The Kansas Supreme Court has adopted Rules 700–726 and repealed Rules 701–723, effective July 1, 2022.
The updated rules also come at the same time as a new online attorney admissions application, which replaces a paper-based process. The online application is planned to be available ahead of the filing deadline for the February 2023 bar exam.
Some of the more significant changes in the updated rules include:
- There is no longer a limit on the number of times applicants can take the bar examination.
- Applicants can no longer be denied admission due to a failure to pass a prior bar examination.
- A single-employer restricted license does not have to be ended if applicants do not pass the bar examination.
- Applicants who seek admission by examination can sit for the examination while their character and fitness investigations are pending.
- The time limit for accepting a transferred Uniform Bar Examination score is now 60 months (from 36 months).
- Unauthorized practice of law no longer results in immediate denial to admission by reciprocity, but will be considered in a character and fitness investigation.
- In the event of an adverse board ruling, the Supreme Court “will accept the board’s factual findings if they are supported by substantial competent evidence,” but will make the ultimate decision regarding applicants’ character and fitness to practice.
For the full rules, see www.kscourts.org/KSCourts/media/KsCourts/Orders/2022-RL-055.pdf?ext=.pdf.
Beginning with the February 2023 bar exam, third-year law students may now take the Virginia bar exam. According to the amendments to the Rules of the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners, effective July 1, 2022, applicants must have “satisfactorily completed legal studies amounting to at least five semesters, or the equivalent of at least five semesters on a system other than a semester system, of full-time study at a law school approved by the American Bar Association or the Board.”
Hon. Henry Alaniz was confirmed as the new chair of the New Mexico Board of Bar Examiners in May 2022. He replaces Cindy Lovato-Farmer, who stepped down as chair in May. Alaniz was also selected by the New Mexico Board of Bar Commissioners to receive the Justice Seth D. Montgomery Distinguished Judicial Service Award, which “recognizes judges who have distinguished themselves through long and exemplary service on the bench and who have significantly advanced the administration of justice or improved the relations between the bench and the bar.” Judge Alaniz will receive the award as part of the State Bar of New Mexico Annual Meeting in August 2022.
Marilyn Wellington started as NCBE’s Chief Strategy and Operations Officer on June 6, 2022. Wellington succeeds Kellie Early, who retired in June after 12 years as NCBE’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Strategy Officer. As Chief Strategy and Operations Officer, Wellington will lead NCBE’s development and implementation of the next generation of the bar exam, which is expected to have its first administration in 2026. In addition to her work overseeing the new exam, she will be responsible for guiding NCBE’s strategic initiatives and priorities. Prior to joining NCBE, Wellington served for 12 years as Executive Director of the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners. She also served on NCBE’s Board of Trustees from February 2020 until joining NCBE in her new role.
Board of Trustees
Timothy Y. Wong is the new chair of NCBE’s Board of Trustees, effective August 13, 2022. Wong has served on the Board since 2015. He is Of Counsel with the firm of Barnes & Thornburg LLP in Minneapolis, where he practices labor and employment law. Wong served on the Minnesota Board of Law Examiners from 2004 to 2008 and 2012 to 2020, and also on NCBE’s Testing Task Force from January 2018 to January 2021.
The Board of Trustees’ newest members are Timothy Davis and Lisa Perlen, who both join the Board on August 13, 2022.
Davis is the John W. and Ruth H. Turnage Professor of Law at Wake Forest University Law School, where he teaches and writes about Contracts, UCC Article 2, and Sports Law. One of the country’s best known sports law scholars, he has coauthored multiple books on the subject. Prior to Wake Forest, he taught at Southern Methodist University School of Law. Davis has served on NCBE’s MBE Contracts Drafting Committee since 2003 and as the committee’s chair since 2008. He also serves on NCBE’s Diversity and Inclusion and Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination Committees.
Perlen is the Executive Director of the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners. She is vice chair of the Council of Bar Admission Administrators’ Accommodations Committee, and a previous member of NCBE’s Character and Fitness and Uniform Bar Examination Committees. Prior to her time at the Tennessee Board, Perlen was Chief Deputy Clerk at the US Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.