Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Update: Proposed Requirements for New Lawyers in California

One of our readers, Professor David Gibbs of Chapman University, has sent me an update on the proposed requirements for new lawyers in California.

"The Trustees of the California Bar adopted and submitted to the California Supreme Court proposals that would require:

1. New attorneys applying for admission to the California bar to demonstrate that they have completed 15 credits of qualifying experiential education.

2. New attorneys will have complete 50 hours of service to pro bono or low income clients before or within 18 months of admission.

3. New attorneys will have to take an additional 10 hours of continuing legal education, including 4 hours of ethics training within one year of admission."

"Last month Associate Dean Daniel Bogart of the Dale E. Fowler School of Law of Chapman University convened a conference on the proposals that was attended by representative of 17 of the 21 accredited law schools in California and members of the Task Force, including the former Chair and now California Appeals Court Judge Jon Streeter.

At the conference I learned that:

· California law schools are implementing a broad range of innovative experiential courses and programs.

· The proposals were the result of a broad consensus of educators, practitioners, bar associations and judges to improve the practice of law and aid young lawyers in their development.

· The proposals recognize that the need for a partnership between educators, practicing members of the bar and judiciary and bar associations."

Professor Gibbs has completed a 9-page overview summarizing the 76 page report of the Task Force established by the Trustees, which can be accessed here.

Thanks for this report, David.  The proposals by the California Bar are probably the most important development in legal education in recent years.  I had the opportunity to hear Judge Streeter talk about the proposals at an ETL conference a couple of years ago, and I think he and his colleagues have done a tremendous job of creating a plan to significantly improve legal education for the benefit of the general public.

(Scott Fruehwald)


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