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Rule 34. Application for Admission

Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedRules of the Supreme Court of Arizona

Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated
Rules of the Supreme Court of Arizona (Refs & Annos)
V. Regulation of the Practice of Law
C. Admission to Practice of Law (Refs & Annos)
A.R.S. Sup.Ct.Rules, Rule 34
Rule 34. Application for Admission
(a) Methods of admission to the practice of law in Arizona. Persons desiring to be admitted to the practice of law in the State of Arizona may apply for admission by one of three methods: (1) admission by Arizona uniform bar examination, (2) admission on motion, or (3) admission by transfer of uniform bar examination score from another jurisdiction.
(b) Applicant Requirements and Qualifications.
1. No applicant will be recommended for admission to the practice of law in Arizona by the Committee on Character and Fitness unless the Committee is satisfied that:
A. the applicant is over the age of twenty-one years;
B. the applicant is of good moral character;
C. the applicant is mentally, emotionally and physically able to engage in the practice of law, and possesses the required knowledge of the law to do so;
D. the applicant is a graduate with a juris doctor from a law school provisionally or fully approved by the American Bar Association at the time of graduation or the applicant is a graduate with a juris doctor and has been actively engaged in the practice of law in some other state or states for at least three of the last five years prior to filing an application for admission to practice in Arizona; and
E. if ever admitted to practice in any jurisdiction, foreign or domestic, the applicant is presently in good standing, or the applicant resigned in good standing or is capable of achieving good standing status in that jurisdiction.
F. the Arizona uniform bar examination applicant has successfully completed the course on Arizona law described in paragraph (j) of this rule.
2. An applicant may be allowed to sit for the Arizona uniform bar examination prior to the award of a juris doctor degree if the applicant:
A. is a currently enrolled student in good standing at a law school fully or provisionally approved by the American Bar Association;
B. is expected to graduate with a juris doctor degree within one hundred twenty (120) days of the first day of early exam administration;
C. has satisfied all requirements for graduation with a juris doctor except for not more than eight (8) semester hours or its equivalent in quarter hours at the time of early exam administration;
D. will not be enrolled in more than two (2) semester hours or its equivalent in quarter hours during the month of early bar examination testing and the immediately preceding month;
E. has been determined by their school to be academically prepared for early testing;
F. provides by the deadline to the Committee on Character and Fitness, on a form provided by the Committee, an affidavit attested to by the applicant and the law school that they meet the above criteria. The law school's decision whether to certify that the student meets the criteria is final and shall not be subject to review by the Committee or the Court.
No applicant shall be recommended to practice law until graduation or satisfaction of all requirements for graduation, and completion of all requirements for admission to the practice of law under these rules. If an applicant under this subsection has not graduated with a juris doctor within one hundred twenty (120) days of the first day of early exam administration, all parts of the Arizona uniform bar examination, including the score, are void and the applicant's examination scores shall not be disclosed for any purpose. Scores may not be released until such time as satisfactory proof of award of juris doctor, as determined by the Court, is provided to the Committee. An early examination which is voided shall count as an examination attempt under Rule 35(c)(1).
At the completion of the juris doctor requirements and within sixty (60) days after graduation, the applicant must cause his or her law school, dean, or registrar to submit to the Committee on Character and Fitness proof of graduation, showing his or her juris doctor was conferred within one hundred twenty (120) days of the first day of early exam administration. Failure to complete the course of study within one hundred twenty (120) days of the examination and provide evidence of graduation within an additional sixty (60) days shall render the applicant's score void.
3. The Committee on Character and Fitness shall endeavor to complete its inquiries, some or all of which may be delegated to the National Conference of Bar Examiners, to be in position to recommend for or against a successful Arizona uniform bar examinee's admission to the practice of law no later than the time the results of the Arizona uniform bar examination are available for examination applicants. This time limitation is aspirational only, and may be extended for further inquiry and formulation of a recommendation when the circumstances of a case so require.
(c) Application and Character Report Materials. Any person desiring to be admitted to the practice of law in the State of Arizona must submit to the Committee on Character and Fitness an application in the form supplied by the Committee. The application for admission must be accompanied by required supporting documents and application fee.
1. The Arizona uniform bar examination applicant shall also complete and submit a character report accompanied by a character investigation fee as established by the Court. For an Arizona uniform bar examination applicants only, the character report and related fee may be submitted separately from the application for admission.
