You made it through 1L Year. Now it is time to pick your classes and find a job. What classes should you take? According to the Florida Bar, you are responsible for being able to answer questions in the following categories:
Business Organizations, Professional Responsibility, Evidence and Criminal Procedure are all required courses that are on the bar exam. Other classes that are recommended for those looking to take classes related to bar topics include:
The Florida Bar encourages you to apply during your second year of law school. While the fees are not reduced it does give you a head start on the background investigation and allows you to spread the fees out over several years.
Character and Fitness
As part of the bar exam application, the state bar will investigate your background to see if you have been a good person. Just because you got into law school doesn't mean the state bar has to admit you. It is up to you to prove to the state bar that you possess the requisite character and fitness to be a member of the bar.
While out of date the Character and Fitness process goes approximately like this: The Florida Board of Bar Examiners: The Use of and Rehabilitation at Formal Hearings (Florida Bar Journal 2000)
Alcohol and substance abuse problems:
Some states impose automatic wait periods if you have been convicted of or even charged with DWI or DUI. Florida does not but expect to be questioned by the bar if you haven't completed any treatment or rehabilitation program.
Mental Health Issues:
The Florida Bar, like others, actively encourages applicants to get help for any mental health needs. The Florida Bar allows conditional approval where the applicant can practice law submitting regular reports to the bar along with proof of treatment, medication, etc.
Cheating can be an independent reason to reject an application for character and fitness. Other incidents that reflect on the candidate's ability to respect the rights of others the law will be looked at carefully by any aspect and fitness board.
Disclose is the order of the day. There are very few things that preclude a person from practicing law. However, failing to communicate and to be completely honest about them will almost certainly preclude any person from being admitted to any jurisdiction.
The Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) is administered three times a year in April, August and November. The deadline to register for the exam is two months before the desired test date. According to Florida Bar rules an applicant may take the MPRE anywhere he chooses provided the applicant forwards the score to the Florida Bar.
Also according to the Florida Bar the MPRE score remains valid for 25 months before and after admission of the test. Therefore, an applicant can take the MPRE as soon as the start of their second year all the way up to two years after the applicant takes the general Florida bar exam.