Application for Admission Without Examination
Before completing this application, please review the following:
Rule I, of the Supreme Court Rules for the Government of the Bar
Definitions of Essential Eligibility Requirements
Pursuant to Gov. Bar R. I, Section 10, an attorney who is admitted to the practice of law in another jurisdiction may be eligible for admission to the Ohio Bar without examination. The Supreme Court reviews each completed application for admission without examination and may approve or disapprove the application. In addition to determining whether an applicant satisfies the Essential Eligibility Requirements for admission to the practice of law in Ohio, the court will consider whether the applicant meets the requirements of Gov. Bar R. I, Section 10. In addition to meeting minimum past practice requirements, each applicant must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the court that the applicant's “past practice of law is of such character, description, and recency as shall satisfy the court that the applicant currently possesses the legal skills deemed adequate for admission to the practice of law in Ohio without examination.”
Filing a Complete Application
Beginning Jan. 26, 2022, all applications for admission to the practice of law in Ohio must be filed using the Bar Admissions Portal. The Office of Bar Admissions will not accept paper applications after this date.
In order to file an application for Admission Without Examination, you must submit the following:
- Applicant’s Affidavit
The Applicant’s Affidavit must be properly executed and uploaded on the Bar Admissions Portal.
- Certificate of Presentation
- Applicant’s NCBE Character Questionnaire
Before submitting an application, you must create an account with the National Conference of Bar Examiners (“NCBE”) and complete the Applicant’s Character Questionnaire and pay the required fee. The NCBE number and barcode number are required to create an account on the Bar Admissions Portal.
- Fingerprint Identification Card with Fingerprint Card form
An original fingerprint identification card and the form must be mailed to the Office of Bar Admissions. You may not upload this document. The applicant and the law enforcement official taking the prints must sign the fingerprint card.
- Certificate(s) of Good Standing
Certificates of good standing from all jurisdictions in which you are admitted, dated no earlier than 60 days prior to submission of the application, must be uploaded on the Bar Admissions Portal. Please find a list of official agencies that issue certificates of good standing for each jurisdiction at the link above.
- Affidavit of Past Practice
An affidavit demonstrating that you have complied with Section 10(A)(2), including a description of your practice of law and the dates of such practice. A template is available here. NOTE: Your affidavit must include a description of all practice, including periods of unemployment, since you were first admitted and must be properly executed. Download a template.
- Verifying Affidavits
An affidavit or affidavits from your current and/or former employers confirming that you have complied with Section 10(A)(2), which verifies that you have engaged in the full-time practice of law for at least five full years out of the last ten years. Download a template.
- Undergraduate Transcript
A certified transcript of college credits evidencing that you earned a bachelor’s degree. You may mail the original transcript to our office, or the institution may email the transcript directly to email@example.com. NOTE: We do not require a transcript from each institution you attended, only from the institution that awarded a bachelor’s degree.
- Law School Transcript
A certified law school transcript or certified letter evidencing that you earned a J.D. degree from an ABA approved law school. You may mail the original transcript to our office, or the institution may email the form directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. NOTE: We do not require a transcript from each institution you attended, only from the institution that awarded a J.D. degree.
- 7A Authorization and Release Form
The release form must be properly executed and uploaded on the Bar Admissions Portal.
- Non-refundable application fee in the amount of $1,500.
- If applicable, supplemental documentation.
- If applicable, petition and non-refundable fee of $30.
- If applicable, foreign course-by-course education evaluation completed by either WES or ECE and non-refundable fee of $150. Please refer to the Guidelines for Foreign Education Evaluation for more information. Guidelines for Foreign Education Evaluation
Applicants must pay all Supreme Court of Ohio application fees on the Bar Admissions Portal at the time an application is submitted. Supreme Court of Ohio fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.
Applicants must pay all NCBE application fees to the NCBE directly. The fee schedule for the NCBE can be found here: Ohio Character and Fitness Investigations.
Additional Required Documents
All applicants must upload the NCBE Authorization and Release form directly to the NCBE. If applicable, the following forms may need to be submitted to the NCBE: 7B Authorization to Release Medical Information, 7C Authorization to Release Information, and Law Enforcement Form. If the additional forms are required, they will generate when you finalize your Applicant’s Character Questionnaire.
Practice Pending Admission Application
If you are active and in good standing in another jurisdiction, you may be eligible for practice pending admission. If you wish to apply for practice pending admission, please submit the application on the Bar Admissions Portal following your submission of the Bar Application. Materials for the Application for Certification to Practice Pending Admission.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does the application process take?
For applicants approved by the court, the process typically takes between five to 10 months to complete fully.
Does Ohio have a relationship of reciprocity with my state?
In Ohio, admission to the bar without examination (or “admission on motion”) is not, as in some states, based upon reciprocity (i.e., “comity” or “mutuality of admission”). Jurisdictions with reciprocity requirements permit admission without examination, but they limit admission to those candidates who are licensed in reciprocal states—states that also permit admission on motion. Reciprocity jurisdictions require that candidates from all nonreciprocal states take the bar exam before gaining admission.
In Ohio, an applicant from any jurisdiction who meets the requirements set forth in Gov. Bar R. I, Sec. 10 may apply for admission without examination.
Additional Admissions Information
The NCBE will conduct a background investigation upon receipt of a complete application. Once the NCBE submits the results of its investigation, the application and the NCBE report may be forwarded to a local bar association to conduct a personal interview. The admissions committee will make a recommendation to the Board of Commissioners on Character and Fitness concerning the applicant’s character, fitness, and moral qualifications to practice. An applicant may appeal an adverse recommendation to the Board of Commissioners on Character and Fitness.
Applicants have a continuous reporting obligation while their application is pending, until the applicant is admitted to the practice of law. The applicant is required to notify the Office of Bar Admissions in writing of any changes or updates to an application. Applicants may amend their application on the Bar Admissions Portal or by emailing email@example.com.
If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact the Office of Bar Admissions at 614.387.9340 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Supreme Court of Ohio
65 South Front Street, 5th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Gina White Palmer, Esq.