The ABAJournal reported news of possible changes to the State Bar of California standards regarding student experiences in the legal field. One of a few options being considered is a requirement for practical experience with clients before obtaining a law license.
The newly formed task force is still in its infancy stages, so breath easy as there are no immediate changes going into effect.
California Bar President Jon Streeter tells the Daily Journal (sub. req.) the proposal is “still a concept in its infancy.” Among the ideas that will be considered: Mandating legal residencies, similar to those required for doctors, or allowing law school clinical courses to satisfy all or part of the requirement.
Julianne D’Angelo Fellmeth, a law professor at the Center for Public Interest Law at the University of San Diego, tells the legal publication that she supports “anything that can give law students a better sense of what it’s actually like to practice law.” But she also sees a potential downside.
Law students who aren’t picked for internships could be barred from the profession, she speculated. And such a requirement could lead to discrimination against students based on “race, gender, the number of piercings.”