senate Bill S808

Relates to the rule-making power of the court of appeals as to admission of attorneys and counsellors

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 09 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY

Summary

Relates to the rule-making power of the New York state court of appeals as to admission of attorneys and counselors.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S808
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Judiciary
Law Section:
Judiciary Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §53, Judy L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S2992
2009-2010: S7792A

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S808

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the judiciary law, in relation to the rule-making power of the
New York state court of appeals as to admission of attorneys and
counsellors

PURPOSE OF THE BILL:
To allow graduates of law schools who have achieved a juris doctorate
from a law school accredited by a national accrediting agency and who
have passed the bar exam and been admitted to practice in another
state, to sit for the bar exam in New York State.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Amends subdivision 3 of §53 of the Judiciary Law to allow a person to
sit for the bar exam in New York State if:

(1) he or she has received a juris doctorate from a law school which:

(a) is accredited by a national accrediting agency recognized by the
U.S. Dept. of Education whose scope of authority includes first
professional degrees in law; and

(b) which law school qualifies for participation in the federal
student loan program under Title IV; and

(2) he or she has passed the bar exam and been admitted to practice in
another state.

JUSTIFICATION:
* Ian is a professor at the Carlson School of Business at the
University of Minnesota where he teaches business ethics and
international business. He holds a B.A. from Oxford university, a
Ph.D from Columbia University and J.D. from Concord Law School.

* Kent is a licensed attorney and partner at a California firm. He is
a graduate of William Howard Taft University's Witkin School of Law.
He was named a Southern California Rising Star by Southern California
Super Lawyers, 2005-2007.

* Larry was a managing director at Apple Computer International in
Hong Kong. He later founded his own graphics business. He earned an
MBA earlier in his career, and later became a graduate of Concord Law
School and was admitted in California. In June of 2007, he was
honored by the LA Bar Assn. for his work with victims of domestic
violence.

* Joy had a 30-year medical research career. While continuing her
work, she was able to attend Concord Law School, and ultimately was
admitted to practice in Wisconsin where she applies her medical
knowledge to assist the disabled apply for social security benefits.

What these people have in common is that none of them are permitted to
sit for the Bar Examination in New York; and their legal and
professional achievements elsewhere will not change that. Why?


Because the law schools that they attended are on-line institutions
and, under existing law, are deemed to be "correspondence", schools.
As such, are their graduates, unlike the graduates of ABA, other
non-ABA, and even
foreign law schools, have no pathway to sit for the Bar or practice in
New York. Ever.

Bar admission rules are essentially a creature of the 19205 when
states were encouraged to defer to the American Bar Association (ABA)
to develop clearinghouse standards by which a law school, and its
graduates, should be judged. This had the effect of reversing a
centuries of admission practices that sought to verify that an
applicant to the Bar had learned the law, not the method he or she
had chosen to learn it. While well-intended, these rules have become
virtual dogma, and in the context of today's learning environment,
are clearly out of touch with changes in the way we teach and learn.

Technology has changed the fabric of every aspect of our lives. Yet we
do not embrace those technological advancements when it comes to
teaching and learning the law. As such, New York rules prohibit
graduates of even the most challenging, interactive law school
programs if they utilize an on-line or distance education backbone,
notwithstanding the fact that distance education, in synchronous,
asynchronous, hybrid and blended program formats is well integrated
into traditional higher education with positive results. These
non-traditional teaching environments provide significant benefits.
that, in the case of legal education in particular, puts it within in
the reach of a non-traditional population -- most of which would
otherwise have no opportunity to gain a legal education or enter the
practice of law.

This measure balances the equities, by opening the door to alternative
methods of delivering legal education, but requiring that in order
for a person to sit for the Bar Exam in New York: (1) the underlying
institution has been accredited by a nationally accredited
accrediting agency recognized by USDOE to issue a juris doctorate and
(2) any such graduate must have passed the Bar Exam of and been
admitted to practice law in another state.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2011-12: S.2992
2009-10: S.7792A - Same as A.11339

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the 180th day after it becomes law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                   808

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  ADAMS  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary

AN ACT to amend the judiciary law, in relation to the rule-making  power
  of  the  New  York state court of appeals as to admission of attorneys
  and counsellors

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Subdivision  3  of  section  53  of the judiciary law, as
amended by chapter 450 of the laws  of  1994,  is  amended  to  read  as
follows:
  3.  (A) The court shall prescribe rules providing for a uniform system
of examination of candidates for admission to practice as attorneys  and
counsellors,  which shall govern the state board of law examiners in the
performance of its duties. The court shall not by its rules cause to  be
barred  from  examination or, upon successful completion of the examina-
tion process, subsequent admission to the state bar, provided he or  she
shall  otherwise  meet any requirements for admission, any person who is
currently admitted to practice in the jurisdiction of another state  and
has  received  a degree from a law school which qualifies such person to
practice law in such state, other than a law school which grants  credit
for  correspondence  courses, provided that such person has been engaged
in the actual practice of law in the state in which  they  are  admitted
for no less than five years.
  (B)  NOTWITHSTANDING  THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS SUBDIVI-
SION, THE COURT SHALL NOT BY ITS RULES CAUSE TO BE BARRED FROM  EXAMINA-
TION,  OR  UPON SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF THE EXAMINATION PROCESS, SUBSE-
QUENT ADMISSION TO THE STATE BAR, ANY PERSON WHO HAS SUCCESSFULLY PASSED
THE BAR EXAMINATION OF ANOTHER STATE, HAS BEEN ADMITTED TO  PRACTICE  IN
ANOTHER  STATE, AND WHO HAS RECEIVED A JURIS DOCTORATE DEGREE FROM A LAW
SCHOOL WHICH IS ACCREDITED BY A NATIONAL ACCREDITING  AGENCY  RECOGNIZED

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD04530-01-3

S. 808                              2

BY  THE  UNITED  STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION WHOSE SCOPE OF AUTHORITY
INCLUDES FIRST PROFESSIONAL DEGREES IN LAW AND WHICH LAW  SCHOOL  QUALI-
FIES  FOR  PARTICIPATION IN THE FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PROGRAM UNDER TITLE
IV  OF  THE FEDERAL HIGHER EDUCATION ACT OF NINETEEN HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE,
AS AMENDED.
  S 2. The court of appeals shall promulgate rules necessary to effectu-
ate the provisions of this act.
  S 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
it shall have become a law; provided, that section two of this act shall
take effect immediately.

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