A new look at character and fitness: Bar leaders, lawyers, other urge elimination of mental health questions

By Marilyn Cavicchia

The ABA Bar Leader quoted President Greenberg’s on NYSBA’s national leadership on attorney mental health.

Gray O’Dwyer, an assistant attorney general in Virginia working in environmental law, recalls when she and her law school classmates at University of Richmond first started to put their application packages together, in preparation for the July 2018 bar admission process.

“I remember being in the communal clinic space talking to other students about the bar application and saying, ‘Is it weird to anyone else that they want our mental health records?’” she says. Several of her friends spoke up, agreeing that the question about mental health that was then on the character and fitness questionnaire from the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners was not only “weird,” but also “terrifying and invasive.”

Six diverse people sitting holding signs
gradient circle (purple) gradient circle (green)

Join NYSBA

My NYSBA Account

My NYSBA Account