Home>Articles>Recent law school grads can practice before taking bar exam, top court says

Chief Justice Stuart Rabner. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Recent law school grads can practice before taking bar exam, top court says

By David Wildstein, April 06 2020 1:52 pm

The New Jersey Supreme Court will allow 2020 law school graduates to temporarily practice law under the supervision of experienced attorneys until the bar exam is rescheduled.

“At this challenging time, the public has a continuing and growing need for legal services in many critical areas,” Chief Justice Stuart Rabner said in the order. “Newly admitted lawyers can help meet that need. The Court also recognizes that, without a means to pass the bar and obtain a law license, qualified students who expect to graduate this spring may lose job offers, be unable to find legal work, and otherwise suffer financial hardship.”

Under the relaxed rules, new attorneys may: enter appearances;  draft legal documents and pleadings; provide legal services to clients; engage in negotiations and settlement discussions; and provide other counsel consistent with the practice of law in New Jersey.

The Court made the decision after consulting with the deans of New Jersey’s law schools:  Kimberly Mutcherson and David Lopez of Rutgers and Kathleen Boozang of Seton Hall.

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