Connecticut Bar Examining
Regulations of the
Connecticut Bar Examining Committee
Important Regulation Changes – Effective March 21, 2016 - PDF
Art. I-1. MEETINGS. The bar examining committee shall hold regular meetings to determine and announce the results of the bar examinations. Special meetings may be held upon reasonable notice at such time and place to be fixed by the chairperson. In the absence of the chairperson or in the event of his or her inability to act, the time and place of any meeting may be set by the administrative director or by any three members.
Art. I-2. OFFICERS. The officers shall be a chairperson, a vice-chairperson, a secretary and a treasurer. They shall be elected at the first regular meeting in the calendar year and shall hold office for three years and until their successors shall be elected. No person shall serve as an officer for more than twelve years. Each officer shall perform the duties customarily incident to the office.
Art. I-3. EXAMINATIONS COMMITTEE. There shall be an examinations committee for each examination, to be appointed by the committee at the regular meeting next preceding each examination, who shall have the duty, power and authority to provide for the examination of candidates and superintend the examination.
Art. I-4. SUBCOMMITTEE ON NON-STANDARD TESTING.
Art. I-5. OTHER COMMITTEES. The chairperson may appoint from time to time such other subcommittees as he or she may deem desirable and, subject to the action of the committee, assign their duties and functions.
ARTICLE II - Law Study
Art. II-1. Approved law schools shall be the following:
Art. II-2. All applicants must receive a law degree from an approved law school not less than seven (7) days prior to the date of the examination for which the applicant has filed his or her application and proof of receipt of that degree must be received in the Office of the Administrative Director not less than seven (7) days prior to said examination.
ARTICLE III - Application to Take the Examination and for Admission
Art. III-1. The application to take the bar examination and for admission to the bar (for which the official forms obtainable from the administrative director must be used) shall be filed between 01 March and 30 April for a July examination and between 01 October and 30 November for a February examination, together with the fee prescribed by Article IX (1).
Answers on the application must be typewritten or prepared by electronic means and the application must be used only for the examination for which it is issued.
An application is considered filed on the day it is RECEIVED, properly completed with the appropriate fees paid, in the office of the administrative director.An applicant who fails to pass a Connecticut bar examination shall be permitted to file an application for the next administration of the bar examination within three weeks of the release of the results of the prior examination.
Art. III-2. Incidental to an application for admission to the bar by examination, each applicant shall be required to file the following supporting documents as appropriate:
All supporting documents required by this Article should be filed concurrently with the application.
Art. III-3. An applicant who withdraws his or her application to take the bar examination at least 30 days prior to the examination shall be entitled to a fee credit of $125. Withdrawals for medical reasons accompanied by a doctor's certificate shall be entitled to a fee credit of $125 if received within ten days after the examination. Any fee credits to which a withdrawing applicant may be entitled must be applied toward either of the next two succeeding examinations. All withdrawals must be in writing, addressed to the administrative director and are effective on the date received by the administrative director.
Art. III-4. The administrative director shall make the applications available to the chairperson of the standing committee on recommendations in the appropriate county. The administrative director shall give notice by publication in the Connecticut Law Journal of the names of the applicants for the examination. Unless a written objection to an applicant is received by the appropriate standing committee on recommendations or by the examining committee within 10 days of publication, or the standing committee does not approve an applicant, the report of the standing committee shall be submitted to the county clerk without a meeting of the county bar. In the event that an objection shall be made to any applicant or the standing committee does not approve an applicant there shall be a hearing by the standing committee which shall make a special report on such applicant to be presented to a meeting of the bar of the county at which meeting said bar shall approve or disapprove such applicant.
Art. III-5. The administrative director shall retain the applications for not more than five (5) years and shall thereafter transmit them to the state library for permanent storage.
ARTICLE IV - Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination
Art. IV-1. All persons seeking admission to the practice of law in Connecticut, whether by examination or upon motion without examination shall, prior to being recommended for admission to the bar, produce evidence of satisfactory completion of the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination. The passing score on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination shall be a scaled score of eighty (80) and must be achieved within four years before or within one year after the date the applicant files his or her application for admission to the Connecticut bar.
