Ed. note: Welcome to our daily feature, Quote of the Day.
These revisions to the character and fitness questionnaire encourage bar candidates to take positive steps to treat their mental health and addiction issues. That approach will enable them to become better lawyers and serve the public well.
— New Jersey Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, in a statement given in the wake of the state’s decision to revise its character and fitness questionnaire to limit its mental health and substance abuse disclosure for bar applicants. While would-be New Jersey lawyers will have to disclose whether they currently have a substance abuse or mental health issue that may affect their ability to practice law in a competent and ethical manner, they will not have to disclose any conduct or behavior in the past five years “related to a mental health diagnosis, addiction to alcohol or drugs, or other condition that is or has been treated effectively by a health care provider or other medical professional, or through consistent participation in an established treatment program.” New Jersey is among about a dozen states to remove or revise questions about mental health treatment from their bar exam applications. The changes will go into effect on October 1.
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter and Threads or connect with her on LinkedIn.