Criminal Law

Can You Become A Lawyer By Being A Felony?

can a felon become a lawyer

You might be wondering, can a person with a criminal record become a lawyer?

Yes. A felon can become a lawyer in the United States. This is because a felon charge does not bar anyone from attending law school. 

So, if you are considering becoming a lawyer, then hold onto that thought. The process of becoming a lawyer with felony charges is not that hard, you might think. 

Even most states in the United States allow felons to apply for law education and become a lawyer. 

In this article, we will discuss how a felon can become a lawyer in the United States. 

Can A Felon Become A Lawyer?

The answer to that question is yes. 

A convicted felon has the capacity to become a practicing lawyer in the United States.

But, there is a restriction to this in certain states in the United States. There are three states and one territory in the US that bans felons from becoming practicing lawyers in their regions. 

Kansas, Mississippi, Texas, and the Northern Mariana Islands bar any convicted felons from becoming practicing lawyers in their states. 

It can be said that we have all committed actions that we regret. Even though we are all not convicted felons, it is fair to say a large population of the US has some kind of criminal record. 

This means you are not alone and might be facing the dilemma of whether you can become a lawyer with a felony charge. 

You Can A Become A Lawyer Someday Even With A Felon Charge

If you are charged with a felony conviction, then do not dismiss your thought of becoming a lawyer in the future. 

In fact, the majority of the United States jurisdictions have a high probability of having a forgiving attitude when it comes to criminal backdrops. 

If you have the intention of shifting from your criminal path, then you are already halfway to becoming an attorney. 

This is because being willing to stay on the right side of the law is one of the most important factors for you to become a lawyer with a criminal record. 

Some jurisdictions in the United States have the ability to get through a passageway of proving your redemption, and some test your characteristics over time. 

One most important things you are required to remember about having a criminal record and being willing to become a lawyer – posing oneself as a liar. 

Can A Person With A Criminal Record Become A Lawyer?

Yes. You can become a lawyer in spite of having a criminal record against your name in the United States. 

Only the three states mentioned above will not let you become a lawyer if you have criminal records. Apart from that, you have the liberty of being a lawyer in other states of the US. 

Disclosing is the most important factor when becoming a lawyer with a criminal record. 

In every state you are seeking to become a lawyer will be examining your moral character. This is because all would-be lawyers are background checked before being given a license for practice in any state of the US. 

On the other hand, if you have a criminal record against your name, then there is a chance that there will be a stricter moral examination. 

There is nothing to be afraid of being strictly examined by the state. This is because the state will be mainly investigating the main intention of you becoming a lawyer. 

In such cases, it is best that you do not try to conceal anything from your past that you are not proud of. If the state finds out that you are trying to hide crucial information, they will reject your application to become a lawyer. 

Your denial to disclose your past will also lead you into deeper waters, trying to explain the reason behind hiding your past credentials to the state authorities. 

Disclosing The Truth Will Increase Your Chance Of Becoming A Lawyer In Spite Having A Felony Charge

You are indeed embarrassed by your past. Your first instinct is to hide your convictions during the moral character test. 

Fight these thoughts and disclose your past to the authority conducting your moral tests. 

Dishonesty is the worst enemy that will hinder your dream of becoming a lawyer. 

You are advised to disclose all the convictions you have been charged with in the past to come as a clean person. This will increase your chances of becoming an attorney in spite of past criminal records

Choosing The Right Law School

The first thing you should note before applying for law school after having past felony charges is determining its – accreditation. 

Make sure you apply to a law school that is accredited by the American Bar Association

If you pass out as a lawyer from an unaccredited law school in the United States, you will be questioned regarding the relevance of your degree. 

So, it is advised that you conduct thorough research before selecting the law school you are seeking to acquire your law degree. 


Now you are well aware of the steps and tricks of becoming a lawyer in spite of having felony charges against you. 

You are free to become a lawyer in almost all states of the United States while having a criminal record. However, states like Kansas, Mississippi, Texas, and Northern Mariana will restrict you from becoming a practicing lawyer in their regions. 

But this does not restrict you from achieving your dream of becoming a lawyer in other states. The first factor that you are required to keep in mind before becoming a lawyer while having a criminal past is your ability to stay honest. 

While appearing for the moral character test, it is advisable that you confess all your past convictions. Along with choosing a law school having ABA accreditation. These will increase your probability of getting a bar license in spite of having felony charges. 

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Jyoti Jha
Jyoti Jha is a freelance SEO content writer for tech , health, and education-related content. With 5 years of experience in the industry, I am creating high-quality content that captivates readers and delivers value.

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