2. An applicants for admission on motion or admission by transfer of uniform bar examination score shall submit character investigation materials together with the application.
(d) Documents Required in Support of Application. The following must accompany every application:
1. subject to the exception made in paragraph (b)(1)(D) of this rule, the applicant's law school diploma, or other evidence satisfactory to the Committee on Character and Fitness showing the applicant is a graduate with a juris doctor degree from a law school provisionally or fully approved by the American Bar Association at the time of graduation;
2. if the applicant has been previously admitted to practice law in any jurisdiction, foreign or domestic, the certificate of the appropriate court agency(ies) or the mandatory bar association, whichever has custody of the roll of attorneys in such jurisdiction, indicating the date of admission and that the applicant is presently in good standing, or that the applicant resigned in good standing or is capable of achieving good standing status in that jurisdiction;
3. for applicants taking the Arizona uniform bar examination, an examination fee as established by the Court;
4. an application fee as established by the Court;
5. a full face photograph of the applicant's head, neck and shoulders, without a hat, and not larger than two and one-half (2.5) inches by two and one half (2.5) inches nor smaller than two (2) inches by two (2) inches taken within six months prior to filing with the Committee on Character and Fitness; and
6. a complete set of the applicant's fingerprints. The Committee on Character and Fitness is authorized to receive criminal history information regarding any applicant for admission from any law enforcement agency in conjunction with the admissions process.
(e) Arizona Uniform Bar Examination Application Filing Schedule; Fees
1. On the basis of an application for admission by Arizona uniform bar examination properly and timely filed, with all required supporting documents and fees, the applicant will be certified to sit for the Arizona uniform bar examination.
2. The application for admission and all of the documents required to be submitted by the Arizona uniform bar examination applicant must be timely submitted, with required fees, in accordance with the schedule and filing fees established by the Court. In the event an application, documents or fees are submitted after the initial filing deadline, late fees as established by the Court shall be assessed. No application, documents or fees will be accepted after the close of filing deadline, as established by the Court.
Any applicant failing to pass a written Arizona uniform bar examination who wishes to take the next subsequent examination must submit an application for examination, required supporting documentation, and application and examination fees as established by the Court, no later than twenty days after the date of the letter notifying the applicant of the applicant's failure to pass the written examination. If the application is submitted after twenty days, a late application fee shall be paid in accordance with the schedule and filing fees established by the Court. No application for subsequent Arizona uniform bar examination will be accepted after the filing deadline as established by the Court.
3. When an application to take the Arizona uniform bar examination is properly filed with required supporting documents, the applicant shall be promptly notified that the application is in order and that the applicant is certified to sit for the Arizona uniform bar examination, specifying the time and place of such examination.
(f) Admission on Motion.
1. An applicant who meets the requirements of (A) through (H) of this paragraph (f)(1) may, upon motion, be admitted to the practice of law in this jurisdiction.
The applicant shall:
A. either (i) have been admitted by bar examination to practice law in another jurisdiction allowing for admission of Arizona lawyers on a basis equivalent to this rule, or (ii) have been admitted by bar examination to practice law in another jurisdiction that does not allow for admission of Arizona lawyers on a basis equivalent to this rule and thereafter were admitted to and engaged in the active practice of law in another jurisdiction allowing admission of Arizona lawyers on a basis equivalent to this rule for three of the five years immediately preceding the date upon which the application is filed;
B. hold a juris doctor degree from a law school approved by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association at the time of graduation;
C. have been primarily engaged in the active practice of law in one or more states, territories, or the District of Columbia for three of the five years immediately preceding the date upon which the application is filed;
D. submit evidence of a passing score on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination as it is established in this jurisdiction;
E. establish that the applicant is currently a member in good standing in all jurisdictions where admitted;
F. establish that the applicant is not currently subject to lawyer discipline or the subject of a pending disciplinary matter in any other jurisdiction;
G. establish that the applicant possesses the character and fitness to practice law in this jurisdiction; and
H. submit evidence of successful completion of the course on Arizona law described in paragraph (j) of this rule.
2. For the purposes of this rule, the “active practice of law” shall include the following activities, if performed in a jurisdiction in which the applicant is admitted, or if performed in a jurisdiction that permits such activity by a lawyer not admitted to practice; however, in no event shall any activities that were performed in advance of bar admission in some state, territory or the District of Columbia be accepted toward the durational requirement:
A. representation of one or more clients in the practice of law;
B. service as a lawyer with a local, state, or federal agency, including military service;
C. teaching law full-time at a law school approved by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association;
D. service as a judge in a federal, state, territorial, or local court of record;
E. service as a judicial law clerk;
F. service as corporate counsel; or
G. service as corporate counsel in Arizona before January 1, 2009 or while registered pursuant to Rule 38(h). Active practice performed within Arizona pursuant to Rule 38(h) may be applied to meet active practice requirements found in Rule 34(f)(1)(A)(ii) provided all other requirements of Rule 34(f) are met.
