Rules Governing the Utah State Bar – Comment Period Closed May 7, 2022

USB14-0701. Definitions. AMEND. 

  • In acknowledging the remote work environment created by the pandemic, amendments remove the requirement that “active practice” activities be performed in the jurisdiction in which the applicant is admitted.
  • Amendments also remove teaching full-time at an approved law school as an “active practice” activity in favor of creating an exception for this type of work under Rule 14-705, which is the admission by motion rule.

USB14-0705. Admission by motion. AMEND.

  • Amendments remove geographic restrictions for purposes of counting years of practice toward admission by motion requirements.
  • Amendments allow time in Utah to count toward time practicing in another jurisdiction so long as the lawyer has complied with Rule 5.5 of the Utah Rules of Professional Conduct.
  • Amendments reduce the amount of time a lawyer must have practiced in another jurisdiction from 60 months to 36 months.
  • Amendments also exempt full-time Utah law professors from the requirement of being engaged in the active full-time practice of law for the relevant time period, so long as they have worked at least 80 hours per month as a law professor during that time.

USB14-0712. Qualifications for admission based on UBE. AMEND.

  • Paragraph (c)(2) currently provides that a UBE score may be transferred up to 5 years after exam administration if the attorney applicant can prove that they have practiced for at least 2 ½ years.
  • Repeal of paragraph (c)(2) would bring the rule in line with Rule 14-705 amendments by funneling such applicants through the admission by motion process rather than the UBE score transfer process.

USB14-0809. Practice Pending Admission. AMEND.

  • Amendments to paragraph (c)(3) conform to Rule 14-705 amendments regarding geographic restrictions and time spent practicing.
  • Amendments also expand practice eligibility:
    • from one year to eighteen months after certificate issuance, and
    • from one failed Bar exam attempt to two failed Bar exam attempts.

USB14-0807. Law school student and law school graduate legal assistance. AMEND. 

  • Amendments extend law school graduate practice eligibility:
    • from one year to eighteen months after graduation, and
    • from one failed Bar exam attempt to two failed Bar exam attempts.
  • Amendments also fix a number of formatting issues, simplify language, and add headings for easier application.
  • New paragraph (g)(3)(G) provides that if a 14-807 practitioner substantially aids in the preparation of written materials in an appellate case, including briefs and memoranda, the supervising attorney may, at the attorney’s discretion, credit the 14-807 practitioner by including the practitioner’s name on the filing below the supervising attorney’s name.

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3 thoughts on “Rules Governing the Utah State Bar – Comment Period Closed May 7, 2022
  1. Cambrea Beller

    Law school student and law school graduate legal assistance eligibility should be extended from one year to eighteen months. Particularly when you take into consideration that a majority of law school graduates spend the months immediately following law school studying for the bar exam, rather than working under this rule. Moreover, it can take the admissions office up to six months to process a bar admission application. After your application is approved, you must subsequently wait for the appropriate swearing in ceremony. Accordingly, this extension would allow for law school graduates to gain practical training in the practice of law for a more appropriate time period while contributing to the Bar and the judiciary. This, in turn, will foster an environment where newly admitted attorneys are better equipped to practice the law and advocate for their clients without the typical learning curve.

  2. Marcus Degen

    I strongly endorse the extension of student/graduate practice from one year to 18 months. In my small nonprofit, we sometimes have to rely on hiring new graduates coming to Utah from out-of-state, who sometimes deal with life circumstances making it quite difficult for them to get admitted within the one-year limit currently imposed.

    I would also ask that the committee provide official commentary or additional language in the rule change elucidating whether this extension would take effect retroactively. E.g., we have an individual whose graduate practice certification will expire around the time of comment closing for this rule change, and it would be highly beneficial if they might be able to reapply for an extension that would recertify her for graduate practice for the remaining time left under the 18-month version of the rule.

  3. Alex Leeman

    I am concerned the amendment to Rule 14-705(b) doesn’t provide sufficient controls on attorneys who prematurely move to Utah and being practicing at a Utah office without actually being licensed here. Who will determine if Rule 5.5 has been violated? Will the admissions committee conduct an investigation of the lawyer’s activities over the prior three years and make that determination? Is the lawyer in the clear so long as OPC hasn’t opened an investigation and issued a sanction?