Board of Bar Examiners of the Supreme Court of Delaware
When is the next Bar Examination?
The 2016 July Bar Exam will be administered on July 25-27, 2016 at Widener University - Delaware Law School.
What is the structure of the Delaware Bar Exam?
The Bar Exam is two and a half days. Monday is a full day consisting of 8 Delaware essays. Tuesday is a half day consisting of the MPT. Wednesday is a fully day consisting of the MBE. On Monday and Wednesday, the exam schedule is 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. On Tuesday, the exam schedule is 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
I am admitted in another state. Do I have to take the Delaware Bar Exam to be admitted in Delaware?
Yes. All persons must take and pass the Delaware Bar Exam, complete the clerkship requirements, and establish their character and fitness to practice law in order to be admitted to the Bar of the state of Delaware. There are no different procedures for persons admitted in other jurisdictions.
What are the requirements for the MPRE?
The MPRE is required in Delaware, and a scaled score of 85 is passing. Applicants must ensure that the NCBE reports their score to Delaware. Please refer to Board Rule 8 for the time periods in which the MPRE must be taken.
What are the filing deadlines?
The first filing deadline is April 1st, and the late deadline for 2016 is May 16th. See Board Rule 5 for details and fee structure.
Where can I obtain the Bar Application and what is required?
The Bar Application is an electronic application and is located on the Board’s website. All required documents and information must be uploaded with the application at the time of filing. Applications filed that are not complete will be rejected and will not be considered by the Board. Refer to the Application instructions for a complete list of what must be filed with an Application.
Do I need to be fingerprinted?
Yes. All Applicants, including Rule 55 Applicants, must be fingerprinted and submit a Delaware State and FBI background Report. See the Instruction Sheet for obtaining these reports on the Board’s website.
When do I need to be fingerprinted and request FBI and Delaware State background checks?
You are urged to submit all background check requests to the federal and Delaware state bureaus of investigation as soon as possible, as the completed checks must be uploaded to your bar application not later than September 1. It can often take 90 days or more to receive your background checks. Character and Fitness Investigations will not be done on Applicants who have not submitted these reports.
Will I have a Character and Fitness Investigation?
Investigations are done on passing Applicants only. Once the results are posted in October, the investigations will begin. Each passing Applicant will be assigned to a Board member who will conduct an investigation of the Applicant. The investigation includes a personal interview.The investigations and interviews all take place after the October posting and before admission.
Is there any circumstance that will automatically preclude me from passing Character and Fitness?
Determinations are on a case by case basis. The Board will look at the overall picture of an Applicant’s background and situation. The Board does not issue advisory opinions on whether or not an Applicant may be denied. Determinations are only made after the investigation is complete.
If I am seeking special accommodations, when must I upload the Application for Special Accommodations?
An Application for Special Accommodations, with all documentation you are relying upon to support the accommodations requested, must be filed at the same time you file your bar application. See Board Rule 15. Applicants seeking accommodations are encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible.
When do I need to select and identify a preceptor?
You should select a preceptor as soon in your admission process as possible, but you must identify your preceptor no later than September 1st. Because your preceptor is obligated to review your Application, selecting a preceptor early is beneficial to both the Applicant and the preceptor.
How do I find a preceptor?
A preceptor can be any Delaware lawyer qualified under Board Rules 9 and 10 and Delaware Supreme Court Rule 52. Often, candidates select preceptors from firms by whom they have been employed or other lawyers or judges for whom they worked or clerked. If you do not know any Delaware lawyers who satisfy the applicable requirements, you can contact the Preceptor Bank to have one assigned. The Preceptor Bank information is located on the Board’s website.
I passed the Bar Exam. How long do I have to complete my clerkship checklist and 5-month clerkship and be admitted without having to retake the Bar Exam?
You have until December 31st of the year following the year in which you pass the Bar Exam. Therefore, if you pass in 2016, you must be admitted to the Bar by December 31st of 2017. If you need extra time due to extenuating circumstances, you may file a Petition for an Extension of Time. Refer to Board Rule 53.
What is the clerkship requirement?
The clerkship requirement consists of a 5-month clerkship period aggregating 21 full-time (40 hours) work weeks. The clerkship must be completed IN DELAWARE, under the supervision of a Delaware attorney. In addition, each Applicant must complete a checklist of clerkship items. The Clerkship Checklist is posted on the Board’s website and in the electronic Bar Application. Both the 5-month clerkship and checklist must be satisfactorily completed before an Applicant may be admitted to the Bar. An Applicant must submit their completed clerkship checklist and preceptor certification to the Board no later than November 10th to be eligible for the December ceremony. For more detailed information, please refer to Delaware Supreme Court Rule 52.
Do I have to attend the two-day pre-admission conference?
Yes. The pre-admission conference is mandatory for all passing Delaware Bar Applicants. The conference is a session of the Court and attendance is a prerequisite to admission. Attendance at the pre-admission conference is mandatory for anyone who passed the immediately preceding administration of the Bar Exam regardless of whether you intend to be admitted at the December admission ceremony. Professional attire is required.
If I pass, when can I be admitted to the Bar?
There is an Admission Ceremony every December for Applicants who have met all the admission requirements, including the clerkship requirement by November 10th. Additional ceremonies are held throughout the year for Applicants who need to be admitted at a later date. Ceremonies are scheduled in accordance with the Court calendar and only a Supreme Court Justice can swear in an Applicant. At the time of admission, Applicants will also have to pay a $100 fee, register with the Clerk of the Court and sign the roll of Attorneys Book.
Who can move my admission?
Your admission to the bar may be moved by any Delaware attorney in good standing.
I am applying for limited admission pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 55. Will I have to undergo a character and fitness evaluation?
Yes, all Applicants for limited admission under Rule 55, or any subpart thereof, will undergo a character and fitness evaluation. This includes being required to submit to federal and State of Delaware background checks. Instructions for submitting to those checks can be found on the Board’s website. Both checks must be received by the Board before your application can be approved. Please note that it can take up to 90 days or longer for agencies to complete background checks.
Board of Bar Examiners of the Supreme Court of Delaware
The Renaissance Centre
405 North King Street, Suite 420
Wilmington, DE 19801
Phone (302) 651-3940 * Fax (302) 651-3939