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California Bar Moral Character Application

Posted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 1:46 pm
by cutipiejin
Hi! I had mine submitted on April 5 (thought I wouldn't pass the feb bar exam). I checked the status website and it says paper application received and under review. I haven't received any update on the status, but I found out by calling the office that my case was assigned to an analyst. My references were not all contacted, but those who were contacted already sent in their responses in late April. I have no red flags. I went through another state's C&F without any issue 2 years ago.

I was told it would take a minimum of 6 months to get cleared. Is this normal? I thought it was minimum 90 days, not 6 months. I have a job offer that hinges on me passing the application by July 3. I don't think it is going to happen.... Can you share your experience on how much time Moral Character application takes to complete? Anybody who submitted their Moral Character application after Feb bar exam but got cleared already? Is there anything I can do? Please help....I feel so in despair... :(

Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Posted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 1:52 pm
by SmokeytheBear
cutipiejin wrote:Hi! I had mine submitted on April 5 (thought I wouldn't pass the feb bar exam). I checked the status website and it says paper application received and under review. I haven't received any update on the status, but I found out by calling the office that my case was assigned to an analyst. My references were not all contacted, but those who were contacted already sent in their responses in late April. I have no red flags. I went through another state's C&F without any issue 2 years ago.

I was told it would take a minimum of 6 months to get cleared. Is this normal? I thought it was minimum 90 days, not 6 months. I have a job offer that hinges on me passing the application by July 3. I don't think it is going to happen.... Can you share your experience on how much time Moral Character application takes to complete? Anybody who submitted their Moral Character application after Feb bar exam but got cleared already? Is there anything I can do? Please help....I feel so in despair... :(


I have friends who cleared in 30 days.

It took mine several months to clear because I wasn't specific enough about different BS jobs I had while in college at my college years prior. They bounced it back asking for which departments etc. Then it became clear that my application was just put in a different stack that takes longer to process.

A friend at my firm had a his application similarly placed in the slow stack and he somehow got the name of the analyst who had his file. He just followed up with the analyst weekly until it was cleared.

If you can somehow find who who your analyst is, that might help.

Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Posted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:10 pm
by cutipiejin
SmokeytheBear wrote:
cutipiejin wrote:Hi! I had mine submitted on April 5 (thought I wouldn't pass the feb bar exam). I checked the status website and it says paper application received and under review. I haven't received any update on the status, but I found out by calling the office that my case was assigned to an analyst. My references were not all contacted, but those who were contacted already sent in their responses in late April. I have no red flags. I went through another state's C&F without any issue 2 years ago.

I was told it would take a minimum of 6 months to get cleared. Is this normal? I thought it was minimum 90 days, not 6 months. I have a job offer that hinges on me passing the application by July 3. I don't think it is going to happen.... Can you share your experience on how much time Moral Character application takes to complete? Anybody who submitted their Moral Character application after Feb bar exam but got cleared already? Is there anything I can do? Please help....I feel so in despair... :(


I have friends who cleared in 30 days.

It took mine several months to clear because I wasn't specific enough about different BS jobs I had while in college at my college years prior. They bounced it back asking for which departments etc. Then it became clear that my application was just put in a different stack that takes longer to process.

A friend at my firm had a his application similarly placed in the slow stack and he somehow got the name of the analyst who had his file. He just followed up with the analyst weekly until it was cleared.

If you can somehow find who who your analyst is, that might help.


30 days is amazing. I hope my application was in that kind of stack....

I know whom my analyst is, and called, but basically she said I have to sit tight and wait. I am afraid to call her again because she did not sound too excited when I asked if there was anything I can help. I am debating whether to give her a call, but I really don't have any good reason to call her and afraid she will see the call as "pushing" and put my file to the bottom of her stack. Argh....

Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Posted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:34 pm
by 9xSound
I submitted my moral character app in late September or early October during my last year of law school. I didn't receive my approval until late the following March — five full months. Nobody contacted me for any clarifications, and I didn't needle anybody about status. From everything I've read and heard, prodding the analyst with your application doesn't work anyway, and it might even rotate your app to the bottom of the stack.

