This article provides a historical look at the meaning of the phrase "good moral character" in the context of the fitness of an individual for the practice of law. Going back to the 1700s, the author traces the origins of fitness requirements. This historical timeline uncovers a shockingly violent period when engaging in duels with pistols seemed to be an unwritten requirement to be considered a gentleman and a lawyer.
Northern Illinois University Law Review
"When Lawyers Were Serial Killers: Nineteenth Century Visions of Good Moral Character,"
Northern Illinois University Law Review: Vol. 22:
1, Article 7.
Roger Roots, When Lawyers Were Serial Killers: Nineteenth Century Visions of Good Moral Character, 22 N. Ill. U. L. Rev. 19 (2001).