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Appellate Division - Second Department
Attorney Matters
Character and Fitness Review of Applicants for Admission to the Bar and for Licensure as a Foreign Legal Consultant

The Committees on Character and Fitness
The Review Process

The law requires that before admitting a person to the bar of the State of New York, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court must be satisfied that he or she “possesses the character and general fitness requisite for an attorney and counsellor-at-law” (Judiciary Law § 90[1]) and it directs the creation of committees for the purpose of investigating the character and fitness of every applicant for admission to practice (CPLR 9401). Unless otherwise ordered by the Appellate Division, no person may be admitted to practice without having received a certificate from the proper committee attesting that it has carefully investigated the character and fitness of the applicant and that he or she is of good character and is fit to practice (CPLR 9404).
The Committees on Character and Fitness
In the Second Judicial Department, the Appellate Division has created two Committees on Character and Fitness, one for the Second, Tenth, Eleventh, and Thirteenth Judicial Districts and another for the Ninth Judicial District. Committee members are not salaried but are reimbursed for expenses incurred in the performance of their duties (Judiciary Law § 90[1][c]). The committees are supported by a full-time Executive Secretary and central staff with offices in Brooklyn. The committees may be contacted at:

Committees on Character & Fitness
Second Judicial Department
335 Adams Street, Room 2404
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 923-6360

The Review Process
Every person who is a candidate for admission to the bar of this state based upon taking and successfully passing the New York State Bar Examination (see 22 NYCRR 520.2), or for reciprocal admission on motion based, inter alia, upon admission to practice before the court of last resort in another state, territory, or the District of Columbia (see 22 NYCRR 520.10), and every person seeking licensure as a legal consultant (see 22 NYCRR parts 521, 692), must undergo an investigation of her or his character and fitness. The process requires the candidate to complete an application questionnaire, to complete or secure the completion of several additional forms, to submit required documentation, and to appear for a personal interview before a member of the Committees on Character and Fitness.

Get Adobe Acrobat ReaderSee the following guides for further information:

How to Apply for Admission to Practice Upon Examination

How to Apply for Admission to Practice Without Examination

How to Apply for Licensure as a Foreign Legal Consultant

The instructions and forms necessary to complete an application for admission to practice are:

Application Package (Applicable to all four Departments of the Appellate Division. Includes General Instructions and forms.)

Supplemental Instructions (Applicable to the Second Judicial Department only.)

OCA Registration Package Notice to Applicants—Duty to Register. Includes official OCA registration form and rules. DO NOT USE THIS FORM IF YOU WERE PREVIOUSLY ADMITTED TO THE NY BAR

New York State Unified Court System Lady Justice