Legal Ethics

Revised Model Ethics Rule Benefits Junior Lawyers Seeking Admission by Motion

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A revision to a model ethics rule makes it easier for young lawyers to be admitted in new jurisdictions without taking the bar exam.

The ABA House of Delegates on Monday approved Resolution 105E, the change to the ABA Model Rule for Admission by Motion.

As a result of the amendment, lawyers seeking to practice in a new jurisdiction through admission by motion need to have actively practiced law for only three of the past five years. The previous version of the rule required active practice for five of the last seven years.

A report to the ABA House of Delegates says the change will help junior lawyers who need to move to a new jurisdiction in search of employment.

Admission by motion procedures now exist in 40 jurisdictions. More than 65,000 lawyers have used the procedure in the last 10 years, about half of them in Washington, D.C. According to the report to the House, there is no evidence from disciplinary counsel that these lawyers have been unable to practice competently.

An accompanying resolution passed by the House urges jurisdictions that have not adopted the model rule governing admission by motion to do so.

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