Character and Fitness for Bar Application

In order to become a member of a Bar, each applicant is required to produce evidence that s/he is a person of honest demeanor and good moral character and possesses the requisite fitness to perform the obligations and responsibilities of a practicing attorney at law. All applicants go through a Character & Fitness process during their 3L year where they disclose a good deal of information about their past.

TODAY at noon, the President of the Massachusetts Board of Law Examiners (Geoffrey Bok ’87) and the Executive Director, Marilyn Wellington, will provide insight into the Character & Fitness process from the Board’s perspective. The session will take place in Austin West at noon and lunch will be served. Since many states ask similar questions, you will find this session to be useful regardless of the state.

While your application process is still a year or two away, you may find this session useful in preparing your application.

For more information about the character and fitness process, please go to:

 www.law.harvard.edu

If you are concerned about having to disclose something from your past, you can email/see me.

If you are concerned about keeping something confidential from the law school, you can contact Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers LCL is a lawyers assistance program funded by bar dues.

Ellen M. Cosgrove I Associate Dean & Dean of Students I Harvard Law School I 1563 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge, MA 02138 I (617-495-1881

*  cosgrove at law.harvard.edu I Dean of Students Office Web Page

New Building Tours

Welcome back!

We will be offering scheduled tours of the new WCC building during the fall semester but since many of you are here early, we wanted to offer you a preview. If you are interested in a tour of the new WCC building in the next few days, please read on:

We have tours scheduled on Tuesday August 16, Thursday August 18, and Tuesday August 23, starting at 3:30, 4:00, and 4:30 pm and lasting 20-25 minutes each. The tours are available on a first come, first served basis.

To sign up go to http://www.supersaas.com/schedule/DOSO/W…

· Click the day and time you wish to take the tour.

· If spots are available in your chosen time, click ‘New Reservation’

· Enter your full name and HLS e-mail then click ‘Create Reservation’

· If you wish to cancel or change a reservation, email Tim Cusack ( tcusack at law.harvard.edu)

The building is still a construction site. While hard hats and goggles are no longer required, we do ask that you wear flat, closed-toe shoes.

Tours will depart from the walkway between the Hark and Story Hall. Please arrive 10 minutes before your scheduled tour time with appropriate shoes and your HUID.

No photos or video may be taken during the tour.

We hope you enjoy this first glimpse inside the new building!

Ellen M. Cosgrove I Associate Dean & Dean of Students I Harvard Law School I 1563 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge, MA 02138 I (617-495-1881

*  cosgrove at law.harvard.edu I Dean of Students Office Web Page

Ames Moot Court Competition

FROM BSA

Dear Second Year Students,

Welcome back to HLS. I hope you all had great summers.

As second year students, you have the opportunity to compete in the Upper Level Ames Moot Court Competition, which is administered by the HLS Board of Student Advisers. The Ames Competition is one of the most prestigious competitions for appellate brief writing and advocacy in the country. Past Ames Competition winners include Professor Cass Sunstein, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Judge Henry Friendly and Justice Harry Blackmun.

How to Register for the Competition

Second-year students (or joint-degree students who are currently enrolled in their first year of post-1L law school courses) who are interested in the Competition should plan to attend an INFORMATION MEETING on Wednesday, September 14th, at 12:00 PM in Austin West. The Information Meeting will cover the logistics of registering for and competing in the Qualifying Round, with time for Q & A. We will also distribute registration forms and copies of the official rules. Students who cannot attend the Information Meeting may instead ask a potential team member to attend, or may pick up registration forms and the official rules from the BSA Office (Pound 331) during normal business hours on September 14th-16th.

Registration forms listing complete teams of four (4) students must be submitted to the BSA Office by 5:00 pm on Monday, September 19th. Late submissions will not be accepted under any circumstances.

Important Dates for Registered Teams

The case record will be distributed to registered teams on Wednesday, September 21st at noon. Appellant briefs will be due on Friday, October 21st. A team will not be permitted to withdraw from the Competition once it has submitted its Appellant brief.

On Monday, October 24th, teams will find out whether they have advanced to the second phase of the Qualifying Round. Those teams that advance to the second phase of the Qualifying Round must submit their Appellee briefs by Monday, October 31st.. Advancing teams will participate in oral arguments on Tuesday, November 8th and Wednesday, November 9th. Judges for the Q-Round oral arguments include esteemed judges and practitioners from around the Boston area, as well as HLS faculty.

Structure of the Competition

The Upper Level Ames Moot Court Competition consists of three rounds. The first round is known as the Qualifying Round or “Q Round.” Each Q Round team consists of four (4) team members who will organize themselves to write an Appellant brief and, if the team advances to the second phase, an Appellee brief.

In the first phase, each team will submit one Appellant brief, due on October 21st. Each team’s Appellant brief will be scored by at least two 3L members of the Board of Student Advisers’ Qualifying Round Review Team (QRRT). In the event of a divergence between the two scores, the Appellant brief in question will come before the full QRRT Committee for resolution. Scoring will be done anonymously and based on a rubric that will be distributed to participating teams along with the case record on September 21st.

