Michigan Rules for the Board of Law Examiners

Rule 1 General Requirements 
An applicant for admission to the practice of law must
(A) be 18 years old or older;
(B) possess good moral character; and
(C) have completed, before entering law school, at least 60 semester hours or 
90 quarter hours toward an undergraduate degree from an accredited school or 
while attending an accredited junior or community college.

Rule 2 Admission by Examination 
(A) An application must be filed by November 1 for the February examination, or 
March 1 for the July examination. Late applications will be accepted until December 
15 for the February examination, or May 15 for the July examination. An application 
must be accompanied by payment of the fee. All materials filed are confidential.
(B) Before taking the examination, an applicant must obtain a JD degree from a 
reputable and qualified law school that
(1) is incorporated in the United States, its territories, or the District of 
Columbia; and
(2) requires for graduation 3 school years of study for full-time students, and 4 
school years of study for part-time or night students. A school year must be at 
least 30 weeks. 
A law school approved by the American Bar Association is reputable and qualified. 
Other schools may ask the Board to approve the school as reputable and qualified. 
In the event the law school has ceased operations since an applicant's graduation, 
the request for approval may be made by the applicant. The Board may in its 
discretion permit applicants who do not possess a JD degree from an ABA-approved 
law school to take the examination based upon factors including, but not limited to, 
relevant legal education, such as an LLM degree from a reputable and qualified law 
school, and experience that otherwise qualifies the applicant to take the 
(C) The State Bar character and fitness committee will investigate each applicant. 
The applicant must disclose any criminal conviction which carries a possible penalty 
of incarceration in jail or prison that has not been reversed or vacated and comply 
with the committee's requirements and requests. The committee will report the 
results of its investigation to the Board. If the committee report shows that an 
applicant lacks the necessary character and fitness, the Board will review the 
application, record, and report. If the Board accepts the report, the applicant is 
entitled to a hearing before the Board and may use the Board's subpoena power. 
The Board may permit an applicant to take the examination before the character 
and fitness committee reports. The Board will release the applicant's grade if 
character and fitness committee approval is obtained.
(D) Every applicant for admission must achieve a passing score, as determined by 
the board, on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination.
(E) The Board may permit an applicant entering the armed forces before the 
examination immediately following graduation to take an earlier examination. The 
applicant must have completed, before the examination, 2 1/2 years full-time or 3 
1/2 years part-time study. The Board will release the applicant's grade when the 
school certifies the applicant's graduation. 
(F) The applicant is responsible for meeting all requirements before the 
examination. The Board may act on information about an applicant's character 
whenever the information is received.

Rule 3 Examination Subjects and Grading 
(A) The examination consists of two sections:
(1) The Multistate Bar Examination prepared by the National Conference of Bar 
Examiners and administered on dates and under regulations set by the 
(2) An essay examination prepared by or under the supervision of the Board or 
by law professors selected by the Board, on these subjects:
(a) Real and Personal Property
(b) Wills and Trusts
(c) Contracts
(d) Constitutional Law
(e) Criminal Law and Procedure
(f) Corporations, Partnerships, and Agency
(g) Evidence
(h) Creditor's Rights, including mortgages, garnishments and attachments
(i) Practice and Procedure, trial and appellate, state and federal
(j) Equity
(k) Torts (including no-fault)
(l) The sales, negotiable instruments, and secured transactions articles of 
the Uniform Commercial Code
(m) Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct
(n) Domestic Relations
(o) Conflicts of Laws
(p) Worker's Compensation
(B) The National Conference of Bar Examiners will grade the Multistate section. The 
Board or its agents will grade the essay section, with the Board having final 
responsibility. The Board will determine a method for combining the grades and 
select a passing score. 

