NY Bar Application Help
February 27, 2015 5:03 PM   Subscribe

I’m looking for someone -- or some service -- to help me prepare my application to be admitted to the New York State Bar. (I’ve already passed the bar exam itself.) I don’t have blemishes, so-to-speak, that need to be explained, but my pre-law work history is complicated, and I lived in a million different places before law school but during the applicable period -- and I'm very busy right now -- so I'd like someone to help me carefully and precisely put the application together.

I'd also like to check to be sure that there are no outstanding debts in my name that I'm unaware of and no unpaid parking tickets, etc., that I don't know about before the application goes in.

I'm aware that there are attorneys who specialize in helping people with character and fitness issues to prepare for the interview -- but I'm looking for something different: help putting together the application itself. Does anyone have experience with someone that does this sort of thing?

Throwaway email address: nybarquestion@yahoo.com
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (8 answers total)
I wonder if this is something worth putting in meta filter jobs and paying a clever greenster to do it for you. If I had any idea what you were talking about, it's exactly the kind of thing I'd have been happy to earn money to do. I'm guessing there are people out there (here?) that have the communication skills, attention to detail, and are conversant with the American legal system etc enough to be able to help.

Hope you find someone.
posted by taff at 10:44 PM on February 27, 2015

I apologize if this is an unhelpful non-answer, but I think you may be overthinking this. My work and living history was extremely complicated and included lots of foreign addresses. I still was able to do it in maybe 6-8 hours and it was actually probably less.

Unless there is a very specific service that does this, I think you will spend a lot more time searching for and overseeing someone than just doing it yourself. Also it relies so heavily on your personal knowledge that farming it out is difficult.

As for tips, I found an amazing number of my difficult to remember addresses for times of yore through amazon and other online retailers, including embarrassingly Abercrombie as a teenager. Also, airline frequent flier programs may have a decent record of your addresses.

As for work, I had one place in particular that I couldn't hunt down. I put down the name and the town and that I believe it went out of business and that I had no contact number. I got zero questions about it. I believe I had one other job where I couldn't remember my supervisors name or number and the company had been bought by another company. I believe I just put "bought by x and relocated, no number" and I also had zero problems with that.

So don't overthink it. Just be honest. Good luck!
posted by whoaali at 4:56 AM on February 28, 2015 [14 favorites]

I feel you, but the most time consuming part is going to be digging up the information, which you have to do yourself. I ended up relying a lot on Amazon too.

You could hire a private investigator do run a credit check and skip trace, but that would be expensive, and possibly still incomplete. If you really can't track down the address, supervisor names, or exact dates, you can approximate it and note that in your application, and I doubt it will be a huge problem.
posted by yarly at 6:47 AM on February 28, 2015

I had a minor brush with the law in my late teens. It was cleared up after a night in jail and a small fine but I was never sure how it appeared in my "permanent record". When I applied for the Bar 15 years later I wanted to make sure I made a full disclosure so I hired a private investigator to run a background check. The private investigator's report included my police record and most, if not all, of my past employers and addresses. I completed my application based upon the private investigators report and my best recollections. Even if it turned out I omitted something I could show I put a honest effort toward full disclosure.
posted by Carbolic at 6:51 AM on February 28, 2015

I agree with whoaali, whose bar application sounds a lot like mine. By the time you compile the necessary information in a form coherent enough for someone to put into the application for you, it's done. Otherwise you're looking at an expensive private investigator (as yarly mentioned) and a bunch of gaps that would be smaller if you just compiled the information yourself.

I did not go straight to law school from college and moved at least once a year from my sophomore year of college until law school. I worked at places which had gone out of business with supervisors whose names I barely remembered while I worked there and I had a citation for minor in possession of alcohol that had to be explained. Filling in my bar application took an afternoon, except for the part where I had to track down character references in an era before email addresses and cell phone numbers that never change when people move.

If you've got no bad debts and no convictions, incomplete business addresses and no way to contact your supervisor at the bookstore where you worked during your sophomore year of college are not going to halt your application.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:42 AM on February 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

You are way overthinking this. Do it yourself. It will take a day or two.
posted by ewiar at 10:51 AM on February 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

Nthing what everyone else said. You don't need to hire someone to do this. I had some complications in my application too -- long story short, a name change that had nothing to do with the usual reasons, like getting married -- and that complicated things a bit but no big deal. They did ask me about it at the interview, but that was that. I also had a whole career before law school, so that threw another kink in -- again, no big deal.
posted by holborne at 12:08 PM on February 28, 2015

One more anecdotal complicated bar application - moved twice+ a year from 18-25, lots of jobs, juvenile criminal record. It took several hours. Once I'd gathered the information, however, the hard part was done.

If your concern is gathering the information, I can see a skip tracer or private investigator being useful.
posted by mchorn at 10:09 AM on March 1, 2015

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