Utah Bar Journal
Article Title: State Bar News
December, 2002Article Title: State Bar NewsAuthor: Article TypeNews & AnnouncementsArticleNotice of Proposed Admissions Rule ChangesIn 1997, the Admissions Committee of the Bar was assigned to comprehensively overview all aspects of the admission process. Since December 1999, the Commission has held approximately six commission meetings in which various changes to the admissions process have been recommended or adopted. Some additional changes are anticipated to be approved by the Bar Commission at its December 6th meeting. The purpose of this article is to outline major changes in the Rules Governing Admission to the Utah State Bar and to solicit comments from members of the Bar before submitting the changes to the Utah Supreme Court. Comments may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to the Utah State Bar, attention Katherine Fox, General Counsel, Utah Law and Justice Center, 645 South 200 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84111-3834. Comments should be received by January 17, 2003.The goal of the admissions process is to assure that: (1) each applicant has achieved a sufficient amount of scholarly education and graduated from an ABA approved law school; (2) each applicant possesses the requisite moral character and fitness to protect the public interest and engender the trust of clients, adversaries, courts and others; and (3) each applicant has the ability to identify legal issues, to engage in a reasoned analysis of those issues and to arrive at a logical solution by application of fundamental legal principles by examination which demonstrates the applicant's thorough understanding of these legal principles. The proposed amended Rules Governing Admission to the Utah State Bar are available at the Bar's website. Because of the substantial number of changes made, a redline version of the rules is not very beneficial but may be obtained upon request. The majority of the revisions of the Character and Fitness Rule have already been approved by the Supreme Court as have those amendments relating to the adoption of the Multistate Practice Test ("MPT").The amended rules clarify, in a number of places that the applicant for admission bears the burden of proof by clear and convincing evidence. This standard, however, is not new and has been previously approved by the Utah Supreme Court. Amended Rule 1 has greatly expanded definitions to eliminate assumptions or ambiguities. Many of the definitions that were previously contained throughout the rules, have been consolidated under Rule 1. Rule 2 has been modified for purposes of clarification or consistency and a new Rule 2-6 clarifies that waivers may not be granted.Rules 3 and 4 contain the qualifications for admission of student applicants, student attorney applicants, foreign law school applicants and attorney applicants. These rules clarify that all applicants must have graduated from a law school approved by the American Bar Association ("ABA") (or, with respect to foreign applicants, graduates from English common law jurisdictions may be admitted after completing a number of ABA approved law school courses). In the past, attorney applicants were not required to have attended an ABA approved law school.Rule 5 codifies the standards for examination of those with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act and provides for an appeal procedure. Rule 6 clarifies the application requirements and fees and deadlines relating to the Bar examination. The Rule provides for specific deadlines for former attorneys, limits the availability of refunds and limits the postponement or transfer of an application to a subsequent exam period.Rule 7 is the rule on character and fitness, which rule has been, in great part, previously approved by the Supreme Court. Additional changes relate to attorneys seeking readmission to the Bar and specific requirements with respect to appeals. The "clear and convincing" standard mentioned above applies to applicants who are required to appear before the Character and Fitness Committee. Rule 8 is a new rule that provides notice of the appeal procedure available to an applicant who is denied admission because he does not meet admission requirements.Rule 9 on the composition of the Bar exam has been approved by the Supreme Court and adopts the MPT as part of the written portion of the Bar examination. Rule 10 addresses preparation, grading and scoring of the bar examination and Rule 11 deals with MBE scores. These rules have been modified only for purposes of clarification or because of the Court's adoption of the MPT. Rule 12 discusses the currently existing requirement that an applicant must pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination ("MPRE"). The Admissions Committee, however, has recommended that the required score on the MPRE be increased to 86 for applicants taking the bar examination commencing February 2005. Currently, the required score is 80.Rule 13 with respect to unsuccessful applicants of the Bar examination has been reworded and modified to accommodate the MPT. Rule 14 outlines the...