Rule 4 Post-Examination Procedures 
(A) The Assistant Secretary will release examination results at the Board's direction. 
Blue books will be kept for 3 months after results are released.
(B) Within 30 days after the day the results are released, the applicant may ask the 
Board to reconsider the applicant's essay grades. The applicant shall file with the 
Assistant Secretary two (2) copies of
(1) the request; 
(2) the answer given in the applicant's blue books; and
(3) an explanation why the applicant deserves a higher grade.
(C) An applicant for re-examination may obtain an application from the Assistant 
Secretary. The application must be filed at least sixty (60) days before the 
examination. If the applicant's clearance is more than three (3) years old, the 
applicant must be approved by the State Bar Committee on Character and Fitness.

Rule 5 Admission Without Examination 
(A) An applicant for admission without examination must
(1) qualify under Rules 1 and 2(B);
(2) be licensed to practice law in the United States, its territories, or the District 
of Columbia;
(3) be a member in good standing of the Bar where admitted;
(4) intend in good faith to maintain an office in this state for the practice of law;
(5) intend to practice law in Michigan, or to be a full-time instructor in a 
reputable and qualified Michigan law school; and
(6) have, after being licensed and for 3 of the 5 years preceding the application,
(a) actively practiced law as a principal business or occupation in a 
jurisdiction where admitted (the practice of law under a special certificate 
pursuant to Rule 5[D] or as a special legal consultant pursuant to Rule 5[E] 
does not qualify as the practice of law required by this rule);
(b) been employed as a full-time instructor in a reputable and qualified law 
school in the United States, its districts, or its territories; or
(c) been on active duty (other than for training or reserve duty) in the 
United States armed forces as a judge advocate, legal specialist, or legal 
officer. The judge advocate general (or a comparable officer) or delegate 
must certify the assignment and the inclusive dates.
The Supreme Court may, for good cause, increase the 5-year period. Active 
duty in the United States armed forces not satisfying Rule 5(A)(6)(c) may 
be excluded when computing the 5-year period.
(B) An applicant must submit the National Conference of Bar Examiners' Request 
for Preparation of a Character Report along with other material required by the 
Board and payment of the fees.
(C) An applicant not satisfying Rule 5(A) will be notified and given an opportunity to 
appear before the Board. The applicant may use the Board's subpoena power.
(D) An attorney
(1) ineligible for admission without examination because of the inability to 
satisfy Rule 5(A)(6); and
(2) practicing law in an institutional setting, e.g., counsel to a corporation or 
instructor in a law school, may apply to the Board for a special certificate of 
qualification to practice law. The applicant must satisfy Rule 5(A)(1)-(4), and 
comply with Rule 5(B). The Board may then issue the special certificate, which 
will entitle the attorney to continue current employment if the attorney 
becomes an active member of the State Bar. If the attorney leaves the current 
employment, the special certificate automatically expires; if the attorney's new 
employment is also institutional, the attorney may reapply for another special 
(E) Special Legal Consultants.
(a) To qualify for admission without examination to practice as a special legal 
consultant one must:
(1) be admitted to practice in a foreign country and have actually practiced, 
and be in good standing, as an attorney or counselor at law or the 
equivalent in such foreign country for at least 3 of the 5 years immediately 
preceding the application; and
(2) possess the good moral character and general fitness requisite for a 
member of the bar of this state; and
(3) fulfill the requirements of MCL 600.934 and 600.937; and
(4) be a resident of this or another state of the United States, its territories 
or the District of Columbia and maintain an office in this state for the 
practice of law; and
(5) be over 18 years of age.
(b) In considering whether to license an applicant to practice pursuant to Rule 
5(E), the Board may in its discretion take into account whether a member of 
the bar of this state would have a reasonable and practical opportunity to 
establish an office for the giving of legal advice to clients in the applicant's 
country of admission (as referred to in Rule 5[E][a][1]), if there is pending with 
the Board a request to take this factor into account from a member of the bar 
of this state actively seeking to establish such an office in that country which 
raises a serious question as to the adequacy of the opportunity for such a 
member to establish such an office.
(c) An applicant for a license as a special legal consultant shall submit to the 
(1) a certificate from the authority in such foreign country having final 
