By Order dated December 3, 2013, the Montana Supreme Court has invited comments in response to a final recommendation by Montana’s Access to Justice Commission for a statewide pro bono bar service admission rule that, as described in the Commission’s November 26, 2013 filing, would be “different from that adopted in New York.”
In contrast to New York’s pro bono service bar admission rule, Montana’s recommended rule would create an expectation, but not a requirement, that students would complete 50 hours of pro bono service before graduation.
Montana’s recommended rule would also establish a mandatory reporting requirement that would apply to all applicants to the state bar, “even if they have no hours to report.”
Montana’s Access to Justice Commission further recommended establishing a signature program at the University of Montana School of Law that would “pair Montana attorneys with law students to work on Rule 6.1 pro bono matters that are eligible to be reported as pro bono hours by both the attorney and the student.”
The Montana Supreme Court has invited comments within 90 days of the Court’s December 3, 2013 order and has also announced that it will hold a public meeting on the recommended rule once the comment period has closed.
The NCAJ Blog will continue to report on developments in Montana, as well as continuing developments in California and New Jersey where proposed statewide bar admission rules inspired by New York’s pro bono service bar admission rule but also different from it in various respects, are also being considered.
The NCAJ Blog will also continue to report on developments with respect to the ABA’s pending proposal for modifying the ABA’s Accreditation Standards guiding law schools on the nature of the support they are expected to provide to pro bono service performed by law students.
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