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ILLINOIS BOARD of ADMISSIONS to THE BAR

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The following questions are frequently asked about admission to the bar of Illinois. Each of the below questions is linked to the corresponding answer. For complete information, please refer to the Illinois Supreme Court Rules Governing Admission to the Bar and the Rules of Procedure for the Board of Admissions to the Bar and the Committees on Character and Fitness, as well as corresponding areas of this website.

For technical assistance with our website via email or to provide feedback regarding the website, click here.

General Admission Information


- EXPLANATION OF HOW THE CREDIT CARD CHARGE WORKS
- Do I have any privacy rights?
- Are my fees refundable?
- How do I apply?
- Where do I send paper application materials?
- Must the Board RECEIVE my paper materials by the filing deadline?
- Can I confirm receipt of application materials by phone?
- How can I contact the Board of Admissions?
- Who will be responsible for processing my application?
- How can I contact my file processor?
- May I apply if I have been convicted of a felony or am currently charged with felonious conduct?
- May I apply if I have been rejected or my hearing is pending on character and fitness grounds in another jurisdiction?
- May I apply for admission if I have been disciplined or if disciplinary charges are pending against me in another jurisdiction?
- What are the upload photo submission requirements?
- How do I upload a new photo to replace my current photo?
- How do I purchase Essay/MPT study materials?
- What form of payment do you accept for purchase of Essay/MPT study materials?

General Admission Information


EXPLANATION OF HOW THE CREDIT CARD CHARGE WORKS

The only way to charge your examination, application on motion or in house counsel fee is to submit it via the website; The Board office employees (including Tech Support) are not able to do it manually.
 

Master Card, Visa and Discover are the only credit or debit cards accepted. We are now accepting international credit cards.     

 
Once you submit your Master-Card, Visa or Discover credit/debit card information on the website, your credit card bank looks at the transaction and either approves or rejects the transaction.  If it approves the transaction it sets the transaction up as PENDING, awaiting the Board’s credit card gateway (our credit card processor) to either accept or reject it. If the Board’s credit card gateway accepts it, the transaction is successful, it processes, and your application is submitted at the same time. You will receive an email stating your transaction was APPROVED.
 
If, however, a transaction is denied by the Board for any reason, that transaction will never process and your application will not be submitted.  You will receive an email stating your transaction was DECLINED .  However, your credit card may show PENDING that transaction for a few days. Then the transaction will disappear. Also, on your Submission Record, while it may state that your application has been submitted, if the Submit Date, the Approval Code and the Transaction Name are blank, you will NOT have paid your fee nor will your application have been submitted.
 
Following are some reasons for a credit card transaction to be denied:
1. The name on the credit card does not exactly match the name submitted on the credit card information space. Many applicants use the credit card of another person. The name in the credit card space must match the NAME ON THE CREDIT CARD USED, which is not always the applicant’s name.
 

2. The address in the credit card information space does not match the billing address for the credit card used to charge the fee.  Note that the address in the credit card information space must be the same BILLING ADDRESS AS IS ON FILE WITH THAT CREDIT CARD BEING USED.  Often this is not the same as the applicant’s current address.


3. The credit card must have the capability of communicating with our security apparatus. Some very small credit card issuers do not have this capability, and the transaction will never go through. This is very rare.
 

4. Not sufficient Funds (NSF) usually happens when an applicant unsuccessfully attempts to charge several times, and the applicant’s credit card stops further transactions. Please note that each time an applicant submits credit card information, it appears to the applicant’s credit card bank that a transaction is taking place.  Therefore, the applicant’s credit card bank sets up each attempt as a pending transaction and, accordingly decreases his or her available credit.  It takes a few days for the unsuccessful transactions to disappear from Pending Status, and the corresponding available credit to reappear.
 
If charging a fee by credit card is not possible, please go to the website and check the choice to pay by cashier’s check, certified check or money order to submit your application.  Obtain the cashier’s check, certified check or money order and postmark it by the deadline.  Retain a copy of your payment form, and, to guard against loss and ensure proof of timely filing, ship by overnight carrier, return receipt, and / or require signature by receiver.

ALL FEES ARE NON REFUNDABLE PURSUANT TO ILLINOIS SUPREME COURT RULE 706(i)

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Do I have any privacy rights?

Do I have any privacy rights associated with the use of my proof of U.S. citizenship, my status as a lawful permanent resident, or my status as a non-immigrant alien authorized to work in the U.S. for the Application for Character and Fitness Report?

 

Yes, every applicant who submits the required documentation as part of the Application for Character and Fitness Report has a right to privacy. The board is required to follow the Privacy Act and other applicable laws, regulations and policies in conducting verifications as well as safeguarding and maintaining any data provided by USCIS. 

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Are my fees refundable?

All fees paid are nonrefundable and nontransferrable pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 706(i)

 

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How do I apply?

Application forms are available on this website. Most are completed online and submitted electronically; others are printed from the website, completed, and submitted by mail or overnight delivery. Applicants must also submit a copy of a current driving record from all states licensed to drive within the last 10 years to be included in the paper documentation. 

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Where do I send paper application materials?

Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar
625 S College Street
Springfield IL 62704-2521

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Must the Board RECEIVE my paper materials by the filing deadline?

No, the Board need not receive the materials on or before the deadline.  If an applicant has submitted the electronic forms, s/he can meet the filing deadline by posting the paper portion of his/her application (and any required fee) on or before that date. In this context, "posting" means delivery of all required materials, contained a sealed envelope bearing proper and sufficient postage and correctly addressed to the Board at 625 S College Street, Springfield IL 62704-2521, to the USPS or national overnight carrier, at a time and on a day when the USPS or national overnight carrier collects and postmarks letters and packages for delivery.

