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Conditional Admission program featured in ABA BNA Article

Close to half the states (23) have adopted a rule allowing conditional admission to the bar, which permits applicants who would have been denied admission due to past mental, emotional or substance abuse problems to be licensed to practice law on a temporarily conditional basis, with the promise of full admission if the lawyer passes through the trial period without recurrence.

Speakers who addressed this topic May 29 at the 40th ABA National Conference on Professional Responsibility described the conditional admission process as rigorous, daunting and—according to the federal government—crusted with some requirements that are illegal.

The conference, held May 29-30 in Long Beach, Cal., was presented by the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility.

Intersecting Interests

Moderator Tracy L. Kepler explained that conditional admission tries to balance three sets of interests:

  • bar examiners' interest in the applicant's complete candor;
  • potential applicants' interest in getting treatment without fear of jeopardizing eventual bar admission; and
  • the interest of the bar and the public at large in ensuring competent practice.

Read the committee's entire article here. »

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