Nov 21
7:02 PM

California State Bar News

CaliforniaStateBarOn the eve of the release of July 2013 California bar exam results, here’s a look at some of the latest news from the California state bar:

Committee of Bar Examiners (CBE) voted to indefinitely postpone any efforts to shorten the bar exam from three to two days.

The Board of Trustees adopted some modest changes to MCLE requirements beginning in July 2014:
  1. The substance abuse education specialty requirement is modified to a broader “competence” education requirement. This could be met by education that helps members recognize and deal with any mental or physical issue that could impact their ability to practice.
  2. Establish a formal audit system for MCLE providers.
  3. Require written materials for MCLE courses that are an hour or more in length.
  4. The elimination of bias specialty requirement is broadened to include courses on recognizing bias in society, not just in the legal profession.

The Board of Trustees deferred action on a proposal to increase the MCLE requirement from 25 to 36 hours every three years, asking State Bar staff to further explore the idea and develop a proposal for consideration at a future meeting.

The Board of Trustees voted to move forward with the next steps in implementing new competency training requirements for new lawyers. A new Implementation Committee is charged with devising a timeline and plan for implementing new requirements, which include:
  1. 15 units of practice-based, experiential course work or an apprenticeship equivalent during law school;
  2. 50 hours of legal services devoted to pro bono or modest means clients prior to admission or in the first two years of practice;
  3. 10 additional MCLE hours focused on law practice competency training

The current plan is to phase in the MCLE hours in 2015, the pro bono or modest means requirement in 2016, and the law school competency training in 2017.

You can attend one of state bar’s annual public hearings if you’d like to weigh in on these or other state bar issues:

10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 5
The State Bar of California
1149 S. Hill St., 7th floor
Los Angeles, CA 90015

10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 9
The State Bar of California
180 Howard St., 4th floor
San Francisco, CA 94105

Individuals who wish to speak at the hearing and/or present written materials should contact Lauren Fletcher at 415-538-2310 or by Monday, Dec. 2.

Source: California Bar Journal, Nov. 2013. [JML]

Leave a Reply