitted by bar examination in another US state or territory. NOTE: If you took the UBE within the five years prior to your application, you must have earned a minimum score of 273 to be eligible for admission in Arizona
    • Active practice may occur wholly or partially in a non-reciprocal jurisdiction after admission in reciprocal jurisdiction
    • If admitted by bar exam in a non-reciprocal jurisdiction, active practice must have occurred wholly in reciprocal jurisdictions

The above information is not a complete list of all requirements but is meant to provide a quick reference. Please refer to Ariz. R. Sup. Ct. 34-37 for all requirements and rules including passage of Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) and completion of the online Course on Arizona Law.

*Please refer to Ariz. R. Sup. Ct. 38 for more information on limited practice methods including law professor, military spouse and in-house counsel.

For registration go to https://www.azcourts.gov/educationservices/Committees/JCA/Online-Registration. You will create user information which allows you to revisit the site until all modules are complete, so be sure to remember or record your user information until the course is completed. Once finished with all modules, your completion is electronically transmitted to necessary parties. You do not need to submit documentary proof of completion.

The online application is a convenient way to submit an application allowing our staff to begin processing your application quickly. An applicant must have a pending, open file containing application in order for this office to retain supporting documents. Documents received on behalf of individuals who have no pending application will be returned.

Fees are set by Ariz. Sup. Ct. Admin. Order no. 2011-141 and are not discretionary. There are no hardship allowances.

The required fingerprint card is a standard FBI card, printed on heavy card stock, and is available from many law enforcement agencies. A card can be supplied to an applicant upon request at no cost. Email attorneyadmissions@courts.az.gov to request a fingerprint card be mailed to you; include your mailing address with your request.

The minimum passing score is 85. See Ariz. R. Sup. Ct. 35(b)(8) for specific time frames for UBE and UBE Score Transfer applicants.

The Committee endeavors to complete all investigations within four months after receipt of a completed application. Issues that could result in a longer time frame include, but are not limited to an incomplete application, need to request additional documentation on situations that require further investigation or hearing. It is impossible to predict a timeframe for completion because much depends on the full compliance of the applicant to supply required/requested documentation and the speed with which references respond. Speed depends upon facts uncovered in the investigation. There are things you can do to speed the process:

  1. Fully comply with all requests for information and documentation; if in doubt about a question/incident,please disclose and explain fully within the application or attachments.
  2. Contact the people provided as references to alert them we will contact them initially by mail; ask them toreturn the reference information as soon as possible.
  3. Respond quickly to all inquiries or requests for more information.

For exam applicants: if you file your separate Character and Fitness application prior to the exam administration date, our office endeavors to complete the investigation and provide you with your admission status (either eligible for admission or requires further investigation) at the time of the release of bar exam scores. For example, if you file your CF application prior to February exam, you should know your status in mid-May and if you file your CF application prior to the July exam, you should know your status in mid- October.

Please review the requirements found in the Rules. They may be found on our website under Rules for Admission.If you wish to pursue admission but do not meet the requirements, you must apply through the normal process (including attachments and fees) but your application will be rejected for failure to meet the Rules. You will be mailed a letter by the Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness explaining the denial and decision; the postmark on that letter triggers, pursuant to Rule 36(g), a window of 20 days in which you may choose to petition the Supreme Court to recognize your specific facts as an exception to the applicable Supreme Court Rule. If you choose to petition the Court, your filings must be made directly with the Clerk of the Supreme Court and cannot be made through this office. You are required to serve our office a copy of your petition on the date of filing with the Clerk, should you choose to petition. The Committee on Character and Fitness has 30 days to respond to your petition and then the Clerk of the Court will set the matter on an agenda for the Court to consider.

Please review the Rules carefully before beginning this process. Rules 34-38 provide criteria for various programs and Rule 36(g) provides the framework for appealing a Committee decision, should you wish to. In order to petition the Supreme Court, you must be aggrieved of a decision by a Committee.

You will be mailed admission forms which should be completed in a timeline consistent with Ariz. R. Sup. Ct. 37(a). You may choose admission either by mail or in person, and your admission will be processed through Attorney Admissions, passed to the Clerk of the Supreme Court and then to the State Bar of Arizona. The Clerk of the Court will print and mail your certificate and (if you choose admission in person) call to schedule a convenient time for your admission. The State Bar of Arizona generates your bar number and bar card, which will be mailed to you within three weeks.

Please allow up to three weeks for the process, as three entities have to perform specific tasks to complete your admission.

Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 37(c), records are confidential and may be released only to the applicant. Application records are retained for a period of up to seven years. If you need a copy of previously-submitted materials, please email attorneyadmissions@courts.az.gov with this information: name as it was at the time of your application, current name (if different), date of birth, social security number, date (month/year) of the most recent exam applied for. If the record is available, a fee of $30 must be paid by check or money order payable to Arizona Supreme Court. Do not send payment until our office confirms with you that the record is available. If you need the information for another jurisdiction and the records are no longer available, we can send a letter to the jurisdiction at no cost.

