Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Should law students be allowed to handle pro bono cases?

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports that the Iowa Supreme Court is considering it. Jacob Gershman writes:

To be a lawyer, you need a license. But there are exceptions to the rule.


Iowa is considering a proposal that would allow law students and recent graduates who haven’t passed the bar to practice law under special circumstances.


The Iowa Supreme Court is seeking comment on the plan, which has two main parts. One change would let a graduate of a “reputable law school” who has applied to take the bar to practice under supervision on behalf of the state attorney general’s office, a county attorney’s office, a public defender or an approved legal aid group.


The new rules, if approved, would also make it clear that law students who have completed at least three semesters may represent clients in quasi-judicial administrative hearings without having a licensed attorney present.


The proposed changes are backed by Iowa Legal Aid, which says it’s understaffed and thinks the rule changes could help it serve more needy clients. Responses to the plan are due in March.

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I believe that the third year of law school should consist of clinical programs where they are in court representing people. These can be done through law firms, legal services, public defender offices, prosecuting attorney offices, attorney general offices, and other. Under the supervision of law school folks and practicing lawyers. Lincoln "read for the law" back in the days when there were no law schools. This was an apprentice system. Now its all school, take the bar and hang up your shingle. Not good.

Posted by: Liberty1st | Jan 9, 2014 12:37:19 PM

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