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Kansas Judicial Branch

Kansas Board of Law Examiners
Kansas Judicial Center
301 SW 10th Avenue, First Floor
Topeka Kansas 66612-1507
Telephone:  785.296.8410
Email: admissions@kscourts.org

Kansas Board of Law Examiners
Character and Fitness Determinations:
A Summary of Procedures and Practices

Every applicant for admission, regardless as to the type of license, must undergo a complete character and fitness investigation. 
Character and fitness qualifications for admission to the Kansas bar are set out in Supreme Court Rule 707.  “[T]he applicant must establish by clear and convincing evidence that the applicant possesses the requisite good moral character and current mental and emotional fitness to engage in the active and continuous practice of law.”  Rule 707.

If character and fitness issues are apparent from the application, the applicant is scheduled to meet with the Admissions Attorney and the Admissions Administrator for a personal interview.  This interview is conducted on the record in the presence of a certified court reporter.  A transcript is made at the Board’s expense.

The applicant is entitled to retain counsel at any time, at the applicant’s expense.

The applicant may be required to submit to a substance abuse evaluation or a psychological evaluation by a qualified professional of the Board’s choosing. See Rule 718.  These evaluations are conducted at the Board’s expense.

An investigation may be concluded and the applicant approved to sit for the bar examination after these initial inquiries.  If the Chairman of the Board of Law Examiners approves a hearing before the full Board, the applicant receives notice not less than forty-five days prior to a formal hearing.  The applicant must file a response within twenty days of service of the notice of hearing. See Rule 721(l) and (m).

An evidentiary hearing is conducted before a majority of the Board, which is not bound by formal rules of evidence. See Rule 723(b).  The applicant, who bears the burden of proof, presents evidence first.  Dates will be set for submission of witness and exhibit lists prior to the hearing.

Once notified of the hearing, the applicant must be prepared to go forward on the designated date.  The full Board ordinarily schedules hearings only on predetermined dates in March and August.  The Board will not consider motions for continuance filed within thirty days of the scheduled hearing, given the Board’s limited hearing schedule.
An applicant may withdraw at any time and re-apply for a subsequent bar examination with payment of the appropriate fee.  The character and fitness investigation will resume upon re-application.

Applicants should review all rules governing admission of attorneys to practice in Kansas. Rule 701, et seq. in Kansas Court Rules Annotated or online at www.kscourts.org   This summary is not intended as a substitute for reference to the rules.