Law Students/Bar Applicants

WVJLAP is a confidential, free service.  Any law student may seek services or participate in events and conferences.

WVJLAP can help law students in a myriad of fashions.  Some law students only need information from WVJLAP, while others may seek short term counseling, crisis stabilization, referrals to third party healthcare resources, stress management support or just a safe place to vent and process issues related to the pressures of law school, including the natural anxiety that arises from filling out the bar application, taking the bar and anticipating the results.

WVJLAP and Law Schools

WVJLAP representatives present regularly at WVU Law School and sometimes exhibit at orientations and mental health awareness events.  Law students are strongly encouraged to utilize WVJLAP services for any issue that may be currently affecting their studies.  In addition, it is in any student’s best interest to contact WVJLAP as soon as possible if they have any past or present issues that may raise a red flag during his or her bar application/admissions process. It is better to be proactive!

Occasionally a student is referred to WVJLAP by a dean or law school staff.  Sometimes participation in WVJLAP is required if the student is to remain in school or be readmitted. Law schools want their graduates to be of the utmost integrity, but also understand that mental/emotional health, substance abuse and stress related issues may arise and sometimes result in unintended consequences.

WVJLAP and the Board of Law Examiners

Are you fit to be a lawyer?

Law is a challenging profession that involves the ability to analyze, reason, and communicate.  The study and practice of law is rigorous and often stressful; however, a law degree can open many doors to a rewarding career in business, practice, government, lobbying, teaching and public service.

Complete and honest disclosure on your law school and/or bar admissions application is imperative and a potential character & fitness issue. From a public safety standpoint, lawyers deal daily with the businesses, lives, families, finances and freedoms of the client public.

Law schools require applicants to be completely forthcoming about their backgrounds and to disclose past and present  behaviors and consequences that may have a bearing on their qualification to study law and their character and fitness to become a member of the legal profession.  Failure to disclose information on a law school admission application may have serious consequences including discipline, suspension, expulsion, reporting to the Board of Law Examiners and denial of admission to the Bar.

Physical, mental, emotional, and/or substance use issues are a mitigating factor in any past or present behavior or consequences.  WVJLAP may be able to help.

Full disclosure is also required when applying for admission to the Bar.

When you apply for admission to the bar, you must show that you are fit to practice law and have the necessary character to justify the trust and confidence that clients, the public and the legal system will place in you.

If you have engaged in any conduct of concern, you should seek more information on the character and fitness requirements from the Board of Law Examiners or contact WVJLAP.

Law students and future bar applicants should never avoid treatment for mental health issues or substance abuse out of fear of how it will affect their chances of being licensed.  Questions about this process may be directed to the Bar Admissions Administrator anonymously, if preferred.