Character & Fitness Instructions
Before being issued a license to practice law in Virginia, each applicant is required by statute to produce to the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners evidence sufficient to satisfy the Board that the applicant is a person of honest demeanor and good moral character and possesses the requisite fitness to perform the obligations and responsibilities of a practicing attorney at law. Va. Code Ann. §54.1-3925.1. The standards for making such evaluation are set forth in the Board's Rules and Supreme Court Regulations. Completion of the Applicant's Character and Fitness Questionnaire (CFQ) is the first step in this process. The CFQ is available as part of our downloadable forms. Click here for an example of the CFQ pdf.
ALL questions on the Questionnaire must be answered fully and truthfully. Any omission, untruthful answer, or incomplete answer may result in your being denied the privilege of taking the Virginia Bar Examination and practicing law in Virginia. If you have any doubts about whether any matter should be reported on the Questionnaire or any subsequent update, report it. Any advice you seek or receive does not absolve you of responsibility for your response. If an omission is deemed material, this may result in the denial of licensure.
When completing the CFQ or any subsequent update, if you are not sure of dates, times, places, or other information requested, it is your responsibility to consult the company, entity, court, governmental agency, or person involved to obtain ALL accurate and complete information.
The applicant bears FULL burden to provide accurate information. Failure to provide correct addresses for schools, employers, references, courts, etc., WILL result in a delay of processing your CFQ. If the space provided for any answer is inadequate, complete your answer on a separate sheet, specifying the question to which it relates. Affix your signature to each additional sheet you submit with the Questionnaire. Your answers to the completed Questionnaire must be verified before a Notary Public.
Once you have submitted your CFQ or subsequent update, and until you are licensed, admitted and registered as a member of the Virginia State Bar, you have a continuing duty to report immediately the following, in writing, to the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners: any change in your personal, educational or professional status that may affect your standing relative to your character and fitness to practice law, including anything that would modify any of the responses on this questionnaire or subsequent updates.
An original Questionnaire with required attachments, bearing your original signature under oath or affirmation, must be submitted to the Secretary of the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners along with the appropriate fee, in accordance with the fee schedule currently in effect. An Application for Examination, Admission Without Examination, the Law Reader Program, Military Legal Assistance Attorney, or Military Spouse Provisional Admission must be filed simultaneously with the Character & Fitness Questionnaire in accordance with §54.1-3925.1 of the Code of Virginia.
The Character & Fitness Questionnaire is good for four (4) years. You should keep a photocopy of your completed Character & Fitness Questionnaire for your personal records.
The Character & Fitness Questionnaire is NOT the application to take the Virginia Bar Examination. An applicant must simultaneously file an Application for Examination, Re-Application for Examination, Application for Admission Without Examination, or an Application for the Law Reader Program on the form prescribed by the Board of Bar Examiners, by the statutory filing deadline, IN ADDITION TO this Character & Fitness Questionnaire.
Your completed Application, questionnaire, fee, and all required attachments should be filed with:
Secretary, Virginia Board of Bar Examiners
2201 West Broad Street, Suite 101
Richmond, Virginia 23220-2022