If you are a law student or a practicing attorney in a state other than California and you aspire to practice law in California, you will want to educate yourself about the licensing process in the state.
The California State Bar standards for licensing include a moral character the association deems worthy of a law license. Many factors contribute to the determination of your moral character.
Assessing your moral character and conduct
When reviewing your legal license application, the State Bar searches for any past financial issues such as significant debt, bankruptcy or breach of fiduciary responsibilities. The presence of a criminal history, substance abuse or previous professional disciplinary action on your record also factor into the equation. As a licensed attorney in California, you are expected to display a respect for the law, judicial process and for others.
Prior problems do not automatically deny your application
The mere presence of previous issues in your life do not necessarily mean your application will be denied. The State Bar also assess the circumstances of your history and how you have conducted yourself since any negative events.
Plan ahead when applying for a license
The process of receiving approval for a license to practice law in California can take up to six months. For this reason, you should apply for your license well in advance of the time when you believe you will need it.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give people seeking a license to practice law in California an overview of some factors the California State Bar takes into consideration before approving or denying a license application.