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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 72216 Find in a Library
Title: Ensuring Lawyer Competency - The South Carolina Approach
Journal: Judicature  Volume:64  Issue:3  Dated:(September 1980)  Pages:109-113
Author(s): B Littlejohn
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 5
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Three recently enacted rules applicable to students taking the South Carolina bar examination after July 1, 1981 are discussed. They inspire students to seek more practical training and encourage law schools to provide it.
Abstract: In response to demands by the supreme court of South Carolina to investigate the adequacy of legal training, the court appointed a committee in 1977, to study the rules of admission to the State bar and to recommend changes. The committee study lasted about 18 months and included the advice of many groups. The committee concluded that law schools have changed little since the 1870's, and the problem of inadequate law school training is a national one. Major areas of concern include lack of basic undergraduate courses necessary for competency, lack of trial experience, and the lack of requirements regarding courses taken in law school. The committee recommended and the court passed three bar admission rules to correct these deficiencies. Under the new rule 16, students are urged to take undergraduate courses in English composition, public speaking, United States history, accounting, economics, logic, literature, political science, and philosophy. Once in law school, under rule 5A, students must pass at least one course in the area of business law, civil procedure, commercial law, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, equity, evidence, legal writing and research, ethics, property, taxation, torts, and trial advocacy. Under rule 5B, an attorney, although admitted to practice, may not appear alone in the actual conduct of a trial until a certificate has been filed with the clerk of the State supreme court verifying that the attorney has had at least 11 trial experiences. Judges and admissions boards throughout the country have shown interest in the new requirements, and in several other States new admissions requirements are being studied. Footnotes are included.
Index Term(s): Attorney competence; Attorneys; Law degrees; Law schools; Regulations; South Carolina
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