Law students and members of other state bars are required to apply for admission to The Florida Bar through The Florida Board of Bar Examiners if they wish to practice law in Florida. The state of Florida offers no reciprocity to members of any other state bar. In addition to passing the bar examination, applicants must also submit an application to establish their fitness and character to become a member of The Florida Bar. The application is very exhaustive and covers information as to your life’s history.
The most common issues that the Board is concerned with involve financial matters, matters of candor including academic dishonesty, criminal arrests and convictions and drug or alcohol abuse.
When preparing your application, take your time. Read each question very carefully. The Board does not condone answers that are not truthful or omit material facts. If you are required to appear before the Board at an investigative hearing you do not want to be confronted with answers that are false or incomplete. It is imperative to read each question carefully and answer it truthfully. More likely than not, a false answer is much worse than answering a question that includes negative information truthfully. Tell the truth. Don’t fail to disclose criminal arrests, being detained by law enforcement, or a conviction because you believe the Board will not find out. They will because you provide them with a release when submitting your application. If you are completing the application and need advice, call David Ristoff for a free consultation to assist you. If you are required to appear before the Board for an investigative hearing there will be a fee for representation. David Ristoff can assist you in your preparation before the Board. The Board has specific reasons for each question they ask you at the hearing. If you do not satisfy the Board at the investigative hearing you will be required to appear before the full Board at a Formal Hearing.