jurisdiction over professional discipline, certifying as to the applicant's 
admission to practice and the date thereof and as to the good standing of 
such attorney or counselor at law or the equivalent, together with a duly 
authenticated English translation of such certificate if it is not in English; 
(2) a letter of recommendation from one of the judges of the highest law 
court or intermediate appellate court of such foreign country, together with 
a duly authenticated English translation of such letter if it is not in English; 
(3) the National Conference of Bar Examiners questionnaire and affidavit 
along with the payment of the requisite fee and such other evidence of the 
applicant's educational and professional qualifications, good moral character 
and general fitness, and compliance with the requirements of Rule 
5(E)(a)(1)-(5) as the Board may require; and
(4) shall execute and file with the Assistant Secretary of the State Board of 
Law Examiners, in such form and manner as the Board may prescribe,
(i) a duly acknowledged instrument in writing setting forth the special 
legal consultant's address in the state of Michigan and designating the 
Assistant Secretary of the State Board of Law Examiners an agent upon 
whom process may be served, with like effect as if served personally 
upon the special legal consultant, in any action or proceeding thereafter 
brought against the special legal consultant and arising out of or based 
upon any legal services rendered or offered to be rendered by the 
special legal consultant within or to residents of the state of Michigan 
whenever after due diligence service cannot be made upon the special 
legal consultant at such address or at such new address in the state of 
Michigan as the special legal consultant shall have filed in the office of 
the Assistant Secretary of the State Board of Law Examiners by means 
of a duly acknowledged supplemental instrument in writing; and 
(ii) the special legal consultant's commitment to notify the Assistant 
Secretary of the State Board of Law Examiners of any resignation or 
revocation of the special legal consultant's admission to practice in the 
foreign country of admission, or of any censure, suspension or expulsion 
in respect of such admission. 
Service of process on the Assistant Secretary of the State Board of Law 
Examiners shall be made by personally delivering to and leaving with 
the Assistant Secretary, or with a deputy or assistant authorized by the 
Assistant Secretary to receive such service, at the Assistant Secretary's 
office, duplicate copies of such process together with a fee of $10.00. 
Service of process shall be complete when the Assistant Secretary has 
been so served. The Assistant Secretary shall promptly send one of 
such copies to the special legal consultant to whom the process is 
directed, by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to such 
special legal consultant at the address specified by the special legal 
consultant as aforesaid.
(d) A person licensed to practice as a special legal consultant must maintain 
active membership in the State Bar of Michigan and must discharge the 
responsibilities of state bar membership and is authorized to render 
professional legal advice:
(1) on the law of the foreign country where the legal consultant is admitted 
to practice;
(2) may use the title "special legal consultant" either singly or in connection 
with the authorized title or firm name in the foreign country of the legal 
consultant's admission to practice, provided that in each case the name of 
such foreign country be identified.

Rule 6 Fees 
The fees are: an application for examination, $340 and an additional fee for the late 
filing of an application or transfer of an application for examination, $100; an 
application for re-examination, $240; an application for recertification, $200; an 
application for admission without examination, $600 plus the requisite fee for the 
National Conference of Bar Examiners' report. Checks must be payable to the State 
of Michigan.
Please Note:
The most recent fee amounts reflect 2000 PA 86, which was signed by the Governor 
on May 1, 2000. The fees required to be paid by each applicant are set by the 

Rule 7 Exception
An applicant may ask the board to waive any requirement except the payment of 
fees. The applicant must demonstrate why the request should be granted.

Rule 8 Recertification 
An applicant for recertification shall file an application and other material required 
by the Board. After a hearing the Board shall either recertify the applicant or 
require that the applicant pass the examination described in Rule 3. An applicant 
may use the Board's subpoena power for the hearing. An applicant who is an 
inactive State Bar member or who had previously voluntarily resigned from the 
State Bar or who previously elected emeritus status, and who has been employed in 
another jurisdiction in one of the ways listed in Rule 5(A)(6) is entitled to 
recertification by the Board.