Art. IV-2. In lieu of the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination an applicant may, prior to being recommended for admission to the bar, submit evidence of satisfactory completion of a course in professional responsibility/legal ethics offered by a law school approved by the bar examining committee as part of its regular curriculum. To be acceptable, the course must be completed with a grade of either "C" or "Pass" within four years before or within one year after the date the applicant files his or her application for admission to the Connecticut bar.
ARTICLE V - Examinations
Art. V-1. The Committee shall hold sessions semi-annually for the examination in law of applicants for admission to the bar. The examination shall be held at such place or places within the State of Connecticut as the Committee may designate, one to be held the last consecutive Tuesday and Wednesday of February and one to be held the last consecutive Tuesday and Wednesday of July, in each year. Such examination shall last two days, with two sessions each day.
Art. V-2. The examinations shall be in writing. The Committee shall provide pencils and pens. The Committee may allow an applicant to utilize a portable electronic device capable of operating the designated software to answer Part A of the examination provided that the applicant follows the procedure set forth by the Committee for electing such option. Special circumstances may, with the prior written approval of the committee, warrant a waiver, in whole or in part, of the requirements of this Art. V-2.
Art. V-3. An applicant may be examined at the examination next preceding his or her eighteenth birthday. If successful and otherwise qualified, he or she shall be admitted to the bar only upon attaining the age of eighteen.
(a) The examination shall be composed of two parts designated Part A and Part B.
Part A shall be of six-hours' duration and shall be composed of twelve 30-minute sections. Up to six of the sections may be selected from the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE) which is that examination offered to the several states by the National Conference of Bar Examiners and designated by that organization as the MEE. The remaining sections shall be prepared under the direction of the examinations committee and shall be based upon such of the following subjects as the examinations committee shall determine:
Part B shall consist of the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) which is that examination offered to the several states by the National Conference of Bar Examiners and designated by that organization as the MBE.
(b) Beginning with the February 2014 administration of the Connecticut
bar examination, the following provisions of this Article shall apply to the contents of the bar examination.
The two 90-minute performance tests shall be selected from the Multistate
Performance Test (MPT) which is that examination offered to the several states by the National Conference of Bar Examiners
and designated by that organization as the MPT.
(a) An applicant's raw score on Part A shall be the sum of the scores on each of the 12 sections of Part A.
An applicant's Part
A raw score shall be converted to the same distribution as the
scaled scores on Part B by the Standard Deviation Method. Scaled
scores shall be used to assure that the standard used to measure
competence is not affected by the difficulty of the particular test
or the ability of the group of applicants sitting for a particular
An applicant's scaled MBE score and converted score on Part A (as described in Art V-5) shall be expressed to the nearest whole number.
Art. V-7. An applicant may sit for Part B in another jurisdiction as a part of the bar examination of that jurisdiction and transfer that Part B score to Connecticut. Upon election by the applicant prior to the administration of the examination, the committee will accept an applicant's concurrent Part B score or the applicant's Part B score from any of the three administrations of the MBE next preceding the administration during which the applicant sits for Part A of the examination. If the Part B score is from a prior administration of the MBE, then the applicant must have been successful on each examination for which the score was originally achieved.
Art. V-8. (a) In order for the examination to be graded when sitting for Part B in Connecticut or concurrently in another jurisdiction, the applicant must attend both sessions of Part A at the designated location in Connecticut and both sessions of Part B either in Connecticut or concurrently in another jurisdiction. Any applicant who does not attend all four sessions of the examination will be deemed withdrawn from the examination and will not receive examination results.
Art. V-9. The committee shall meet at such time and place as may be fixed by the chairperson to determine the results of the examination and announce the names of the applicants recommended for admission to the bar. The administrative director shall certify to the clerk of the superior court for each county the names of the applicants who are recommended for admission to the bar and shall likewise notify the Office of the Chief Court Administrator which shall notify the press. Such certification shall expire after one hundred eighty (180) days.
