Arizona bill purports to grant supreme court power to license attorneys; would require supreme court allow online law school graduates take bar exam

January 24th, 2013 by Bill Raftery Leave a reply »

I mentioned several weeks ago the push coming from legislatures to control or alter the power of state supreme courts regarding bar admission and practice. The latest state legislature to enter the fray is Arizona.

HB 2120 would codify the power of the supreme court to license attorneys and set rules for the licensing, a power the supreme court appears to have already exercised for a century under existing case law.

Interestingly, the same provision would effectively limit the rules and assert legislative control in one area: online law schools (emphasis added).

The supreme court shall license attorneys for the practice of law in this state.  The supreme court shall adopt rules to carry out the provisions of this section including Minimum qualifications for licensure.  The rules shall allow a person who completed an online law school program to take the state bar examination if that person satisfies all of the other eligibility criteria prescribed in the rules adopted pursuant to this section.

The bill is currently pending in the House Judiciary Committee.