Application for Temporary Certification
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. IX, an attorney who is admitted to the practice of law in another jurisdiction may be eligible for a temporary certificate to practice with a legal service or public defender program that provides legal services solely to indigent clients, or is employed as a supervising attorney in a criminal or poverty law and litigation program administered by an Ohio law school that is accredited by the American Bar Association.
Before you complete this application, please review the following: Rule IX of the Supreme Court Rules for the Government of the Bar.
You may apply for temporary certification if you meet all of the criteria listed in Gov. Bar R. I, Sec. 9. Please review these criteria before submitting an application:
- You must have earned a law degree from a law school that is accredited by the American Bar Association.
- You must have taken and passed a bar examination in another state, the District of Columbia, or a territory of the United States. You must also be admitted and in good standing as an attorney at law in that jurisdiction.
- You cannot have taken and failed the Ohio Bar Examination.
- You cannot have had an application for admission in Ohio denied on character and fitness grounds pursuant to Gov. Bar R. I.
- You must be employed by or associated with a legal services program or a public defender program that provides legal services solely to indigent clients in Ohio. In the alternative, you must be employed as a supervising attorney in a criminal or poverty law and litigation program administered by an Ohio law school that is accredited by the American Bar Association.
Filing your Completed 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 Temporary Certification, you must submit the following:
- 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.
- Certificate of Admission Form
A certificate of admission by examination from another state, the District of Columbia or a territory of the United States.
- Certificate(s) of Good Standing
A certificate of good standing from each jurisdiction in which you are admitted to practice. Each certificate of good standing that you provide should be dated no earlier than 60 days before the date on which your application is filed with the Office of Bar Admissions. Please find a list of official agencies that issue certificates of good standing for each jurisdiction at the link above.
- Affidavit from Applicant
An affidavit that you have read, are familiar with, and agree to be bound by the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct and to submit to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court for disciplinary purposes pursuant to Gov. Bar R. V.
- Affidavit of Employer
An affidavit from your employer certifying the information required by Gov. Bar R. IX, Sec. 2, Div. (E).
- Applicant’s 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. The NCBE number and barcode number are required to create an account on the Bar Admissions Portal.
- 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 $300.
- If applicable, supplemental documentation.
- If applicable, petition and non-refundable fee of $30
Temporary Certification Renewal
A certificate issued pursuant to this rule shall expire one year from the date of issuance unless, prior to the date of expiration, one of the following events occurs, in which case the certificate shall expire on the date the event occurs:
- The applicant is admitted to the bar of Ohio;
- The applicant is denied admission to the practice of law under Gov. Bar R. I;
- The applicant receives a failing score on the Ohio bar examination;
- The applicant’s employment or association with the legal services, public defender, or law school program is terminated and, within thirty days of the date of the notice provided for in Section 2(E)(3) of this rule, the director of a legal services or public defender program or law school dean fails to notify the Office of Bar Admissions that the applicant has become employed by or associated with another legal services, public defender, or law school program in this state.
A certificate issued pursuant to this rule may be renewed once for a period of one year from the date on which the certificate would have expired. An applicant may obtain renewal by filing an application for renewal and both of the following with the Office of Bar Admissions.
- Application for Renewal of Temporary Certification
- Renewal Affidavit of Applicant
- Renewal Affidavit of Employer
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 or 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.
Additional Law Enforcement Forms: Please deliver the completed form(s) by amending your application and uploading the forms through your NCBE account.
The Application Process
As you prepare your application, please note the following:
- You must complete every form and answer each question in the Applicant’s Character Questionnaire fully and truthfully. Any omission, untruthful answer or incomplete answer may result in your being denied the privilege of admission to the practice of law in the State of Ohio. Questions on the Applicant’s Character Questionnaire “must be fully answered regardless of expungements, bond forfeitures, dismissals or similar terminations and must include all actions or legal proceedings occurring in any court including juvenile court.” In re Application of Watson, 31 Ohio St. 3d 220, 221.
- If you have any doubts about whether any matter should be reported in this application, report it. If you are not sure of dates, times, places, or other information requested, you should consult the court, governmental agency, or other entity involved to obtain the correct and full information.
Your application will not be accepted if it is incomplete. An application is deemed incomplete if it does not have the necessary documents attached; if any portion of it is not properly executed; if it is missing the appropriate fee(s); if any portion of it is missing; or if any questions are unanswered, incompletely answered or missing any required details.
Applicants have a continuous reporting obligation while their application is pending, unless and 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. Applicant may amend their application on the Bar Admissions Portal or by emailing email@example.com.
Upon receipt of a completed application that demonstrates your eligibility under Gov. Bar R. IX, the Office of Bar Admissions shall issue a temporary certificate to you. The certificate shall be subject to the limitations imposed by Gov. Bar R. IX, Sections 4 and 5, and shall authorize the practice of law in Ohio only to the extent that you engage in such practice as an employee or associate of a legal services, public defender, or law school program.
Following issuance of your temporary certificate, the Bar Admissions Office will forward your application to the NCBE for a background report. This report and your application will then be submitted to the Board of Commissioners on Character and Fitness for investigation of your character, fitness, and moral qualifications to practice. The Board may request additional information from you and may conduct a personal interview with you. The Board will recommend that your temporary certificate either be approved or revoked. Please refer to Gov. Bar R. IX for information on revocation.
To better understand the character and fitness process in Ohio, you should consult Rule I, Supreme Court of Ohio decisions that address character and fitness issues, and Definition of Essential Eligibility Requirements for the Practice of Law.
If you wish to apply for admission to practice in Ohio under Gov. Bar R. I, you must obtain and file the appropriate applications and fees. However, the fees you submitted for your temporary certification will be applied toward your admission fees under Gov. Bar R. I. In addition, provided the documentation is not stale, some of the documents you filed for your temporary certification may be used in lieu of the admission documents required by Rule I. The Office of Bar Admissions will determine which documents may be substituted on a case-by-case basis.
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.