3. For purposes of this rule, the active practice of law shall not include work that, as undertaken, constituted the unauthorized practice of law in the jurisdiction in which it was performed or in the jurisdiction in which the clients receiving the unauthorized services were located. The “active practice of law” is further defined to require that at all times in the durational period the applicant has held a law license in “active” status.
4. An applicant who has failed a bar examination administered in this jurisdiction or who has passed the uniform bar examination in another jurisdiction but failed to achieve the Arizona scaled score within five years of the date of filing an application under this rule shall not be eligible for admission on motion.
5. The Court shall approve jurisdictions considered “reciprocal” to Arizona, and the Committee shall publish and make available a list of reciprocal jurisdictions.
(g) Admission on Motion Application Filing; Fees. Any applicant seeking admission on motion to the practice of law in Arizona must meet the requirements of paragraph (f) of this rule and shall:
1. file an application for admission on motion, including character investigation information, in a manner established by the Court, including all required supporting documents, and
2. pay the application fee as established by the Court.
(h) Admission by Transfer of Uniform Bar Examination Score.
1. An applicant who has taken the uniform bar examination in another jurisdiction and who meets the requirements of (A) through (G) of this paragraph (h)(1) may be admitted to the practice of law in this jurisdiction.
The applicant shall:
A. have achieved a scaled score on the uniform bar examination that is equal to or greater than the minimum acceptable score established by the Committee on Examinations and that was earned within five years prior to the applicant's taking the oath of admission and being admitted to the practice of law in Arizona;
B. hold a juris doctor degree from a law school approved by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association at the time of graduation;
C. submit evidence of a passing score on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination as it is established in this jurisdiction, earned within five years of the date of application;
D. establish that the applicant is currently a member in good standing in every jurisdiction, foreign or domestic, wherever admitted to practice law; if the applicant is not presently in good standing, establish that the applicant resigned in good standing or is capable of achieving good standing;
E. establish that the applicant is not currently subject to lawyer discipline or the subject of a pending disciplinary matter in any other jurisdiction;
F. establish that the applicant possesses the character and fitness to practice law in this jurisdiction; and
G. submit evidence of successful completion of the course on Arizona law described in paragraph (j) of this rule.
2. For the purpose of paragraph (h)(1)(a) of this rule, a score is considered to have been earned on the date of administration of the uniform bar examination that resulted in the score.
3. An applicant who failed to earn the minimum acceptable score established by the Committee on Examinations within three attempts, regardless of where the uniform bar examination was taken, shall not be eligible for admission by transfer of uniform bar examination score under this paragraph.
4. Before being admitted by transfer of uniform bar examination score, the applicant must complete a course on Arizona law, the content and method of delivery of which shall be approved by the Supreme Court.
(i) Admission by Transfer of Uniform Bar Examination Score Application Filing; Fees. Any applicant seeking admission to the practice of law based on transfer of uniform bar examination score must meet the requirements of paragraph (h) and shall:
1. file an application for admission by transfer of uniform bar examination score, including character investigation information, in a manner established by the Court, including all required supporting documents, and
2. pay the application fee as established by the Court.
(j) Completion of Course on Arizona Law. Before being admitted to the practice of law in Arizona, Arizona uniform bar examination applicants, applicants for admission by transfer of uniform bar examination score, and applicants for admission upon motion must complete a course on Arizona law, the content and delivery of which shall be approved by the Supreme Court.
(k) Deficiency in Examination Application and Supporting Documents. If the Committee on Examinations finds that an application is deficient, or the required supporting documents are deficient, or both, the Committee shall advise the applicant in writing of the deficiency, and the assessment of applicable late fees as established by the Court. The Committee shall allow the applicant either to supply additional information or to correct, explain in writing, or otherwise remedy the defects in the applicant's application, supporting documents, or fees up until the filing deadline. If such deficiencies in an examination application are not cured by the examination deadlines established by the Court, and if the Committee's reasons for refusing to grant permission for the applicant to take an examination are of record as a part of the applicant's file, the Committee shall withdraw the application and advise the applicant of such withdrawal and the reasons therefor.