Teams that do not score above a certain threshold on the Appellant brief will be eliminated from the Competition. They will be notified of their elimination on October 24th. Teams that score above the threshold will move on to the second phase of the Q Round. Phase two teams will submit two Appellee briefs by October 31st, each of which will respond to an opposing team’s appellant brief. Appellant briefs will be distributed to opposing teams on October 24th. All students who complete both the Appellant and Appellee briefs for Q Round Ames can receive written work credit under Option 2 of the J.D. Written Work Requirement. Eliminated teams interested in earning writing credit may still do so if they choose to write an adequate Appellee brief after elimination, however this Appellee brief will not be part of the competition.

All four team members may contribute to their team’s briefs. However, for oral arguments, teams will divide themselves into two pairs. One pair will represent the Appellant and the other pair will represent the Appellee. Each pair will argue twice: each Appellant pair against two Appellee pairs and each Appellee pair against two Appellant pairs. Qualifying Round scores will be based on points assigned to each team’s Appellant brief, Appellee briefs, and Oral Arguments. The four highest-scoring teams in the Qualifying Round will advance to the Semi-Final Round.

The Semi-Final Round presents the unique opportunity for students to brief and argue an appellate case for a panel of distinguished jurists in front of the Harvard Law School community. In 2011 the Semi-Final Round judges included, among others, Judge Kermit Lipez of the First Circuit, Judge Joseph A. Greenaway, Jr. of the Third Circuit, Judge Kiyo Matsumoto of the Eastern District of New York, and Judge Nancy Gertner of the District of Massachusetts.

The winning team in each Semi-Final Round argument will advance to the Final Round of the Ames Competition. In the past, the Final Round has been judged by Supreme Court Justices and other distinguished jurists from appellate circuits and state courts of last resort. Last year the Final Round judges were Chief Justice John Roberts, Judge Diana Murphy of the Eighth Circuit, and Judge Julia Smith-Gibbons of the Sixth Circuit.

I encourage you to join this unique academic tradition by participating in the Competition. If you have any pressing questions or concerns, please email me at  ames at law.harvard.edu. I look forward to meeting you at the Information Meeting on September 14th.

Best regards,

Caitlan McLoon

Vice President, Ames Moot Court Program

Board of Student Advisers

Harvard Law School

Ellen M. Cosgrove I Associate Dean & Dean of Students I Harvard Law School I 1563 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge, MA 02138 I (617-495-1881

*  cosgrove at law.harvard.edu I Dean of Students Office Web Page

Commencement and 3L Year

Welcome to 3L year!

As you start this victory lap in your academic career, I want to share a few bits of important information about Commencement and the Bar Exam.

COMMENCEMENT J

The Commencement Link is at www.law.harvard.edu

This should give you some basic information as you prepare for the big day. The pages will be updated as the year progresses.

Things to do now:

1. read the page so you are familiar with the three ceremonies and the ticketing policies for each

2. If you haven’t yet made hotel reservations, you should do that as soon as possible. Since the area is a big traffic jam on Class Day and Commencement Day, we encourage students to encourage guests to take the T and to look for hotels in Cambridge and Boston that are convenient to a T station.

3. Pass the commencement link along to guests. It will save you a lot of time.

Once we get back from Spring Break, we will start sending weekly emails to let you know everything you need to do at that time (tickets, regalia, etc).

BAR EXAM L

The Bar Exam link is at: www.law.harvard.edu

The process includes:

1. applying to sit for the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) and taking the MPRE

2. applying to sit for the Bar Exam and taking the Bar Exam

3. completing your state’s character and fitness process

You apply for admission through your state Board of Bar Examiners. Deadlines, forms, and requirements differ from state to state. To get a sense of the structure of the Bar Exam as well as the deadlines and requirements for your state, go to: www.ncbex.org

Most deadlines are in the winter and spring but some states have fall deadlines so check now.

Because the processes varies so much by state, you will not receive emails from us about upcoming deadlines so it is really important to bookmark your state Bar page. You should check your state Bar page often as deadlines and requirements can change throughout the year and the state committees are not flexible about waiving requirements.

BAR INFO SESSIONS

On Wednesday, September 21st at noon, the President of the Massachusetts Board of Law Examiners (Geoffrey Bok ’87) and the Executive Director, Marilyn Wellington, will provide insight into the Character & Fitness process from the Board’s perspective. Since many states ask similar questions, you will find this session to be useful regardless of the state.

Each year the Dean of Students Office co-sponsors a number of other information sessions on the Bar exam including the application process and the Character & Fitness process. Speakers generally include representatives from Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers and some of the major Bar Prep Courses. Other sessions will follow in the fall and spring so check the calendar.

These sessions will not be taped. If you miss the sessions, you can drop by the tables in the Hark when the Bar Review companies are on site.

