Some 'Most Impressive' Law School Applicants Are Convicted of Serious Crimes

Starting in 2017, California has grown more open to licensing formerly incarcerated people to work as lawyers. State licensing authorities set high barriers to entry to the legal profession in their "moral fitness" license requirements. Vague rules can effectively rule out anyone with a serious criminal record. By clarifying its standards and making the process more transparent, the State Bar – aided by efforts to train licensing officials and by the California System-Involved Bar Association to educate prospective lawyers to pass the test – the system has evolved into a model for state-led change.

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