(l) Deficiency in Character Report Materials. If the Committee on Character and Fitness finds that the character report materials are deficient, the Committee shall advise the applicant in writing of the deficiency and shall allow a reasonable time for the applicant either to submit additional written information or relevant documentation, or to correct or otherwise remedy the defects in the applicant's supporting documents. Thereafter, if such deficiencies have not been cured within the designated time period, the Committee may abandon processing and review of the investigation into the applicant's character, and shall advise applicant of such abandonment and the reasons therefore.
(m) Failure to Meet Standards; Effect on Time for Reapplication. If the Committee or the Court has denied an applicant admission to the practice of law by reason of the failure to meet the standards required by paragraph (b) of this rule, such applicant may not reapply for a period of five years from the date of denial of admission, unless the Committee or the Court orders otherwise.
(n) Completion of Professionalism Course.
1. New Admittee Professionalism Course. Except as otherwise provided in this rule, within one year after being admitted to the practice of law, the applicant shall complete the state bar course on professionalism, or an equivalent course on the principles of professionalism approved or licensed by the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Arizona for this purpose.
A. A new admittee taking inactive status immediately upon admission is exempt from completing such a course but shall complete one within 12 months of becoming an active member of the state bar.
B. A new admittee who is an active member but neither resides nor practices law in Arizona is exempt from completing such a course but shall complete one within 12 months of becoming a resident of or commencing the practice of law in Arizona.
2. Summary Suspension. A new admittee who fails to comply with the requirements of paragraph (j)(1) of this rule shall be summarily suspended from the practice of law in Arizona, upon motion of the state bar pursuant to Rule 62, provided that a notice by certified, return receipt mail of such non-compliance shall have been sent to the member, mailed to the member's last address of record in the state bar office at least thirty days prior to such suspension, but may be reinstated in accordance with these rules.

Credits

Amended Feb. 18, 1987, effective March 1, 1987. Amended and effective Jan. 25, 1991. Amended Dec. 12, 1991, effective Jan. 1, 1992; (temporary basis) Jan. 21, 1993, emergency effective Feb. 1, 1993, adopted in final form June 24, 1993; June 24, 1993, effective July 1, 1993, adopted in final form Dec. 10, 1993; June 1, 1995, effective Dec. 1, 1995. Amended April 22, 1998, effective June 1, 1998. Amended and effective April 14, 1999. Corrected Oct. 1, 1999. Amended Oct. 16, 2003, effective Aug. 1, 2004; June 8, 2004, effective Aug. 1, 2004; July 21, 2004, effective Aug. 1, 2004; Oct. 4, 2004, effective Dec. 1, 2004; June 9, 2005, effective Dec. 1, 2005; Sept. 2, 2010, effective Jan. 1, 2011. Amended on an emergency basis effective June 28, 2011, adopted on a permanent basis Sept. 1, 2011. Amended Dec. 22, 2011, effective Jan. 1, 2012; Aug. 30, 2012, effective Jan. 1, 2013. Amended on an experimental basis Dec. 10, 2012, effective Jan. 1, 2013 until Dec. 31, 2015, adopted on a permanent basis Jan. 1, 2017.

Editors' Notes

NOTE TO 1991 AMENDMENT
This revision [adding (e)] requires all new admittees to complete the state bar's course on professionalism within one year after admission. Failure to complete the course within the one year period will result in summary suspension under rule 52(d), which now centralizes the procedure for summary suspension for a variety of reasons, including nonpayment of dues and nonpayment of assessments and restitution in disciplinary proceedings. The procedure for reinstatement from a summary suspension is set forth in rule 71(b).
HISTORICAL NOTES
Source:
Former Rule 28(c)(II to V).
Order dated Dec. 12, 1991, filed Dec. 18, 1991, effective Jan. 1, 1992, provided in part 23:
“These amendments [adding (e)] shall not apply to discipline proceedings governed by the disciplinary procedures in force prior to February 1, 1985. The amendments shall apply to all other discipline proceedings which were commenced as provided in Supreme Court Rule 53(a) either prior to or on or after the date hereof.”
17A Pt. 2 A. R. S. Sup. Ct. Rules, Rule 34, AZ ST S CT Rule 34
Current with amendments received and effective through 9/1/17
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