TASK FORCE RECOMMENDS PRACTICAL SKILLS TRAINING, PRO BONO FOR NEW LAWYERS

 Contact: Laura Ernde 

415-538-2283

laura.ernde@calbar.ca.gov

SAN FRANCISCO,  June 11, 2013 – The State Bar Task Force on Admissions Regulation Reform today recommended new competency skills training requirements for newly admitted lawyers that are designed to improve their readiness to practice law.

The draft proposal, which requires the approval of the State Bar Board of Trustees and possibly the California Supreme Court before adoption, calls for:

  • 15 units of competency skills training during law school
  • 50 hours of legal services devoted to pro bono or modest means clients, either pre- or post-admission
  • 10 extra hours of post-admission Minimum Continuing Legal Education, specifically focused on competency skills training

The 22-member task force – comprised of academics, lawyers, judges and others – finalized the report today after holding eight public hearings in Los Angeles and San Francisco over the past year.

“I have been pleased and gratified at the level of interest in the work of this task force from all across the country,” said Jon Streeter, task force chairman and former State Bar president. “What we are doing is profoundly important because of the size of our bar and the statement we’ll be making about better preparation of lawyers as they enter the profession.”

State Bar President Patrick M. Kelly thanked the task force for its hard work, which he said is more important than ever given the uncertain job prospects for many recent law school graduates.

“We want to better prepare lawyers to face the challenges and reach the potential that brought them into law school in the first place,” Kelly said.

The report now goes to the Regulation, Admissions and Discipline Oversight Committee of the State Bar Board of Trustees for further action.

The task force has now completed its work. An examination of law school accreditation rules, which was part of the task force’s original mission, is being taken up by the State Bar’s Committee of Bar Examiners.

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The State Bar of California is an administrative arm of the California Supreme Court, serving the public and seeking to improve the justice system for more than 80 years. All lawyers practicing law in California must be members of the State Bar. By June 2013, membership reached more than 242,000.