Each person admitted to the Bar of Arkansas (Bar), by examination, shall complete a professional practicum. The course shall be completed within two years after the date an attorney is certified for admission to the Clerk of the Arkansas Supreme Court.
The goal of the professional practicum is to enhance the quality of legal services provided to the public. The professional practicum shall consist of not less than one day's instruction, focusing on lawyers' roles as an officer of the Court and as a member of the Bar, and lawyers' relation to community, clients, and courts, and may include topics regarding the professional and ethical implications of private and non-private practice. The course is not designed to address the topic of law office economics. The practicum shall also focus on the practical aspects of practicing law in Arkansas and common areas of disciplinary concerns. The course will not be an overview of traditional law school courses.
The practicum will be organized, prepared, and presented under the direction of the Professional Practicum Committee (Committee) of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. The Committee may present the program itself or through contract with a third-party provider, which may be the Arkansas Bar Association.
Upon good cause shown, an attorney may be entitled to an extension of time in which to meet this requirement. Such relief shall extend to the immediately succeeding professional practicum only. "Good cause," for purposes of this rule, includes but is not limited to military service or a family or medical emergency during or immediately before a scheduled professional practicum. In exceptional cases the Committee may grant further extension or allow the attorney to achieve compliance in some manner other than attendance at the practicum.
An attorney who fails to meet this requirement shall have his or her license suspended. Such suspension shall be lifted only upon completion of the professional practicum..
The Office of Professional Programs (Office) shall be the repository for all records pertaining to administration of this rule. The Office shall be responsible for providing notice to all persons seeking admission to the Bar of this requirement, course dates and locations. Further, the Office shall maintain all records pertaining to compliance and provide all notices required for enforcement of the provisions of this rule.
History. Adopted July 1, 2004, effective January 1, 2005