The only red flag on my app was the non-judicial punishment I received once in the Marines, which was a trumped up charge by a second lieutenant who absolutely hated me personally and wanted to damage my rep any way he could. My infraction could not have been more petty (I didn't dump my trash). But I had fun with it on my moral character app. After writing out the incident in detail, I wrote, "Even today, all these years later, this still burns me up. The only reason he put that blemish on my service record was because he could."

Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:02 pm
by cutipiejin
OP here.

My moral character application is still under review. I filed it on April 5 and received an email on July 14 confirming the initial processing. My "pre-processor" (a person who reviews my file before it is assigned to an analyst) has not even reviewed my file. She kept saying it takes a minimum of 180 days so I should just sit tight and wait. Mine does not have any red flag or anything. I passed Character Fitness in another state in 2015 without any issue. She says there is no missing form or anything.

It seems so ridiculous to me that a "pre" processor has not even taken a look at my file even though it was filed more than 90 days ago. It is so frustrating. More so because there is nothing I can do.

My job offer expired because my Moral Character was not completed in early July. :cry:

Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:56 pm
by CAnow
The moral character application process is outside your control (and the employer should know that). If the employer is judging your performance based on what others are doing, then that's probably not the type of place you would want to work for anyway.

Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:00 pm
by SmokeytheBear
CAnow wrote:The moral character application process is outside your control (and the employer should know that). If the employer is judging your performance based on what others are doing, then that's probably not the type of place you would want to work for anyway.


Agreed. That's just pure horseshit.

Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:28 am
by AspiringCALawyer
cutipiejin wrote:Hi! I had mine submitted on April 5 (thought I wouldn't pass the feb bar exam). I checked the status website and it says paper application received and under review. I haven't received any update on the status, but I found out by calling the office that my case was assigned to an analyst. My references were not all contacted, but those who were contacted already sent in their responses in late April. I have no red flags. I went through another state's C&F without any issue 2 years ago.

I was told it would take a minimum of 6 months to get cleared. Is this normal? I thought it was minimum 90 days, not 6 months. I have a job offer that hinges on me passing the application by July 3. I don't think it is going to happen.... Can you share your experience on how much time Moral Character application takes to complete? Anybody who submitted their Moral Character application after Feb bar exam but got cleared already? Is there anything I can do? Please help....I feel so in despair... :(


I submitted my completed application in June 2016 and was approved in January 2017. The only additional request I had received was for a current copy of my credit report. Since it's good for three years, it'll streamline my application for in-house counsel (plan B) once I get a job or it'll streamline my admission once I pass the bar (plan A) (already failed twice).

That's so bizarre that your job would require you to pass character and fitness by a certain date. Although it takes a long time, I view that requirement as a formality. Passing the bar seems like a bigger hurdle. That sucks.

Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:23 pm
by tilly
I'm at 5 months and counting. I check online like every day and it just says "under review." So frustrating.

Anyone submit a 2017 Moral Character application who can shed some light on how long it took to approve the application, how long the application has been pending, etc.?

Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:34 pm
by PorscheFanatic
I submitted my application around March 2017. I was approved sometime that June (so about 3-4 months later).

Unfortunately, I failed the bar, so I still have that hurdle to get over next month.

Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:59 pm
by tilly
PorscheFanatic wrote:I submitted my application around March 2017. I was approved sometime that June (so about 3-4 months later).

Unfortunately, I failed the bar, so I still have that hurdle to get over next month.


Oh man, I'm sorry about the exam result :( Good luck on the February exam.

I'm so jealous of the 3-4 month turn around. That is what I was expecting, because my application/background are very straight forward. I was told to expect at least another month before someone LOOKS at my file, at which point they will tell me if they need any additional information. I was also told that the "usual" processing time is "6 to 8 months" - which was the first time I had heard that pushed to 8 months. Either way, it looks like I got slotted into the slow stack - I could cry.

Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:48 pm
by tilly
cutipiejin wrote:I have no red flags. I went through another state's C&F without any issue 2 years ago.

I was told it would take a minimum of 6 months to get cleared. Is this normal?


My working theory at this point is that attorneys already licenced in other jurisdictions are slotted into the same stack, and that stack takes longer to process. I was told to expect my file to take the "usual" time of "6 to 8 months" to process. I just about fell over when she said 8 months! I understand that if there are problems with your application, then the process could take much longer than 6 months. But I always thought the "worst case" for a file with no issues to be 6 months.

Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:59 pm
by DeadlyLaw
I submitted my application one year ago and still am "under review". "Luckily" I had to retake the bar so this has not been an issue as of yet. That being said, I sure would LOVE to see this process come to a conclusion!

About six months ago, they asked me for an updated driving record or credit report, which I promptly submitted. Other than that, I have no idea what is taking so long.

My story is not even close to unique nor is it as bad as some that I have heard of (although, like i said, i STILL am "under review").

Ugh.

Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:51 pm
by davisr197
I am in the same boat. I submitted my application over one year ago now and had to submit information about a misdemeanor conviction I had back in 2012. While I am still "under review" it is a little aggravating that this process has taken over a year.

At least I know I am not the only one that is taking this long to evaluate and it is good to know that the content of the evaluation is not what is making it take so long.

Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:52 pm
by davisr197
I am in the same boat. I submitted my application over one year ago now and had to submit information about a misdemeanor conviction I had back in 2012. While I am still "under review" it is a little aggravating that this process has taken over a year.

At least I know I am not the only one that is taking this long to evaluate and it is good to know that the content of the evaluation is not what is making it take so long.

Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:26 pm
by anchok
PorscheFanatic wrote:I submitted my application around March 2017. I was approved sometime that June (so about 3-4 months later).

Unfortunately, I failed the bar, so I still have that hurdle to get over next month.


"Do you remember after you were cleared how long did it take to receive the oath card?" I got a letter saying that my moral character has been cleared and it will take another 3-4 weeks to receive the oath packet! I hope it's not gonna take that long again(((

Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:45 am
by BrainToast
davisr197 wrote:I am in the same boat. I submitted my application over one year ago now and had to submit information about a misdemeanor conviction I had back in 2012. While I am still "under review" it is a little aggravating that this process has taken over a year.

At least I know I am not the only one that is taking this long to evaluate and it is good to know that the content of the evaluation is not what is making it take so long.

Have you tried calling and speaking to your analyst? One year is pretty darn long. Even with the conviction.

Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:23 am
by neb
Mine was just cleared on 4/6. What's interesting is that it went straight from "Application Under Review" to "Cleared" without anything in between. I was under the impression that there was a period during which the status changes to "Assigned to Analyst". I also didn't receive any notifications, unless the approval letter is still in the mail.

For reference, I mailed in my full application mid-December, and got confirmation of receipt on January 31. So, pretty quick turn-around time - about two months from receipt to clearance. Definitely not the "minimum 180 days". But, I didn't have anything on there that would raise any red flags, so I'm sure that explains the fast processing.

Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:31 am
by iplaw4me2
Mine took forever in California, but they magically got it done right after bar results released in 2014 and just in time to swear-in. Without a deadline work tends to expand to fill the time available.

I suggest you either contact the analyst to let them know you have a contingent job offer that requires admission by July 3 and ask if you should continue looking for another job, or just make it official and write them an "update letter" letting them know about your potential change in employment status and the fact that it's contingent upon clearing by July 3. You can play it off like you're just giving the analyst the latest information on what you're up to, but they'll know what's up - either they get you cleared by July 3 or your unemployed and and they will have to live with themselves for that. They're human, they'll try to hook you up.

To all those people saying you should tell the employer you don't want to work for anyone who imposes requirements outside of your control I would just say that maybe this person needs to take the job they were offered and not hold out for a position as the CEO of Apple just yet.

Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:43 pm
by InterAlia1961
davisr197 wrote:I am in the same boat. I submitted my application over one year ago now and had to submit information about a misdemeanor conviction I had back in 2012. While I am still "under review" it is a little aggravating that this process has taken over a year.

At least I know I am not the only one that is taking this long to evaluate and it is good to know that the content of the evaluation is not what is making it take so long.


It is the content of the evaluation. If they haven't admitted you after a year, you can be sure you're in danger of being denied. It will likely take a total of 18 mos. for the official denial. A misdemeanor under ten-years old is going to be an issue. I know this for a fact. In order to be admitted with any criminal conviction, you must show that you have rehabilitated yourself in the time that has passed. You should start calling your analyst ASAP. Don't wait for them to contact you. Your silence is not seen as being cooperative. It's seen as a sign that you know you aren't ready to be admitted. You will almost certainly be invited to an informal hearing in the next six months. If you don't go, you won't be admitted. If you do go and can't show how you have worked to rehabilitate yourself, you'll be denied admission. Either way, if you're denied, you can apply again in two years. If I was in your shoes, I'd want to get the denial as soon as possible so I could re-apply as soon as possible. Bar results are only good for five years. Good luck.

Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:54 pm
by BrainToast
InterAlia1961 wrote:
davisr197 wrote:I am in the same boat. I submitted my application over one year ago now and had to submit information about a misdemeanor conviction I had back in 2012. While I am still "under review" it is a little aggravating that this process has taken over a year.

At least I know I am not the only one that is taking this long to evaluate and it is good to know that the content of the evaluation is not what is making it take so long.


It is the content of the evaluation. If they haven't admitted you after a year, you can be sure you're in danger of being denied. It will likely take a total of 18 mos. for the official denial. A misdemeanor under ten-years old is going to be an issue. I know this for a fact. In order to be admitted with any criminal conviction, you must show that you have rehabilitated yourself in the time that has passed. You should start calling your analyst ASAP. Don't wait for them to contact you. Your silence is not seen as being cooperative. It's seen as a sign that you know you aren't ready to be admitted. You will almost certainly be invited to an informal hearing in the next six months. If you don't go, you won't be admitted. If you do go and can't show how you have worked to rehabilitate yourself, you'll be denied admission. Either way, if you're denied, you can apply again in two years. If I was in your shoes, I'd want to get the denial as soon as possible so I could re-apply as soon as possible. Bar results are only good for five years. Good luck.


What if it has been over 10 years? Are those not considered?

Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:07 pm
by InterAlia1961
BrainToast wrote:
InterAlia1961 wrote:
davisr197 wrote:I am in the same boat. I submitted my application over one year ago now and had to submit information about a misdemeanor conviction I had back in 2012. While I am still "under review" it is a little aggravating that this process has taken over a year.

At least I know I am not the only one that is taking this long to evaluate and it is good to know that the content of the evaluation is not what is making it take so long.


It is the content of the evaluation. If they haven't admitted you after a year, you can be sure you're in danger of being denied. It will likely take a total of 18 mos. for the official denial. A misdemeanor under ten-years old is going to be an issue. I know this for a fact. In order to be admitted with any criminal conviction, you must show that you have rehabilitated yourself in the time that has passed. You should start calling your analyst ASAP. Don't wait for them to contact you. Your silence is not seen as being cooperative. It's seen as a sign that you know you aren't ready to be admitted. You will almost certainly be invited to an informal hearing in the next six months. If you don't go, you won't be admitted. If you do go and can't show how you have worked to rehabilitate yourself, you'll be denied admission. Either way, if you're denied, you can apply again in two years. If I was in your shoes, I'd want to get the denial as soon as possible so I could re-apply as soon as possible. Bar results are only good for five years. Good luck.


What if it has been over 10 years? Are those not considered?


They are most certainly considered. Even those that are decades old. The Bar takes any kind of conviction seriously. Trying to downplay it as a "just a misdemeanor" is a mistake. If the conviction was for fraud, theft, or some other moral turpitude, like lying to a probation officer, it makes things all that more difficult. If the conviction was a result of a breach of fiduciary duty or if there are multiple misdemeanor convictions for fraud, theft, or lying, they are looking for a spectacular effort at rehabilitation. Simply doing pro-bono work won't cut it, because as the Bar puts it, applicants are expected to do pro bono work.

In order to overcome this hurdle, the applicant with a less than stellar background has to be honest with themselves and the Bar about what happened and what the applicant has learned and how they have put what they have learned into action to make amends. It's not enough that the applicant apologized and hasn't had any incidents in years. They tell you what they are looking for. Read the Glass decision. The Bar specifically stated that Glass hadn't repayed any of the money he caused people to lose. Over the last five years, he has quietly been sending his former colleagues huge checks. He'll likely try again to get admitted. Here's a link to the CalBar website where they discuss rehabilitation. If anyone is having C&F issues, they should read it closely.

http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Admissions/Mor ... er/Factors

Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:30 pm
by BrainToast
InterAlia1961 wrote:
BrainToast wrote:
InterAlia1961 wrote:
davisr197 wrote:I am in the same boat. I submitted my application over one year ago now and had to submit information about a misdemeanor conviction I had back in 2012. While I am still "under review" it is a little aggravating that this process has taken over a year.