Your uploaded photo must meet the following requirements:

  • Full face photograph of head, neck and shoulders
  • No hat or head covering unless worn for religious purposes.
  • Two and on-half inches by two and one-half inches (300 x 300 once uploaded)
  • Taken within the past 6 months to reflect your current appearance
  • Photo file type must be a .png, .jpg, or .jpeg

If our photo is over 12 months old or your appearance has changed, you are required to upload a new photo that reflects your current appearance. To do so, you can use the “Upload Photo” button in the UPLOAD YOUR PHOTO box on your user homepage.

All applicants must upload a photo.

After your application has been received and is being processed, you will be notified if there is any supporting documentation missing or if your answers to any questions are incomplete. The additional information should be furnished to the Committee immediately as the Committee will take no action on incomplete applications.

You will be notified of your status once your application is processed. In the weeks surrounding deadlines, we receive hundreds of applications per day and we process those in the order received. We will not pull an application out of order for processing or to comment on certification. You will receive a certification status within one month prior to the examination.

Accommodation forms are available online. In addition to the required forms, it is your responsibility to submit additional information you wish the Committee to consider, such as academic or medical history. The Committee on Examinations will provide reasonable non-standard testing as necessary and will issue decisions approximately four weeks prior to examination. Accommodation documentation does not carry forward; it is your responsibility to request accommodations for each successive examination attempt, should you feel they are necessary.

Ariz. R. Sup. Ct. 35(c)(3) requires everyone taking and failing after exam six exam attempts (withdrawing mid- exam counts as a failure)to request permission from the Committee on Examinations before testing again. This permission is required each successive attempt after the sixth attempt. Please see form for requesting permission to write. Please see Rule 35(c)(3) for the information required and include this information with your permission to write request form.

Laptop registration is open for a two-week period and begins approximately one month before the examination. ALL exam applicants are emailed a notice as to which vendor has been selected and what date this registration period begins and closes. It is your responsibility to register, pay for and download the required software from the vendor website during the designated registration period. This cost of the software registration will be paid directly to the vendor during laptop registration. DO NOT send this amount to the Supreme Court. Software must be properly downloaded, registered, and installed prior to the examination date. Direct technical questions to the software vendor. Contact information will be included in the emailed registration notice.

No. Every applicant must take the entire examination (MBE and written portion) in Arizona. As a UBE, the test must be completed in one test administration.

Any subject matter listed by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) may be tested. For information about the MPT, MEE and MBE please go to NCBE website at http://www.ncbex.org./ Arizona law is not tested.

Once certified to sit, you will receive a list of items allowed and items prohibited. Please pay close attention to the Instructions and Information document you will receive via email for more details about the exam site, schedule and procedures. If you attempt to bring prohibited items into the test site, you will be delayed or excluded from testing. See the Code of Conduct for examination.

Scores from the February exam are scheduled to be released the second Friday in May. Scores from the July exam are scheduled to be released the second Friday in October. Scores will not be released over the phone, by email or by fax. The names of successful applicants will be posted to the Attorney Admissions and Supreme Court website on the date of score release, the same day results letters are mailed.

Out of a possible 400 points, a total of 273 points are required for admission in Arizona.

Every applicant who fails receives a “short form” for the next successive examination and has approximately 2 weeks to apply for the next exam, even if general applications have closed. You should not apply online in anticipation of failure. If you need a “short form”, one will be included with your exam results letter.

Each exam is closed out and enrollment and payment do not "roll over”. If you wish to withdraw and receive a partial refund of $50.00 please submit a signed letter, not an email, to our offices indicating your intent to withdraw. Your request must contain your

Example:

If you wish to withdraw from the July examination and receive a partial refund of $50.00, the withdrawal letter must be postmarked by April 30th.

If you wish to withdraw from the February examination and receive a partial refund of $50.00, the withdrawal letter must be postmarked by November 30th.

No. You must submit a bar exam application first and then submit your Character and Fitness Application.

Pursuant to Ariz. R. Sup. Ct. 37(a)(1), “Failure to take the oath of admission and be admitted to the practice of law in Arizona within five years of successful Arizona uniform bar examination will void all examination scores, and the applicant will be required to successfully retake all required examinations and comply with the required procedures relating to Character and Fitness determinations.” Therefore, you have five years to complete the entire process including passing the bar examination, completing the Character and Fitness Application and investigation, providing a passing score on the MPRE (scaled score of 85 or higher), completing the Course on Arizona Law, and taking the oath of admission. Please note the five years is from the month and year of the examination you passed, not from the date results are released.

Pursuant to Ariz. R. Sup. Ct. 34(b)(3), “The Committee on Character and Fitness shall endeavor to complete its inquiries, some or all of which may be delegated to the National Conference of Bar Examiners, to be in position to recommend for or against a successful Arizona uniform bar examinee’s admission to the practice of law no later than the time the results of the Arizona uniform bar examination are available for examination applicants. This time limitation is aspirational only and may be extended for further inquiry and formulation of a recommendation when the circumstances of a case so require.”