Art. V-10. Each applicant recommended for admission to the bar shall (unless specially excused by the clerk of the superior court) present himself or herself for admission as an attorney at a session of the superior court to be held in the county in which such applicant seeks admission or in such other place or places, on such date and at such hour as shall be prescribed by the committee.
Upon a showing of due excuse, the clerk of the superior court may arrange for the presentation for admission of an applicant at a session of the superior court to be held at another time and place to be fixed by the clerk.
Art. V-11. The administrative director shall notify each applicant of his or her results on the examination. Notification to an applicant who fails to pass the examination shall include a statement of the applicant's scores on the examination and such other examination information as the committee shall from time to time determine.
ARTICLE VI - Guidelines for Assessment of Character and Fitness
Art. VI-1. PURPOSE. The purpose of character and fitness screening before admission to the bar is the protection of the public and the system of justice. The public interest requires that the public be secure in its expectation that those who are admitted to the bar are, at the time of admission, worthy of the trust and confidence clients may reasonably place in their attorneys.
Art. VI-2. STANDARD OF CHARACTER AND FITNESS. A lawyer should be one whose record of conduct justifies the trust of clients, adversaries, courts and others with respect to professional duties owed to them. A record manifesting a significant deficiency in the honesty, trustworthiness, diligence or reliability of an applicant may constitute a basis for denial of admission. Conduct that is merely socially unacceptable or the physical disability of the applicant is not relevant to character and fitness for law practice and will not be considered.
Art. VI-3. BURDEN OF PROOF. The applicant bears the burden of proving his or her good moral character and fitness to practice law by clear and convincing evidence.
Art. VI-4. GOOD MORAL CHARACTER AND FITNESS TO PRACTICE LAW. The concept of "good moral character and fitness to practice law" necessarily reflects the mores of the community as well as an estimate of the individual. The determination of present good moral character and fitness is made at the time of admission. In considering good moral character and fitness the Committee will attempt to view the applicant as a whole person and take into account the applicant's entire life history rather than limit its view to isolated events in his/her life. The Committee's inquiry into an applicant's character and fitness emphasizes honesty, fairness and respect for the rights of others and for the law in general. There are no specific incidents, transgressions or misconduct which will result in disqualification. However, certain conduct indicates a lack of good moral character and/or fitness to practice law (See Art. VI-11 below).
Art. VI-5. PROCEDURES.
Art. VI-6. CONTINUING CRIMINAL ACTIONS. Factors such as pending incarceration, probation, the restrictions of parole still in effect or unfulfilled sentences, while not determinative, will generally be considered to indicate that the rehabilitation process has not been completed.
Art. VI-7. CONDUCT IN VIOLATION OF THE RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT.
Engaging in any conduct which would have subjected the applicant to discipline if he/she had already been a member of the bar will weigh strongly against a determination of good moral character and/or fitness. Similarly, lack of good standing in a jurisdiction where the applicant is (or was) admitted to the bar is indicative of a lack of good moral character and/or fitness.
Art. VI-8. CANDOR IN THE ADMISSION PROCESS. Lack of candor in responding to questions posed on the application for admission to the bar in Connecticut (or elsewhere) or otherwise posed by the Committee or its staff may be independent grounds for a finding of lack of good moral character and/or fitness notwithstanding the fact that the underlying information would not, standing alone, have been grounds for such a finding. The Committee expects that all applicants will provide a complete and candid response to its inquiries, whether on the application or as part of a subsequent inquiry.
Art. VI-9. MENTAL HEALTH INQUIRY. The Committees questions address recent mental health and chemical or psychological dependency matters. The purpose of these questions is to determine the current fitness of an applicant to practice law. Each applicant is considered on an individual basis. The mere fact of treatment for mental health problems or chemical or psychological dependency is not, in and of itself, a basis on which an applicant is ordinarily denied admission to the Connecticut bar. The Connecticut Bar Examining Committee regularly recommends licensing of individuals who have demonstrated personal responsibility and maturity in dealing with mental health and chemical or psychological dependency issues. The Committee encourages applicants who may benefit from treatment to seek it. As indicated in the Rules, all proceedings conducted pursuant to the Rules and Regulations are confidential.
