Saturday, December 12, 2015

Should Bar Candidates Have to Demonstrate Legal Skills?

The New York Court of Appeals says yes and created a task force to determine how to implement a requirement. The task force is proposing five pathways that law schools and applicants could follow. BarWrite’s Dr. Mary Campbell Gallagher summarizes the pathways:

(1) Pathway 1 allows each law school to establish a curriculum that prepares students to meet the required standard and then to certify that graduates have met it. 

(2) Pathway 2 permits an applicant to submit proof from the law school that the student completed 15 credits (up to six of the 15 in non-credit summer employment) of practice-based experiential coursework. 

(3) Pathway 3 permits an applicant to satisfy the requirement by successfully completing the Pro Bono Scholars program.

(4) Pathway 4 allows applicants to complete a supervised post-graduation six-month apprenticeship in the United States or elsewhere, paid or unpaid.

(5) Pathway 5 provides that an applicant can meet the skills requirement by practicing in another jurisdiction full time for one year, or part-time for two years.

She adds:

Like a number of my colleagues, I hope the new rule adopted will be more specific about what law schools must do if they are allowed to certify their own graduates. More information will follow as the task force and the Court of Appeals come to a resolution of the problems.

You can read more here and here.


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