Much depends on the full compliance of the applicant to supply required/requested documentation and the speed with which references respond. Speed depends upon facts uncovered in the investigation. There are things you can do to speed the process:

  1. Submit a complete Application and fully comply with all requests for information and documentation; if in doubt about a question or incident, please disclose and explain fully within the application or attachments.
  2. Contact the people provided as references to alert them we will contact them initially by mail; ask them to return the reference form as soon as possible.
  3. Respond quickly to all inquiries or requests for more information; and
  4. Ensure you have completed the MPRE and the Course on Arizona Law.

Please allow a minimum of four months for the investigation to be completed and know that if the Committee requires additional information you will be contacted. After that time, you may call Committee staff at (602) 452-3971 and request a status. Please note Character and Fitness status will only be released if an applicant has passed the bar examination. Please also keep in mind all Applications are confidential and staff cannot speak with or answer questions from anyone but the applicant unless written authorization has been received.

You may complete the Course on Arizona Law at your convenience; however, a final determination on admission cannot be made until the course has been completed.

For technical problems viewing or questions related to completion of the Course on Arizona Law, please email DLStaff@courts.az.gov.

You are not required to pass the MPRE before submitting your Character and Fitness Application; however, a final determination on admission cannot be made until a scaled score of 85 or higher has been received. Pursuant to Ariz. R. Sup. Ct. 35(b)(8), the minimum acceptable score must be received within eight (8) years of the successful bar examination or within the time frame for taking the oath of admission after the successful bar examination.

ou must disclose licenses such as, but not limited to, teacher, pilot, accountant, engineer, contractor, patent agent, insurance agent/broker, real estate, notary, legal document preparer, etc.

Please refer to the Character and Fitness Application checklist.

If you cannot obtain all required supporting documents, provide the steps you took to try to obtain them including the name, title and phone number of the person you spoke with at any court or police agency to try to get the records. If possible, get documentation stating the records are not available.

Without being able to review an entire Character and Fitness Application, it cannot be determined whether criminal history will cause the Committee to deny admission. Please read Ariz. R. Sup. Ct. 36 to understand the qualifications required of an applicant. If an applicant’s criminal history rises to the level of requiring an Informal Inquiry or Hearing, the applicant will have the opportunity to prove, by clear and convincing evidence, that he or she has the requisite character to be admitted to practice law in Arizona.

The Committee understands exact dates may be difficult to obtain. Please enter dates as close as possible, and then, in the “Reason for Leaving” box, indicate that the dates are estimated. You may also contact the Social Security Administration (ssa.gov) for a report of your earnings history, which will give you the names of your employers and the year(s) you worked there.

You will need to provide a verifying reference who can affirm that employment. Enter the name of your verifying reference and provide that person’s contact information rather than the name of the employer or your own name. In the employment description box, you can enter the name of the company you worked for or explain you are/were self-employed and the nature of the employment.

You will need to provide certified driving records from every state where you have been licensed to drive in the past ten years. The driving records can be obtained from the department, usually a motor vehicle department, that issues driver licenses in each state and must be less than 90 days old at the time you submit your Character and Fitness Application.

Not all traffic citations will appear on your driving record(s). It is your responsibility to contact local or regional law enforcement to obtain information regarding the citations. The Traffic Cases History form does not ask or require supporting documents and you may provide a timeframe rather than an exact date. The Committee is looking for the date or timeframe, the type of infraction, the location, and the disposition.

No. You need only disclose any credit cards that have been revoked, any debts that are 90 days or more past due, and any debts on which you have defaulted or have not been resolved. The Committee will run a credit report during its investigation.

If your credit is frozen at the time Committee staff tries to run a credit report, you will be contacted and asked to lift the freeze. Once the credit report has been obtained, you will be notified so you can reinstate the freeze.

You can find a Description of Employment Form on the Attorney Admissions website (www.azcourts.gov/cld/Attorney-Admissions/Miscellaneous-Forms). Once you complete the form, you can either email it to Attorney Admissions (attorneyadmissions@courts.az.gov), or mail it to Attorney Admissions at the Arizona Supreme Court with a note stating you are updating your Character and Fitness Application.

You can find a Change of Address Form on the Attorney Admissions website (www.azcourts.gov/cld/Attorney-Admissions/Miscellaneous-Forms). Once you complete the form, you can either email it to Attorney Admissions (attorneyadmissions@courts.az.gov), or mail it to Attorney Admissions at the Arizona Supreme Court.

Pursuant to Ariz. R. Sup. Ct. 37(c), records are confidential and may be released only to the applicant. Application records are retained for a period of up to seven (7) years. If you need a copy of a previously submitted Character and Fitness Application and/or supporting documentation you provided with your Application, please submit a request with the following: your name as it was at the time of your application, your current name (if different), date of birth, the date (month/year) of the most recent exam applied for, and a check or money order in the amount of $30 payable to the Arizona Supreme Court. If you need the information for another jurisdiction and the records are no longer available, a letter can be sent to the jurisdiction at no cost.