There are several ways in which applicants have been

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There are several ways in which applicants have been admitted to practice law in New York. Currently, the majority of applicants complete three years of law school and then pass the bar exam. There are, however, other methods of admission to the bar. Experienced lawyers admitted to practice in states that allow attorneys admitted in New York to practice without examination may be admitted without passing the New York bar exam. 6 One may still complete 5 See American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, Legal Education and Professional Development (Report of the Task Force on Law Schools and the Profession: Narrowing the Gap) (July 1992), hereinafter “The MacCrate Report.” See, also , ALI-ABA Committee on Continuing Professional Education, A Model Peer Review System: Discussion Draft 11 (1980) (setting out six elements to measure legal competence, and identifying other components to good lawyering, such as counseling, interviewing and negotiating). 6 See 22 NYCRR § 520.10. The Appellate Divisions maintain a list of reciprocal jurisdictions. They are: Alaska, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska,
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Joint Committee Report - June 14, 2002 Page 5 an apprenticeship after only one year of law school and then take the bar exam. 7 In the relatively recent past, lawyers whose law school education was interrupted or who were prevented from sitting for the bar examination by active duty in the armed services were admitted without taking the bar exam. 8 The PSABE is proposed as still another alternative method of admission to the bar . 9 This proposal is a pilot, experimental program offered initially for a limited number of applicants as an additional method of admission to the practice of law in New York. We believe that the PSABE will enable law graduates to provide meaningful service to both the courts and litigants. We envision evaluating PSABE participants using a variety of assessment methods, on a broad range of the MacCrate lawyering competencies. Our proposal also contemplates providing the applicants with the necessary supervision to enable them to offer useful service. The pilot is intended to demonstrate the validity of the PSABE as an appropriate measure of an applicant’s “minimum competence to practice law unsupervised.” 10 We recognize that there is a desire on the part of the profession for some kind of credentialing experience as a condition for admission to the practice of law. For that reason, this proposal seeks to provide applicants with ample opportunity to perform a wide array of lawyering skills on which they can be evaluated for competence. We hope, therefore, that the PSABE will be accepted as one such credentialing experience. We suggest that funding to North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
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