My Timeline—Georgia Bar Admission on Motion without Examination
- 06/09/2020 Character & Fitness Application
- 06/29/2020 Fitness Analyst Assigned
- 11/10/2020 Motion Certification Letter (w/ Certificate of Eligibility)
- 11/17/2020 Contacted Fulton County for Attorney’s Oath
- 11/24/2020 Sworn-In via Zoom
The application process can be done exclusively online via Georgia Office Of Bar Admissions – Application Information (gabaradmissions.org). If you choose to “Apply” for Admission on Motion without Examination, the website asks you to create an account.
The information I provided in the application is saved in my account, so I could work on the application whenever I had a free time. You can make a payment via credit card when you “submit” the completed application. I paid $1,510 including the convenience fee of $10.
After you submit the application, you will need to access your account from time to time. e.g. An internal message system will prompt you to provide additional information or missing documents. You will also receive an email when there is a new message.
Background Check (GAPS)
You will submit your fingerprint for background check via GAPS. The GAPS registration fee was $49.25, and my registration was approved in about 10 days from the submission of Fitness Application.
Once your registration is approved, you will physically visit a GAPS fingerprint site to digitally submit your fingerprint.
Character and Fitness
A fitness analyst was assigned to my case in about 4 weeks from the submission. It seemed my references received an email inquiry about the same time. I was asked to provide an email address for my old employee in South Korea.
Admission in other jurisdiction
You need to be admitted to at least one jurisdiction.
I have a JD from Chicago-Kent College of Law and was admitted to the Illinois bar in 2012. I had been active and good standing ever since.
You need to provide disciplinary records from all applicable jurisdictions.
In my case, I was notified of a missing information because I did not provide information about my USPTO registration.
5 of past 7 years
You must have practiced law for 5 of 7 past years.
Per reciprocity rule, Georgia might require a stricter rule. I was from Illinois that requires 3 of 5 past years. So, it was 5 of 7 past years for me.
I worked as a corporate counsel for two years, and I had a year of unemployment, after which I started my solo practice.
Find up-to-date information about the required period at Chart 12: Admission on Motion—Years of Practice and Definition of Practice – NCBE Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements (ncbex.org)
Eligible Practice of Law
If you worked at a firm, there is little issue about the eligibility. Additionally, Georgia recognize law teaching, gov’t agency, military, in-house corporate, and judicial court of record as practice of law.
I had a work history in South Korea, and I was working solo. Not sure what prompted the inquiry, but I had to provide a written explanation what was the nature of my employment and practice.
There were numerous documents I needed to provide. I could simply check off boxes in a check list provided by Georgia Office Of Bar Admissions – Home (gabaradmissions.org) The following items were of special concern for me.
Good Standing Letter
You need to submit a Good Standing Letter including disciplinary records from all jurisdiction you are admitted.
I submitted one with my application, and it was probably a few days old. However, by the time they looked at it, (I assumed it was after fitness was cleared) it was too old. So, I had to submit a new one.
I was born in South Korea. Although I submitted a Resident Registration Card issued by South Korean government, I was asked to submit a birth certificate or an equivalent. I provided an English version of Family Relations Certificate issued by South Korean government.
You need to provide your MPRE score. I requested NCBE to send an official transcript to Georgia Office of Bar Admissions. You can do it on the NCBE website, and the fee was $25.
I hope the above information can help attorneys who are interested in GA admission on Motion without Examination to have a better idea about what to expect in the process.