Policies & Procedures: Admission to the Bar
The rules and regulations relative to admission to the practice of law vary from state to state. For the specific requirements, reference should be made to the statutes, rules of court and the Board of Bar Examiners in the particular state in which the student intends to seek admission. In general, a written examination conducted by a state agency is a prerequisite to admission. Foreign students who plan to apply for admission to the Michigan Bar must satisfy M.C.L. 600.934, which requires that an applicant be a resident of one of the states, territories or the District of Columbia.
Qualifications for Admission to the Michigan Bar
A person is qualified for admission to the Bar of this State who proves to the satisfaction of the Michigan Board of Law Examiners that he or she (1) is a person of good moral character, (2) is 18 years of age or older, (3) is a “resident” of one of the states or territories or the District of Columbia, (4) has the required general education, learning in the law and fitness and ability to enable him or her to practice law in the courts of record of this state, and that he or she intends in good faith to practice or teach law in this state.
Defining “Resident” for International Students
“ The Board of Law Examiners will consider a person to be a U.S. resident for purposes of M.C.L.A. 600.934 if that person is a U.S. citizen or is a foreign citizen lawfully resident in the U.S. pursuant to a visa issued by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.” Therefore, international students with a valid visa, including an F1 visa, will be permitted to sit for the Michigan State Bar Exam and practice in the State, provided they maintain a valid visa from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.
In Michigan, applicants for admission to the Bar must satisfactorily pass a written examination given by the State Board of Law Examiners (www.courts.michigan.gov/supremecourt/bdoflawexaminers)
and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (www.ncbex.org/tests/mpre/mpre.htm). (See Rule 2(D) of the Rules for the Board of Law Examiners.) They also are required to satisfy a committee of the State Bar of Michigan that they are morally qualified to practice law.
Applicants for admission to the Bar of Michigan and other states are required to disclose information concerning their character and fitness to practice law, including prior criminal convictions, to the appropriate Bar admitting authority.
The curriculum of Michigan State University College of Law is designed to provide its students with a thorough preparation for each of these examinations.