Every state requires good moral character on the part of those applying for admission to practice law. Yet the standard remains to be administered in an unpredictable way and rests on unsubstantiated and implausible factual assumptions. In November 1993, the Nebraska Supreme Court was once again presented the opportunity to deflate the good moral character requirement of the Nebraska State Bar, but in In re Majorek, the court instead decided to uphold the requirement under the auspices of its responsibility to adopt and implement systems designed to protect the public interest and safeguard the justice system. This Note examines the validity of the court's justifications in Majorek for continuing to apply the good moral character requirement, noting the conflicts that arise when applying an archaic standard in a contemporary context. Part II begins with a historical discussion of the good moral character requirement, including the reasons for its continued application, the traditional categories under which to deny applications under the good moral character umbrella, and tests that jurisdictions try to apply to measure an applicant's good moral character. Part III provides a discussion of the Majorek opinion itself, presenting the relevant facts against the backdrop of the State of Nebraska's goals of protecting the public from morally deficient individuals wanting to practice law and helping those applicants who continue to deny their afflictions to face their problems and seek the proper medical or psychological treatment. Part IV analyzes the court's approach to applying the good moral character requirement to Majorek from a "rational connection" perspective. It then presents the effects of being denied admission so as to make future applicants aware of the serious consequences that can develop by not competently completing the bar application. Part IV ends with the practical information all applicants are searching for: How do I complete the application to sit for the bar exam so I can be confident that I have successfully fulfilled all of the Commission's requirements and at the same time make the process go as smoothly as possible? Part V concludes the Note with a brief prediction about the future of the good moral character requirement in Nebraska and throughout the United States.
Mark R. Privratsky,
A Critical Review Culminating in Practical Bar Examination Application Techniques in Regards to the "Good Moral Character Requirement"—In re Majorek, 244 Neb. 595, 508 N.W.2d 275 (1993),
74 Neb. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol74/iss2/4