At least I know I am not the only one that is taking this long to evaluate and it is good to know that the content of the evaluation is not what is making it take so long.


It is the content of the evaluation. If they haven't admitted you after a year, you can be sure you're in danger of being denied. It will likely take a total of 18 mos. for the official denial. A misdemeanor under ten-years old is going to be an issue. I know this for a fact. In order to be admitted with any criminal conviction, you must show that you have rehabilitated yourself in the time that has passed. You should start calling your analyst ASAP. Don't wait for them to contact you. Your silence is not seen as being cooperative. It's seen as a sign that you know you aren't ready to be admitted. You will almost certainly be invited to an informal hearing in the next six months. If you don't go, you won't be admitted. If you do go and can't show how you have worked to rehabilitate yourself, you'll be denied admission. Either way, if you're denied, you can apply again in two years. If I was in your shoes, I'd want to get the denial as soon as possible so I could re-apply as soon as possible. Bar results are only good for five years. Good luck.


What if it has been over 10 years? Are those not considered?


They are most certainly considered. Even those that are decades old. The Bar takes any kind of conviction seriously. Trying to downplay it as a "just a misdemeanor" is a mistake. If the conviction was for fraud, theft, or some other moral turpitude, like lying to a probation officer, it makes things all that more difficult. If the conviction was a result of a breach of fiduciary duty or if there are multiple misdemeanor convictions for fraud, theft, or lying, they are looking for a spectacular effort at rehabilitation. Simply doing pro-bono work won't cut it, because as the Bar puts it, applicants are expected to do pro bono work.

In order to overcome this hurdle, the applicant with a less than stellar background has to be honest with themselves and the Bar about what happened and what the applicant has learned and how they have put what they have learned into action to make amends. It's not enough that the applicant apologized and hasn't had any incidents in years. They tell you what they are looking for. Read the Glass decision. The Bar specifically stated that Glass hadn't repayed any of the money he caused people to lose. Over the last five years, he has quietly been sending his former colleagues huge checks. He'll likely try again to get admitted. Here's a link to the CalBar website where they discuss rehabilitation. If anyone is having C&F issues, they should read it closely.

http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Admissions/Mor ... er/Factors


Well then I may be in trouble. Two convictions in my teens 15 years ago, petty theft and fake ID going to a bar. Both alcohol related. I was blacked out both times. Stopped drinking because of it. :(

Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:56 am
by InterAlia1961
BrainToast wrote:
Well then I may be in trouble. Two convictions in my teens 15 years ago, petty theft and fake ID going to a bar. Both alcohol related. I was blacked out both times. Stopped drinking because of it. :(


You're only in trouble if you didn't disclose it and if you can't show you have rehabilitated yourself. If you haven't heard anything at all from the Bar in a year, then something is wrong. I know from experience that doing nothing and "hoping" for the best is the wrong tactic if you know there's a problem. Be proactive. Make sure to document that you quit drinking. You'll likely be admitted, but don't expect it to happen without you actively trying to make it happen.

Re: California Bar Moral Character Application

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:24 pm
by BrainToast
InterAlia1961 wrote:
BrainToast wrote:
Well then I may be in trouble. Two convictions in my teens 15 years ago, petty theft and fake ID going to a bar. Both alcohol related. I was blacked out both times. Stopped drinking because of it. :(


You're only in trouble if you didn't disclose it and if you can't show you have rehabilitated yourself. If you haven't heard anything at all from the Bar in a year, then something is wrong. I know from experience that doing nothing and "hoping" for the best is the wrong tactic if you know there's a problem. Be proactive. Make sure to document that you quit drinking. You'll likely be admitted, but don't expect it to happen without you actively trying to make it happen.


I did disclose everything to them. I also retrieved all the police reports and court records and put it in a nice package for them to review. In my explanation, I told them about the drinking and was very remorseful and embarrassed, which is truly how I feel. I made no excuses.

Also, I submitted my application December 2017 and am currently "Under Review."

As far as rehabilitation, I have no incidents since, I have solid credit and great work history. All my employers and personal references are attorneys. I have a job offer too.

Do you think I should call and let them know that?