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Can a convicted felon get a license to practice law in TEXAS?

Dallas, TX |

I got convicted of a second degree felony 7 years ago (burglarly of a habitation) in Texas. Would the Texas Board of Law Examiners give me a license to practice law after I pass the bar?

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

I'm sorry, but no--you cannot be licensed as an attorney if you are a convicted felon, regardless of how long ago your conviction might have been incurred.

Asker

Posted

What about the 14th amendment?

Asker

Posted

I was told the call the Texas Board of Law Examiners & ask if I would be eligible or not. Yes/No???

Robert S. Bennett

Robert S. Bennett

Posted

What is stated by this attorney is simply not correct. I have had clients with felony convictions become attorneys after an extensive hearing before the BOLE. I have had law school graduates who are still on parole almost become attorneys (2-1) vote, with Board Members stating that if the person was not on parole, it would have been easier to approve. ( The issue of parole and admission to Bar is still open to review as far as I am concerned.) But a convicted felon can become licensed under very special circumstances and only after an adversarial hearing. To answer your question, no reason not to make an annoymous call but would be surprised if they gave you a legal opinon. Best wishes. Bob Bennett

Posted

Possibly. A felony conviction is not an absolute bar to becoming an attorney.

The question in front of the Texas Board of Bar Examiners is whether an applicant possesses the current good moral character to be an attorney in Texas. (http://www.ble.state.tx.us/Rules/NewRules/ruleiv.htm)

After five years have elapsed from the end of probation or completion of the sentence, a person with a felony may apply to attend a Texas law school (or, if a graduate of an ABA accredited law school in another state, to write the Bar Exam). The Board will then investigate and make a determination based on many factors, including the type and severity of the offense, and the life of the application since the offense.

It is not easy, but it can and has been done. You will almost undoubtedly need the assistance of a Texas attorney who specializes in these matters (which I do not, although I know attorneys who do).

If it is your dream to be an attorney, don't give up. Know, however, that you will have a long, hard journey in front of you.

Lee Keller King

Lee Keller King

Posted

Before you give up, I suggest you contact Bob Bennett in Houston. He specializes in that sort of thing and has helped out many who had difficult times with their licensing organization. http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/77002-tx-robert-bennett-110674.html

Robert S. Bennett

Robert S. Bennett

Posted

Dear Lee, thanks for the plug, I have had clients become attorneys who have had felony indictments and felony convicitions become attorneys. It can be done but it requires a very good record after all the criminal stuff has been addressed. Actual cases have proven so and extensive discussions with BOLE Board Members and Staff say it is possible. Hope the New Year goes well for you.