Can a felon become a lawyer?

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Can a felon become a lawyer?

My boyfriend served 5 years in prison as a felon under charges of possession of child pornography. That conviction was almost 10 years ago. I know he would love to become a defense attorney. Are there any laws that say he cannot become one? I was wondering for his benefit how he could best approach this. He will be 30 years old later this month.

Asked on April 13, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Arkansas

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The state bars of different states have different regulations with respect to who can be an attorney when it comes to having a prior felony conviction. As such, I suggest that your boyfriend contact the state bar of the state he ultimately will want to practice law in assuming he gets accepted into law school, takes the state bar in a particular state and then passes the state bar to see what impediment his felony conviction may have on him.

Some state bars will not allow a person who has been convicted of a felony to be a licensed attorney.

He might consider consulting with a criminal defense attorney to see if possibly he can get his felony conviction "expunged". If the conviction is expunged by a court order, then the felony really no longer exists. Not all petitions to have a criminal conviction expunged are granted by the court.


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