Subsequent to our September 6-7 Briefings on the new Connecticut Rule 2-15A on registration of Authorized House Counsel (AHC), we have obtained the following new information of importance. See our July 10, 2007 ALERT for background and a summary of the rules. http://www.daypitney.com/news/docs/dp_1767.pdf.
1. LLMs Need to Act by October 1, 2007 to Grandfather Educational Qualification.
A lawyer who has obtained a law degree from a non-ABA approved law school (particularly, a foreign law school) can meet the educational requirement imposed by AHC rule Section 2-15A(d)(1), which incorporates Superior Court Rule 2-8(4) by reference, only if the lawyer has also received an LLM degree from an ABA accredited law school or one approved by the Connecticut Bar Examining Committee (CBEC). As reported at our briefings, this alternative means of satisfying the educational requirements will be eliminated on January 1, 2008 by virtue of a rules amendment adopted earlier this year. However, you may be grandfathered and rely on the LLM route if you submit to the CBEC, by October 1, 2007, a “Petition for Evaluation of Foreign Legal Education,” a copy of which is available on the CBEC website: http://www.jud.ct.gov/CBEC (See http://www.jud.ct.gov/CBEC/Forms/PetitionNon-Approved.pdf)
2. MPRE Test is Not Required for AHC Status; Only Needed If Waiving-In.
Questions were raised at our briefings about whether a passing grade on the MPRE is a prerequisite for registration as AHC. It is not. However, for in-house lawyers eligible to waive into the Connecticut bar without examination (by virtue of having practiced for five of the previous seven years immediately preceding the filing of an application for admission in a state that grants reciprocal treatment to Connecticut lawyers), a passing grade on the MPRE is a requirement, and it must be received within the four years immediately preceding the application or within one year following.
3. Availability of Form Delayed to December 1.
The CBEC has announced that the application form for registration as AHC will probably NOT be available until after 1 December. Pursuant to urging by the judges, the CBEC is working to scale down the application form. To come within the grace period and amnesty provisions, as explained at our briefings, the completed, notarized application and fee must be filed before 1 July 2008. However, the additional documents required by the application will be timely if received within a reasonable period after that date. (A CBEC representative has suggested one year, but prudence dictates prompt attention to filing collateral documents as soon as possible after the filing of the application.)
4. Document Substitutions.
It is anticipated that some substitutes for certain required documents will be accepted with an explanation why the requested document is not available (e.g., transcripts from disbanded schools). For the Connecticut Bar Examining Committee's notice regarding Foreign Legal Education Petition, click here.