Notice Inviting Comment
Proposed Revisions to Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:01 and the Rules of the Board of Bar Examiners
The Board of Bar Examiners Invites Comments on Proposed Revisions
to Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:01 and
The Rules of the Board of Bar Examiners
The Board of Bar Examiners (BBE) invites comments on proposals to revise Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:01 and the Rules of the Board of Bar Examiners. The amended Rules, in both redlined and clean copy formats, can be found at www.mass.gov/bbe. The Board welcomes all comments and may make further recommendations after reviewing the submissions. All comments will be provided to the Supreme Judicial Court along with the Board's recommendations.
Comments are to be submitted by November 14, 2008 and directed to William F. Kennedy, Chairman, Board of Bar Examiners, Suffolk County Courthouse, 3 Pemberton Square, Rm. 707, Boston, MA 02108.
The Board is proposing the following amendments to define Board practices and eliminate ambiguity. Daily the Board receives many repetitive inquiries asking for clarification of the Rules. The proposed revisions and new BBE rules will eliminate the need for many of these inquiries by further defining and clarifying the procedures for admission.
As part of these revisions the Board of Bar Examiners will no longer be publishing the Information Relating to Admission of Attorneys in Massachusetts pamphlet. Instead all information relating to admission can now be found on the web sites of both the Clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County and the Board of Bar Examiners.
The following summarizes the proposed changes:
Rule 3:01 Section
Summary of Proposed Revision
|1.1||The proposal rewrites this section to codify all the filing requirements for admission by written examination into one section.|
|1.2||The proposal rewrites this section to codify all the filing requirements for admission by motion into one section.|
|2.1||The proposal changes the test venue from Boston to Massachusetts, thus allowing the Board the flexibility needed to secure adequate, cost effective space for the bar exam.|
|3.4||The proposal adds a note at the end of section 3.4 directing foreign educated applicants to Board's which will provide them with needed information.|
|3.6||The proposal strikes the entire section 3.6 because successful passing of the MPRE is a filing requirement rather than an admission requirement and is addressed in the rewrite of Sections 1.1.5 and 1.2.3.|
|6.1||The proposal adds the following language "Prior failure to pass the Massachusetts bar examination creates a rebuttable presumption against admission on motion." This addition further defines and publicizes Board practice in dealing with motion applications.|
|6.1.1||The proposal adds the requirement, which is currently Board procedure, that lawyers applying for motion admission have either actively practiced or taught law for 5 out of the 7 years immediately preceding the filing. The proposal also moves the filing requirement for Certificates of Admission and Good Standing to the Section 1 rewrite.|
|6.1.3||The proposal strikes the existing Rule 3:01, Section 6.1.3 in its entirety because it is a filing requirement which has now been incorporated into the Section 1 rewrite.|
|6.2.2||The proposal adds the requirement, which is currently Board practice, that foreign educated lawyers applying for motion admission have either actively practiced or taught law for 5 out of the 7 years immediately preceding the filing. It also moves the filing requirements to Section 1 rewrite.|
|6.2.5||The proposal strikes the existing Rule 3:01, Section 6.2.5 in its entirety because it is a filing requirement and has been incorporated into the Section 1 rewrite.|
|The proposal adds to the rules of the Board of Bar Examiners. Rule V defines character and fitness standards employed by the Board in assessing applicants' qualifications and fitness to practice law.|
|The proposal adds to the rules of the Board of Bar Examiners. Rule VI defines the Board's criteria for determining foreign legal education equivalency.|