Rules Governing the Utah State Bar

USB 14-0704. Qualifications for admission of attorney applicants. Amend. Establishes qualification requirements for applicants from non-approved law schools. Effective July 14, 2011 under Rule 11-105(5). Subject to change after the comment period.
USB 14-0720. Qualifications for admission of house counsel applicants. Amend. Expands house counsel qualifications to include graduation from an unapproved law school that is accredited in the jurisdiction where it exists and that is the substantial equivalent of the legal education provided by an approved law school. Effective July 14, 2011 under Rule 11-105(5). Subject to change after the comment period.
Supreme Court Order
Petition to amend law student assistance rule.
USB 14-0801. Definitions. Amend. Technical amendment.
USB 14-0807. Law student assistance. Amend. Permits certain law school graduates to practice law before admission to the bar under certain circumstances.

Utah Courts

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12 thoughts on “Rules Governing the Utah State Bar
  1. Ryan

    The rule is a step in the right direction, but is still much too strict. There should not be a requirement that the student practice in the presence of an attorney. Rather, the rule should only require that the student be under the direct supervision of an attorney.
    Many other states have rules that allow students, and encourage employers/supervisors to allow students, to get real in-court experience prior to graduating or passing the bar. Under Utah’s law, employers have little incentive to do so as they must be present for the representation.

  2. St

    I believe this will be a positive development to utilize recent graduates in organizations such as Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake both in individual cases and in clinic settings. The requirements for setting up with the bar seem somewhat onerous, but I can understand that there has to be a repository of responsibility.

  3. M

    As a former educator, I am surprised Utah has not moved in this direction before–in terms of educational development, it makes absolutely no sense to provide students with a meaningful learning opportunity during law school, only to prohibit them from doing the same upon completion of law school (when, arguably, the opportunity is far more important).
    While the proposed rule is too restrictive, it is a step in the right direction.

  4. John Robinson Jr.

    I concur with Ryan’s post of 3 August. I do, however, fully support this particular change and hope that the Council will continue to look at this issue. It is in everyone’s best interest to see that lawyers admitted to the bar have had the most practice possible.

  5. Jeremy

    I think that this is a good change, except that the requirement of the “presence” of the attorney makes it a burden on both the recent graduate and the supervising attorney. Making “supervision” the requirement seems a better option for the recent graduate. I don’t know if it is practical for an attorney to always be present anytime the student or graduate is going to “practice.”

  6. Mason Kjar

    I wholeheartedly recommend adopting this change. Not only does it afford recent graduates greater opportunities to hone the skills they gained in law school, but it also affords them greater ability to find and secure jobs during this time of economic hardship.
    The reasoning behind the old rule is unsound: why should a third-year law student be allowed to practice under the auspices of a practicing attorney, while a recent graduate, who has even greater knowledge after having taken the bar, is not allowed to do so?
    The amended rule remedies this logical discrepancy, and affords recent graduates the opportunities they need to improve their skills.
    Please pass this proposed amendment.

  7. Jacob Skog

    I agree with the proposed amendment that would allow recent law school graduates to practice law after graduation but before bar passage. The only issue I have with the new rule is the requirement that recent graduates have submitted an application for the most recent bar admission. I would allow recent graduates to practice law so long as the recent graduate had applied for bar admission within 1 year of graduation. This could relieve the immediate stress and additional costs of studying for the bar right after graduation while allowing an apprenticeship-like atmosphere to develop.

  8. Joshua Irvine

    I am currently a law studend and completely support the proposed change to allow certain law school grads to continue to appear in court under the supervision of an admitted attorney.
    It seems almost shortsighted to allow a 3L to come before a court, but upon the magical day of graduation they can no longer do so. If an admitted attorney wants to vouch for thedm, then allow them to have the experience of advocating for clients throughout the judicial process.

  9. Bob

    This proposed rule sounds like an excellent idea. I see no valid reason to allow a third year law student to appear in court via supervision but to then disallow a recent graduate who is sitting in limbo while awaiting the results of the Bar examination. Our system has a vested interest in the success of these law students. Allowing them to continue to hone their skills aids these graduates and provides the State the opportunity to better use this newly obtained asset. Additionally, the State has a strong interest in these recent graduates beginning to pay back their student loans. This proposed amendment would encourage the hiring of these recent graduates, thereby making them more likely to repay their loans sooner.

  10. Justin Pendleton

    I think this rule should be passed because with the downturn in the economy many law school graduates are solo practicing and the current rule inhibits them from making a smooth transition and from beginning to pay off law school debt.

  11. Jamie Carpenter

    I think this rule makes sense, the old rule leaves a window where a recent graduate can’t appear in court under supervision, however, a 3rd year student can. I support making these changes.
    However, I believe that lines 34-42 should be removed. The beginning of the statue states that a court can determine if the student is competent to appear in court, then the statute under lines 34-42 requires a graduate student to submit a paper to the Bar Association saying they “read and understand” the statute. This is really unnecessary and burdensome considering the student is working under a licensed attorney.
    Graduate law students shouldn’t be required to take these unnecessary steps under the rule. It’s a statute, the adoption of it alone provides notice and if they don’t understand it, the attorney they work under is required to.
    I feel that lines 34-42 should be removed – then the amendment passed. Thanks

  12. M

    I noted, in an earlier comment, that the proposed changes were a step in the right direction but are still too restrictive. The problematic part of the rule is section (h). It calls for needless paperwork as a control mechanism for the graduate’s work, when this is already adequately provided for by subsections (b) and (g) of the rule, regarding the court’s and parties’ consent, respectively. The Bar’s oversight is thus unnecessary. A graduate should not be subject to more restrictions than a student working on the same case.
    The restrictions are particularly burdensome for a graduate who is working on multiple cases with various supervising attorneys, requiring her or him to submit numerous forms, release authorizations, and attorney consent letters. Again, the court’s and parties’ consent should suffice.