On occasion a license may be denied when an applicant's ability to function is impaired in a manner relevant to the practice of law at the time that the licensing decision is made, or when an applicant demonstrates a lack of candor by his or her responses. Protection of the public that will receive legal services underlies the licensing responsibilities assigned to the Committee. Furthermore, each applicant is responsible for demonstrating that he or she possesses the qualifications necessary to practice law. Your response may include information as to why, in your opinion or that of your treatment provider, your condition will not affect your ability to practice law in a competent and professional manner.
The Connecticut Bar Examining Committee does not, by its questions, seek information that is characterized as situational counseling, such as stress counseling, domestic counseling, and grief counseling. Generally, the Committee does not view these types of counseling as germane to the issue of whether an applicant is qualified to practice law.
Art. VI-10. APPLICATION REVIEW. The Committee establishes the following policies regarding review and approval of applications for admission by examination:
Art. VI-11. CONDUCT THAT CREATES A PRESUMPTION OF LACK OF GOOD MORAL CHARACTER AND/OR FITNESS TO PRACTICE LAW. The following conduct creates a presumption of and may result, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, in a finding of lack of good moral character and/or fitness to practice law:
Art. VI-12. REAPPLICATION AFTER DENIAL. An applicant who is denied admission to the bar for lack of good moral character and/or fitness shall not be permitted to reapply within two years of denial; the denial may specify a longer period of time. A bar examination applicant so denied shall be required to retake and pass the bar examination. A motion applicant so denied shall be required to either reapply for admission without examination if qualified or apply, sit for and pass the bar examination.
Art. VI-13. TIME LIMITATION ON ADMISSION. A bar examination applicant recommended by the Committee, but not admitted to the bar within five years of the date of such recommendation shall be required to retake and pass the bar examination. A motion applicant recommended by the Committee, but not admitted to the bar within five years of the date of such recommendation, shall be required to either reapply for admission without examination if qualified or apply, sit for and pass the bar examination.
Art. VI-14. CHEATING AND OTHER DISHONEST CONDUCT.
(a) If it shall appear to the Committee that there is credible evidence which would establish that an applicant has:
(1) either by omission or commission falsified the application or proofs required for admission to the bar examination or misrepresented the applicant’s eligibility to sit for the bar examination;
(2) either by omission or commission falsified the proofs required for admission to practice with or without examination;
(3) either by omission or commission falsified documentation submitted in support of a request for test accommodations under Art. I-4 or secured such documentation under false pretenses;
(4) brought unauthorized items or materials into the examination room or otherwise violated the Committee’s examination security policy;
(5) broken the seal on the question book, opened the question booklet, or reviewed the questions in the question book prior to the announcement that the examination has begun, or otherwise violated any of the oral or written instructions given in connection with the administration of the bar examination;
(6) possessed in any manner, reviewed and/or utilized any unauthorized notes, books, recordings, electronically retrievable data or other unauthorized materials during the bar examination, or secreted such materials for such use;
(7) written or designated any answers to questions on the bar examination prior to the announcement of the beginning of the examination session or written or designated any answers or other information on an answer sheet or booklet after the announcement of the conclusion of the session;
(8) sought, obtained or used answers or information from or given answers or information to another applicant or any other person during the bar examination;
(9) removed any examination materials or notes made during the examination from the examination room;
(10) memorized questions for the purpose of reporting and/or reported the substance of questions to any person or entity engaged in, or affiliated with any person or entity engaged in, the preparation of applicants to take the bar examination or otherwise violated the copyright protection afforded to bar examination materials;
(11) engaged in fraud, dishonesty or other misconduct in connection with an application to or the administration of the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) or to a bar examination of any other jurisdiction;
(12) sat for the bar examination without having a bona fide intention to seek admission to practice law in the State of Connecticut; or
(13) compromised or disrupted the process for admission to or administration of the bar examination;
the Committee shall serve written charges on such applicant by mail at the last address provided to the Committee by the applicant, stating with particularity the facts upon which such charges are based. The applicant’s examination results shall be withheld pending the determination of the charges by the Committee.
