Saturday, May 21, 2016

Could BARBRI or the DOJ Pass the Character and Fitness Requirements for Bar Admission?

Here in the Enchanted Mitten, new lawyers applying for admission to the Bar must demonstrate their character and fitness to practice law.  Many of them have taken the BARBRI prep course for the bar examination, and, presumably, some would like to work for the U.S. Department of Justice.

But, could BARBRI and the DOJ themselves pass the character and fitness requirement?  A couple of recent stories suggest they might have some difficulty.

BARBRI and a few law schools are being sued by another bar exam prep company, LLM Bar Exam LLC,  LLM alleges that by donations and gifts to the law schools and lucrative teaching contracts to the schools' faculty members, BARBRI is attempting to monopolize the bar prep market, with LLM being excluded from law school marketing and facilities.

Even worse than BARBRI's alleged conduct, lawyers from the U.S. Department of Justice were recently found to have misled a federal judge and then to have attempted to cover up their misrepresentations. The judge ordered lawyers representing the DOJ in 26 states to undergo annual ethics training, stating:
In fact, it is hard to imagine a more serious, more calculated plan of unethical conduct. There were over 100,000 instances of conduct contrary to counsel’s representations.
 There is a solution, of course, to all this widespread dishonesty.  Move to Wisconsin, where you can lie to your heart's content and still be admitted to the Bar.

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