Bench & Bar of Minnesota is the official publication of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

Petition update: Rules for Admission to the Bar

The Minnesota Supreme Court is accepting comments on the MSBA’s Petition to Amend the Rules for Admission to the Bar to allow certain qualified law students to take the bar exam prior to graduation. Sixteen states already have provisions allowing for an early bar exam. The proposed changes to Rule 4(c) leave in the hands of the law school the decision to certify that a student meets the criteria and is prepared to take the exam early. The MSBA’s recommended amendments will allow students to start paying back student loan debt earlier by increasing their opportunities to begin paid employment immediately upon graduation. Because high student loan debt remains an extreme hardship for many students and attorneys, the MSBA believes it is important for the profession to help address the issue. The MSBA thanks attorneys Michael Boulette, Sarah Soucie Eyberg, and George Henry for drafting the petition.

The court is also accepting comments on the Board of Law Examiners’ (BLE) Petition to amend the Rules for Admission to the Bar with regard to admission on motion based on years of practice. The Court had earlier ordered the BLE to review its published policy interpreting “principal occupation” as full-time or substantially full-time practice of law; to review Rule 7A; and to make recommendations back to the court. The MSBA submitted comments to the BLE arguing that the current rule requires far greater capability than is required to pass the bar exam, and that the rule needs to consider the growing incidence of part-time practice. Many of the MSBA’s recommendations for changes to Rule 7A are incorporated in the proposed amendments now before the Court. The deadline to file comments in both these matters is September 17, 2018.

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