(b) The applicant, no later than 30 days after the service of charges shall cause to be delivered to the Administrative Office of the Committee an answer, signed under oath, to such charges. Such answer shall identify with specificity the charges disputed by the applicant, who shall set forth any evidence which can be adduced by the applicant in contradiction of such charges. The applicant may include in such written answer a request that the Committee hold a hearing.
(c) In the event such applicant does not submit an answer signed under oath as provided in Subsection (b), the Committee shall deem the facts set forth in the written charges to be true.
(d) In the event such applicant does not request a hearing, and the Committee does not on its own motion determine to conduct a hearing, the Committee shall make a determination based on the evidence submitted. For all matters presented to the Committee, the rules of evidence shall be as in other administrative hearings as set forth in the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act. The Committee shall have the burden of proof by the preponderance of the evidence. If a hearing is held, the constitution of the panel hearing the matter shall be in accordance with Art. VI-5 (iv).
(e) If the applicant shall request a hearing, or if the Committee, on its own motion, determines to conduct a hearing, the Committee shall set a date for a hearing by the Committee or by three or more members of the Committee, who shall make a report and recommendation to the full Committee which shall render a written decision. Reasonable notice of the hearing shall be provided to the applicant.
(f) If the applicant shall be found guilty by reason of:
(1) applicant’s admission that such charges are true, in whole or in part; or
(2) applicant’s default in answering the written charges, in whole or in part; or
(3) determination of the Committee, after a hearing, or where no hearing was conducted, after the Committee’s review of the evidence submitted, such determination shall be set forth in the Committee’s written decision and one or more of the following penalties, and any other penalty which the Committee may deem appropriate, may be imposed:
(i) nullification of the examination taken or the application made by such applicant;
(ii) disqualification of the applicant from taking the Connecticut Bar Examination or applying for admission on motion for a period of five years from the date of such admission or determination, unless the Committee articulates reasons for a lesser period of time;
(iii) invalidation or striking of one or more answers of the examination taken by such applicant, or the reduction of applicant’s final score by one or more points; and/or
(iv) transmission of a written report of the matter to the bar admission authority and/or disciplinary authority in every jurisdiction of the United States and, where applicable, to any foreign jurisdiction deemed appropriate by the Committee.
(g) The Committee shall notify the applicant of its decision in
writing as soon as practicable.
ARTICLE VII - Admission on Motion of Attorneys of Other States
Art. VII-1. The application for admission on motion under Section 2-13 of the rules shall be made upon the official form obtainable from the administrative director, which forms shall be filed with the administrative director.
Art. VII-2. Attached to said application for admission on motion shall be official transcripts of undergraduate and legal education sufficient to satisfy the committee that the applicant's educational qualifications meet the requirements of Section 2-13 of the Rules.
Art. VII-3. Applicants for admission on motion shall submit satisfactory proof of compliance with the professional responsibility requirement sufficient to satisfy Article IV of these regulations and Section 2-13 of the Rules.
Art. VII-4. There shall be a subcommittee on applications for admission to the Connecticut bar on motion pursuant to Rules of Practice, Sec. 2-13, which subcommittee shall have the duty and authority to consider and act upon all applications on motion insofar as such applications require a determination as to whether at least one jurisdiction of which the applicant is a member of the bar would admit a member of the bar of the State of Connecticut to its bar without examination under provisions similar to those set forth in Rules of Practice, Sec. 2-13.
All applicants will be required to satisfy the subcommittee as to compliance with Rules of Practice, Sec. 2-13, as set forth above. Upon written request of an applicant for such determination prior to requesting application materials and paying the fee therefore, the subcommittee shall make such investigation and inquiry as it shall deem appropriate and shall advise such applicant in writing thereof.
