The Character and Fitness Committee works with the Board of Bar Examiners to oversee the process of admission to the Vermont bar, in accordance with the Rules of Admission to the Bar of the Vermont Supreme Court.  To best serve and protect the public and ensure the integrity of the lawyers who practice in Vermont, the Board and the Committee give a fair and impartial assessment of an applicant's professional competence.

The Character and Fitness Committee is specifically charged with determining the moral character and fitness of applicants to carry out the responsibilities of a lawyer as part of the admission process. It is important that the public, the legal system and the administration of justice be protected from those who possess dishonesty, or lack of trustworthiness. For the same reason, it is important that those who are physically or mentally unfit to carry out the responsibilities of a lawyer be denied membership to the bar.

The Character and Fitness Committee is comprised of seven persons appointed by the Supreme Court. One member must be an active or retired judge or retired Supreme Court justice, three members must be attorneys, and three are laypersons.

Honorable Thomas Durkin

Cara Cookson, Esq.

Steven Brown, Esq.

Lynn Dunton

Erin Heins, Esq.

Mary Harlow

Stephan Morse


Vice Chair






One of the Justices of the Vermont Supreme Court serves as a liaison between the Court and the Committee.  Currently, the Court's liaison to the Character and Fitness Committee is Associate Justice Harold E. Eaton, Jr.


Interested in serving on the Character and Fitness Committee?  Complete and submit this application.

Contact Information

Character and Fitness Committee
Office of Attorney Licensing
Costello Courthouse
32 Cherry St., Suite 213
Burlington, VT 05401
Phone: (802) 859-3000
Fax: (802) 859-3003

Andrew Strauss, Licensing Counsel