Madison, Wis. (March 25, 2020) – The Wisconsin Supreme Court has cleared the way for the state’s next class of law school graduates to take the first formal step in their budding legal careers, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Court today issued an order temporarily waiving a requirement that applicants qualified for admission to practice law in Wisconsin take the Attorney’s Oath in person before a Supreme Court justice or other specified judge.
Instead, a qualified applicant who has been certified for admission by the Board of Bar Examiners will be able to complete the process by submitting required materials to the Board of Bar Examiners and the Clerk of Supreme Court.
The measure will affect more than 300 prospective lawyers, including graduates of the UW Law School and the Marquette University Law School and others seeking admission.
“The Court recognizes that the delay in bar admissions may have significant professional consequences for some people. Accordingly, the Court finds good cause to temporarily modify the procedures for admission to the bar to accommodate this extraordinary situation,” the order reads.
Group admission ceremonies are normally held before the Supreme Court justices in the Supreme Court Hearing Room at the Capitol. Today’s order indefinitely postpones ceremonies that were scheduled for April 16, May 18 and May 27 in favor of the temporary process. Another tradition – the signing of the roll of attorneys – will also have to wait until a future date.
Applicants must still meet all requirements of admission to the bar and enroll in the State Bar of Wisconsin within 30 days of being admitted to practice law. Details can be found in the order.