Notice Inviting Comment
Proposed Amendment to Rule 3:01 of the Rules of the Supreme Judicial Court and a new Rule VI of the Rules of the Board of Bar Examiners
The Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on proposed amendments to Rule 3:01 of the Rules of the Supreme Judicial Court and a new Rule VI of the Rules of the Board of Bar Examiners. The proposed amendments address requirements for applicants for bar admission who graduate from law schools in foreign countries.
The proposed amendments to S.J.C. Rule 3:01 include an amendment to Section 3.4 stating that to take the bar examination, graduates of foreign law schools must have a college and legal education that the Board of Bar Examiners finds to be similar in nature and quality to that of graduates of schools accredited by the American Bar Association. Graduates of foreign law schools seeking admission on motion must satisfy the same educational requirements (proposed Section 6.1.4) and be admitted in another U.S. jurisdiction (Section 6.1). Because the proposal requires all applicants for admission on motion to be admitted in another U.S. jurisdiction, the separate Section 6.2 for attorneys admitted in foreign countries is no longer needed.
A proposed new Board of Bar Examiners Rule VI sets out the general requirements for graduates of foreign schools. It also establishes standards for educational sufficiency and provides that applicants who meet them shall be deemed to have an education similar in nature and quality to that of graduates of American Bar Association accredited law schools (VI.3). The standards in proposed Rule VI.3 include a requirement that the applicant be admitted in a foreign country and be in good standing in all jurisdictions where he or she is admitted. The course work required by the standards is different for graduates of common-law and civil-law jurisdictions.
The proposed amendment to S.J.C. Rule 3:01, Board of Bar Examiner Rule VI and a black- line version noting the proposed changes to S.J.C. Rule 3:01 are attached and are posted on the Supreme Judicial Court website at http://www.mass.gov/courts/sjc. The amendments were recommended by a working group convened by the Supreme Judicial Court to consider the requirements for graduates of foreign schools. The working group includes representatives of the Board of Bar Examiners, law schools and the bar.
Comments on the proposed amendments should be directed to Christine P. Burak, Secretary, Supreme Judicial Court Rules Committee, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, One Pemberton Square, Boston MA 02108 on or before January 29, 2010. Comments may also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.