The NY Court of Appeals this week adopted new rules for taking the NY bar. Applicants must now have two credits in a class or classes in professional responsibility. The current ABA rule merely requires instruction in PR and related items, but no freestanding class. I expect the ABA will now revisit its rule, which it may have been doing straight along anyway.
The NY rule is not confined to NY. Any applicant must have the credits, wherever they go to law school. So the NY rule is really a national rule. Students from everywhere wish to take the NY bar or will not wish to preclude that option.
This is the only substantive law course in the rules that is required by name. A while ago, the NY Court imposed the same requirement on LL.M. students from foreign law schools who wish to take the NY bar. Now the rule applies to J.D. students, too.
I wrote in support of this change when the rules were under review but I was not entirely confident that it would be accpeted given the national consequences to legal education.
A savings provision will mean that the new rule does not apply to current law students. The first class to which it will apply will be the one that enters in the fall.
This is not the only change. Others appears in the Court's rule 520.3.