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felons becoming lawyers?

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Latest post Sun, Aug 20 2006 11:53 AM by Oddtree. 3 replies.
  • Sat, Aug 19 2006 9:52 PM

    Question [=?] felons becoming lawyers?

    if you're a convicted felon and want to become a lawyer, what states allow you to do so?I know KY doesnt but im interested in finding out where you can go and practice law.
  • Sat, Aug 19 2006 10:53 PM In reply to

    • DOCAR
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on Sat, Dec 9 2000
    • NV
    • Posts 5,478

    Feedback [*=*] re: felons becoming lawyers?

    I know of no state that would allow a person convicted of a felony, who did not first obtain a pardon, to be licensed to practice law.
  • Sun, Aug 20 2006 11:53 AM In reply to

    • Oddtree
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on Sat, Feb 18 2006
    • VA
    • Posts 297

    re: felons becoming lawyers?

    Well, I don't know about other states, but an unpardoned felony is not an absolute bar to becoming an attorney in VA. However, it will be a major, major issue in your character and fitness examination.

    Here is an excerpt from the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners' website:

    Conviction of a felony is not an absolute bar to taking the Virginia bar exam, but it is a factor which will be considered in determining whether a person can prove by clear and convincing evidence that he/she possesses the requisite good character and fitness to qualify for admission to the Virginia bar. The Character and Fitness Committee of the Board considers the nature of the crime, how long ago it was committed, the punishment, and positive contributions to society since the conviction. A pardon or a restoration of the person's civil rights is certainly a positive factor. For a listing of all the factors which are considered, see the Board's Rules.

    It is possible that you will go through (and pay for!) 3 years of law school only to find that you cannot pass the character and fitness examination because of the past conviction.

  • Sun, Aug 20 2006 1:16 PM In reply to

    re: felons becoming lawyers?

    I doubt that any state imposes an absolute ban.

    Nevertheless, every state requires a determination that an applicant to the bar is of sufficient "moral character." In my state, a felony conviction creates a presumption that an applicant lacks the requisite moral character. However, if sufficient time has passed with the applicant having a clean record, a person may be considered.
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