BAR REVIEW CLASSES

Reps from various Bar Review Courses will be in the Hark during the school year. The Law School doesn’t endorse any particular company but we encourage you to speak with recent grads and employers to get recommendations

MPRE

The MPRE is required for admission to the bars of most US jurisdictions. The MPRE is based on the law governing the conduct of lawyers. It consists of 50 multiple-choice questions and takes two hours.

The examination is administered three times per year:

November 5, 2011 (deadline to register is September 20)

March 17, 2012

August 10, 2012

Most HLS students sit in November or March

MPRE Links:

 www.ncbex.org General info on the MPRE test

 www.ncbex.org To Register

You can sit for the MPRE before taking your professional responsibility course at HLS. Most students take a prep course offered by the various Bar Review companies or rely on the free practice material available at the MPRE website. HLS students generally take this exam in November or March. HLS is an MPRE test administration site. Once space is filled, students are directed to other sites in MA.

BAR EXAM

The Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) a six-hour, two-hundred question multiple-choice examination covering contracts, torts, constitutional law, criminal law, evidence, and real property.

The Multistate Essay Examination (MEE) a three-hour, six-question essay examination covering agency and partnership, commercial paper, conflict of laws, corporations, decedents’ estates, family law, federal civil procedure, sales, secured transactions, and trusts and future interests.

The Multistate Performance Test (MPT) three 90-minute skills questions covering legal analysis, fact analysis, problem solving, resolution of ethical dilemmas, organization and management of a lawyering task, and communication.

Bar Exam Links: The National Conference of Bar Examiners www.ncbex.org links to each individual state’s bar exam info

CHARACTER & FITNESS PROCESS

In addition to the examinations, each applicant is required to produce evidence that s/he is a person of honest demeanor and good moral character and possesses the requisite fitness to perform the obligations and responsibilities of a practicing attorney at law.

Be prepared to list specifics of every place you have lived since you turned 18, every job you have held (with contacts to confirm employment), every speeding ticket, any disciplinary action in school, any arrest or criminal charge along with full details of the incident. When in doubt, disclose. Please start assembling the documents now because this process can be time consuming. If you are concerned about having to disclose something from your past, you can see me or you can contact Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers LCL is a lawyers assistance program funded by bar dues.

FAQs:

Where do I send my Dean’s Certification form and my handwriting sample?

Registrar’s Office.

How do I get fingerprints?

Through the Harvard University Police Department

Who can I use as a reference?

You can ask friends (including college roommates and law school friends), former colleagues, family friends, anyone who knows you well. Unless specified, they need not have worked with you and they need not be an attorney.

If my state requires an attorney as a reference and I don’t know any attorneys well enough to ask, what should I do?

Keep in mind that last year’s 3Ls are this year’s attorneys so you can ask them, you can ask a member of the faculty or staff who is a member of the bar. I am always happy to serve as an attorney reference if you need one.

What do I do if I can’t figure out how to confirm my previous employment?

If you don’t know anyone who works there anymore – Contact Human Resources. They can provide the information.

If the organization merged – Contact Human Resources at the successor organization

What do I have to disclose about disciplinary conduct from college or law school?

HLS discloses disciplinary matters that were sent to the Administrative Board. If you have any questions about this, see me.

You should check with your college to see what their disclosure policies are.

Generally, something that generated a written record or something that carried a sanction of some sort should be reported.

What do I have to disclose about any previous interaction with the criminal system?

The Law School asks about felony and misdemeanor convictions only so you may have to disclose something to the Bar that you didn’t disclose to us (including juvenile criminal conduct and convictions that were expunged). The questions generally require that you disclose any interaction you have had with the criminal system, regardless of the timing or the outcome.

What do I have to disclose about mental illness or substance abuse?

For the majority of states, you only have to disclose an incapacity due to mental illness or substance abuse. If you have specific questions, you can contact Lawyers Concerns for Lawyers or see me.

Do parking tickets really matter?

Unpaid tickets must reported. Pay them. If you do not remember where you have tickets, contact likely states. Unpaid parking tickets are generally available through the Department of Motor Vehicles websites.

What about speeding tickets and other moving violations?

Generally, those must be disclosed regardless of whether they are paid. You can request your history through the DMV or the Secretary of State’s office. Check states where a violation occurred as well as states where your car was registered.

What if I cannot find the information to answer a question?

Make a good faith effort and document that. Explain what you did to track down the information and then provide as detailed an answer as you can.

What if I have to disclose something to the Bar that I didn’t disclose to HLS?

The Bar often looks for inconsistencies between your HLS application and your Bar application.

Request a copy of your application from the Registrar.

If you should have disclosed something to Harvard and you didn’t, make an appointment to see me.

If you were not required to disclose it to Harvard, make a note of that in your answer to the Bar.

I’m always happy to meet if you have any additional questions. Thanks.

Ellen M. Cosgrove I Associate Dean & Dean of Students I Harvard Law School I 1563 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge, MA 02138 I (617-495-1881

*  cosgrove at law.harvard.edu I Dean of Students Office Web Page