Ex-inmate wins appeal to be allowed to take state bar exam

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — The Washington state Supreme Court has ruled that a woman who was convicted of theft and drug crimes in 2011 should be allowed to take the state bar exam after she graduated from Seattle University Law School this year.

The Kitsap Sun reports that 40-year-old Tarra Simmons was sentenced to 30 months in prison six years ago, but on Thursday, she was given the OK to work toward becoming a licensed lawyer.

A state Bar Association board earlier this year denied Simmons’ request to take the test, saying she did not meet the “character and fitness” requirements to practice law because of her criminal history. She appealed to the state’s higher court — and won.

Simmons’ attorney says she accomplished a transformation that essentially made her an example of rehabilitation.