Any applicant dissatisfied with the decision of the subcommittee may request a hearing by the subcommittee for the purpose of setting forth other or additional information relating thereto.
Art. VIII-1. The application for registration as authorized house counsel under Section 2-15A of the rules shall be made upon the official form obtainable from the administrative director, which form shall be filed with the administrative director.
Art. VIII-2. Attached to said application for registration as authorized house counsel shall be official transcripts of legal education sufficient to satisfy the committee that the applicant's educational qualifications meet the requirements of Section 2-8 of the Rules.
Art. VIII-3. Applicants for registration as authorized house counsel shall submit such documents necessary to satisfy the requirements of Section 2-15A(d) including:
(1) a sworn statement that the applicant has read the Connecticut Rules of Professional Conduct and Chapter 2 of the superior court rules and will abide by them;
(2) a sworn statement that the applicant submits to the jurisdiction of the statewide grievance committee and the superior court and authorizes the notification to and/or from the jurisdiction(s) in which the applicant is licensed to practice law regarding any disciplinary actions against the applicant;
(3) a sworn statement of all jurisdictions in which the applicant is now or has ever been licensed to practice law;
(4) a sworn statement disclosing all disciplinary actions against the applicant;
(5) the required certification from the applicant’s employer;
(6) the required affidavits from two Connecticut attorneys.
Art. VIII-4 A. There shall be a subcommittee on applications for registration as authorized house counsel pursuant to Rules of Practice, Sec. 2-15A, which subcommittee shall have the authority to consider and act upon all applications for registration as authorized house counsel which subcommittee shall have the power to act for the Committee.
B. All applicants will be required to satisfy the subcommittee as to compliance with Rules of Practice, Sec. 2-15A.
C. The subcommittee may, in its discretion, require any applicant for registration as an authorized house counsel to obtain a background investigation report from the National Conference of Bar Examiners.
ARTICLE IX - Timely Filing and Supplemental Affidavits
Art. IX-1. Failure to file any required document in a timely manner may result in a delay in or a denial of the applicant's admission to the bar. Any application not completed within one year of its filing shall be deemed to be withdrawn by the applicant. This one year period may be extended by the committee upon good cause shown by the applicant. Any request for extension must be filed by the applicant not less than thirty (30) days before the expiration of the one year period.
Art. IX-2. Any application not completed within nine (9) months of its filing must be updated by submission of a Supplemental Affidavit Updating Original Application (on a form to be designated by the administrative director). Failure to submit a Supplemental Affidavit Updating Original Application will render an application incomplete.
Art. IX-3. If an application remains pending before the Committee for character and fitness review for six (6) months from the date of the notice of such review, the applicant shall submit a Supplemental Affidavit Updating Original Application (on a form to be designated by the administrative director). Any application for which a Supplemental Affidavit Updating Original Application is not submitted within three (3) months thereafter shall be deemed withdrawn by the applicant. This three (3) month period may be extended by the Committee upon good cause shown by the applicant. Any request for extension must be filed by the applicant not less than thirty (30) days before the expiration of the three (3) month period.
ARTICLE X - Schedule of Fees
Art. X. The following shall be the fees in connection with applications for admission to the bar:
(1) The application fee for admission by examination: $750
(2) Application fee for admission without examination: $1,800
(3) Investigation under Sec. 2-8(8): $50
(4) Copy of prior examination questions: $15
(5) Copy of prior examination answers (includes questions): $35
(6) Copy of applicant's application for admission by examination: $15
(7) Copy of applicant's exam answers: $20
(8) Transmittal of applicant's MBE score to another jurisdiction: $25
(9) Replacement of examination scores and information: $15
(10) Replacement of admission certificate: $20
(11) Application fee for foreign legal consultant: $500
(12) Application fee for registration as authorized house counsel: $1000.
All fees must be made payable to the Connecticut Bar Examining Committee by certified check or money order; personal checks are not accepted.