Originally posted on ABA Center for Pro Bono Exchange:
The New Jersey Law Journal reported late last week that New Jersey is considering implementing a mandatory pro bono requirement for admission to the New Jersey Bar. Chief Justice Rabner and the New Jersey Supreme Court have requested an evaluation of New York’s recently released rule requiring all admission seekers to complete at least 50 hours of pro bono service before they can be admitted to the bar.
New Jersey has convened a 16 member group to conduct the evaluation headed by Judge Glenn Grant, Acting Administrative Director of the Courts. The group also contains members of the law school community, legal services, the Courts, the New Jersey State Bar Association, the New Jersey Board of Bar Examiners and other organizations.
With this new development does it seem probable that more and more states will begin to consider similar mandatory pro bono requirements for admission to the bar? Both before and after the release of the details of New York’s rule there was much debate and controversy both over the decision to implement such a rule and the possible ramifications. If more states are to follow suite what approach should they take to implementing their own rule? Should the rules be more narrowly tailored or more relaxed?