Character and Fitness Proceedings
Applicants to the State Bar must apply to and be approved by the Character and Fitness Committee of the Supreme Court of Arizona. If the Committee sees deficiencies in the application, the applicant may be subject to an informal hearing, a formal hearing, or possibly both. The applicant may, of course, be represented by counsel at the hearing. Whether representation is recommended will depend on the facts— in many cases an applicant will do fine without representation. Applicants facing a hearing are usually best served by scheduling a consultation to discuss the particular facts at issue and to go over the process and what to expect at the hearing.
By the third year of law school, law students who may have issues with their character and fitness application are usually aware of the potential problem and experiencing extreme concern about the possibility. Students in that situation would also be well-advised to schedule a consultation where we can discuss the facts at issue and I can give the student a good idea as to what to expect. Even if a hearing is to be expected, simply finding out what the process entails will often put their mind at ease and allow them to redirect their focus back to their studies.