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Can I confirm receipt of application materials by phone?

No. The volume of application materials received by the Board precludes confirmation of receipt of application materials by phone. If you wish verification that we received your paper application materials and/or fee, you must ship your materials by overnight carrier or USPO return receipt and obtain verification of delivery from your carrier.

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How can I contact the Board of Admissions?

By phone at 217.522.5917; phones are answered Monday through Friday from 8.30 AM until 2 PM.  The Board of Admissions is closed on state and federal holidays.

By fax to 217.522.3728 or 217.522.9327

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Who will be responsible for processing my application?

Your application will be assigned for processing on the basis of the first letter(s) of your last name. Current file processors/investigators and their letter assignments are set forth below. 

Assigned Letter Range  
 

Ty Perry will be responsible for processing all NTA applications - tperry@ilbaradmissions.org

Paula Ramsey-Brown will be responsible for processing all 705, 712 - 713 (FLC), 716, 717 and 719 applicationspramsey-brown@ilbaradmissions.org

A - CE Diana Hobrock  dhobrock@ilbaradmissions.org
CH - F Dorothy Holmes  dholmes@ilbaradmissions.org
G - JO Judi McDonough jmcdonough@ilbaradmissions.org
JU - McD Lisa Bailey  lbailey@ilbaradmissions.org
McE - RA Stephany Shipp  sshipp@ilbaradmissions.org
RE - SY

Tammy Adams  tadams@ilbaradmissions.org

SZ - Z

Tara Henrikson   thenrikson@ilbaradmissions.org

 

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How can I contact my file processor?

For fast answers to your questions, please EMAIL rather than phone your file processor.

Diana Hobrock - dhobrock@ilbaradmissions.org

Dorothy Holmes - dholmes@ilbaradmissions.org

Lisa Bailey - lbailey@ilbaradmissions.org

Paula Ramsey-Brown - pramsey-brown@ilbaradmissions.org

Stephany Shipp - sshipp@ilbaradmissions.org

Tammy Adams - tadams@ilbaradmissions.org

Tara Henrikson - thenrikson@ilbaradmissions.org

Ty Perry - tperry@ilbaradmissions.org

Judi McDonough - jmcdonough@ilbaradmissions.org

You may also phone your file processor Monday through Friday between 8.30 AM and 2 PM at 217.522.5917. Many file processors chose a particular time of day to return calls, so you may be asked to leave your name, number, and message in his or her voice mailbox.

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May I apply if I have been convicted of a felony or am currently charged with felonious conduct?

Yes, an applicant previously convicted of a felony or currently charged with a felony may apply for admission.  However, any such applicant will not be permitted to take the bar examination unless and until s/he has received certification of good moral character and general fitness to practice law by the Committee on Character and fitness.

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May I apply if I have been rejected or my hearing is pending on character and fitness grounds in another jurisdiction?

Yes, an applicant who has been rejected or as to whom a hearing is pending a ground related to character and fitness in another jurisdiction may apply for admission.   However, any such applicant will not be permitted to take the bar examination unless and until s/he has received certification of good moral character and general fitness to practice law by the Committee on Character and fitness.

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May I apply for admission if I have been disciplined or if disciplinary charges are pending against me in another jurisdiction?

Yes, an applicant admitted to practice in another jurisdiction who has been reprimanded, censured, disciplined, suspended, or disbarred in such other jurisdiction or against whom disciplinary charges are pending may apply for admission.  However, any such applicant will not be permitted to take the bar examination unless and until s/he has received certification of good moral character and general fitness to practice law by the Committee on Character and fitness.

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What are the upload photo submission requirements?

Please upload a new photo in accordance with the requirements listed below. We recommend that you use a professional passport photo service to ensure your photo meets our requirements. Examples of passport quality photos can be found here: http://travel.state.gov/visa/visaphotoreq/photoexamples/photoexamples_5331.html. The acceptance of your photo is at the discretion of IBAB. Photo requirements are:

  • 300 X 300 square minimum once uploaded and cropped
  • In color
  • Taken within 6 months to reflect your current appearance
  • Taken in front of a plain white background
  • Taken in full-face view, directly facing the camera, with a neutral expression and both eyes open
  • Do not wear a uniform unless it is religious clothing worn daily and do not wear a hat or head covering unless worn daily for a religious purpose
  • If you normally wear prescription glasses, a hearing devise or similar article, they may be worn for your photo
  • Glare on glasses is not acceptable; glare can be avoided with a slight downward tilt of the glasses or buy turning of the camera flash
  • Low-quality vending machine or mobile phone photos are not acceptable
  • The scanned photo must be a .jpeg, .jpg, or .png.

Applicants who do not provide an ACCEPTABLE photo to IBAB will be denied admittance to the bar exam. There will be no exceptions.

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How do I upload a new photo to replace my current photo?

To upload a new photo click the "Personal Info" link in the upper right corner of your user home page. The "Upload New Photo" button is located below the "Place of Birth" field. Review the list of upload photo submission requirements to verify that the photo you are uploading meets all of the requirements. Please submit a Technical Support Request, found at the bottom of the screen, if you have any issues uploading your photo.

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How do I purchase Essay/MPT study materials?

Please refer to your results letter under Essay/MPT Question and Answer Study Materials.

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What form of payment do you accept for purchase of Essay/MPT study materials?

You may purchase your Essay/MPT study materials via Mastercard, Visa and Discover only.   

 

                                                                                                                                                   

      Visa Brand Mark Artwork and Guidelines   Discover Network

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