Page 9 - Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements 2016
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Code of Recommended Standards for Bar Examiners
The American Bar Association, the National Conference of Bar Examiners, and the Association of American Law Schools make the following recommendations to the duly constituted authorities in the several states who are vested with respon- sibilities and duties in respect to admission to the bar, and to lawyers and the law schools generally.
The Code of Recommended Standards for Bar Examiners has been adopted by the policy-making bodies of the ABA, NCBE, and AALS. An initial Code was adopted in 1959. A revised Code was adopted in 1980. Amendments adding the present moral character and  tness standards were adopted in February 1987; additional amendments bringing the Code to its present form were adopted in August 1987, with ABA adoption by the House of Delegates on August 11, 1987. Minor updates ap- proved by the three cosponsoring organizations were made in 2011. The recommended standards represent the results of ac- cumulated study and experience of a number of lawyers, ex- aminers, and teachers of high standing. They are offered solely in the hope that they will afford guidance and assistance and will lead toward uniformity of objectives and practices in bar admissions throughout the United States.
I. Bar Examiners
1. Quali cations. A bar examiner should be a person with scholarly attainments and an af rmative interest in legal education and requirements for admission to the bar. A bar examiner should be willing and able to devote what- ever time is necessary to perform the duties of the of ce. A bar examiner should be conscientious, studious, thorough, and diligent in learning the methods, problems, and prog- ress of legal education, in preparing bar examinations, and in seeking to improve the examination, its administration, and requirements for admission to the bar. A bar examiner should be just and impartial in recommending the admis- sion of applicants. A bar examiner should exhibit courage, judgment, and moral stamina in refusing to recommend ap- plicants who lack adequate general and professional prepa- ration or who lack moral character and  tness.
2. Tenure. A bar examiner should be appointed by and be responsible to the judicial branch of government, and should be appointed for a  xed term, but should be eli- gible for reappointment if performing work of high quality. Members of bar examining authorities should be appointed
for staggered terms to ensure continuity of policy, but there should be suf cient rotation in the personnel of each authority to bring new views to the authority and to ensure continuing interest in its work.
3. Con icts of Interest. A bar examiner should not have ad- verse interests, con icting duties, or inconsistent obliga- tions that will in any way interfere or appear to interfere with the proper administration of the examiner’s functions. A bar examiner should not participate directly or indirectly in courses for the preparation of applicants for bar admis- sion. The conduct of a bar examiner should be such that there may be no suspicion that the examiner’s judgment may be swayed by improper considerations.
II. Eligibility of Applicants
4. Burden of Proof. The burden of establishing eligibil- ity to take the bar examination should be on the applicant.
5. College Education. Each applicant should be required to have successfully completed at least three-fourths of the work acceptable for a baccalaureate degree at an accred- ited college or university before beginning the study of law.
6. Law School Education. Each applicant should be required to have completed all requirements for graduation with a J.D. or LL.B. degree from a law school approved by the American Bar Association before being eligible to take a bar examination, and to have graduated therefrom before be- ing eligible for admission to practice. Neither private study, correspondence study, law of ce training, age, nor experi- ence should be substituted for law school education.
III. Moral Character and Fitness
7. Purpose. The primary purpose of character and  tness screening before admission to the bar is the protection of the public and the system of justice. The lawyer licens- ing process is incomplete if only testing for minimal competence is undertaken. The public is inadequately protected by a system that fails to evaluate character and  tness as those elements relate to the practice of law. The public interest requires that the public be secure in its expectation that those who are admitted to the bar are worthy of the trust and con dence clients may reasonably place in their lawyers.
Code of Recommended Standards for Bar Examiners vii

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