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Letters to the Editor

Practical skills training should be for all

The June column "Task force explores need for practical skills training," about a possible new requirement for admission to the California Bar reminded me that it is always easy for those who are no longer burdened by ever increasing bar application fees and expensive bar prep courses to add the stress of yet another hurdle to California bar admission.

As a former law clerk to the late Chief Justice Donald R. Wright, I remember how annoyed many of us 1975 bar applicants were about being required to pass the new Professional Responsibility Exam even though disciplined attorneys faced no such mandate after being found to have violated the rules of professional conduct. With some diplomatic persuasion, our Supreme Court eventually adopted the practice of requiring disciplined attorneys to pass the PRE. (See In re Segretti (1976) 15 Cal.3d 878)

If people really think that mandated practical skills training is critical to protection of the public, require everyone to study it. Leave it off the bar exam but make it a required MCLE compliance subject and create FREE standardized materials to teach the subject. The MCLE and bar study industries should not benefit from imposition of a new practical skills requirement.

Bob Vallandigham


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