Registration and Online Sign Up
The New York bar exam application for the upcoming exam is available online. The days of filing a written application that looks more like a phone book (what’s a phone book!) are over. If you are eligible to take the exam in New York, then sign up using the online application.
Online New York Bar Exam Application
The New York Board of Law Examiners administer the application. Register or sign up with them directly here.
When the examiners open the application period, you can access and complete the application. For the February bar exam, the earliest application filing date is usually November 1st, and the filing deadline is usually November 30th. For the July bar exam, the earliest application filing date is usually April 1st, and the filing deadline is April 30th.
The application is extremely thorough. You will be required to disclose a substantial number of your life experiences. For example, you must disclose the places you have worked, lived, been educated, and much (much) more.
Character and Fitness
As a part of the application process, you must pass through a separate character and fitness check administered by the Committee on Character and Fitness. The examiners will investigate your life history to determine whether you possess the character and fitness required to practice law in the state of New York. There are many prospective lawyers who do not pass the character and fitness check because of something in their past.
As a part of the application process, you must complete a questionnaire and submit substantial supporting documentation. The supporting documentation includes two affidavits of good moral character, legal employment affidavits, and law school certification.
The character and fitness process may take several months. You may also be required to submit to an interview. The interview may be conducted by a member of the New York bar selected by the examiners.