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Emory Student Practice

Policy  

The Georgia Supreme Court's student practice rule, effective August 15, 2015, potentially permits both 2L and 3L students to represent clients (under supervision) as if admitted to practice in a broad range of settings, including all government agencies, private firms representing clients pro bono, and nonprofits who assist low or moderate income individuals. Under the terms of the rule, certification is independent of the court or supervisor. It also placed on the law schools the burden of determining which of its students are "prepared" to engage in such practice.

Emory certifies all 3Ls and rising 3Ls (provided they have taken Evidence and Trial Techniques), once they complete our ethics and professionalism self-study module.

As to 2Ls, we are concerned that students who have just completed the standard first-year curriculum, and have not completed Trial Techniques and Evidence, are not yet prepared to represent clients without restriction, without initially having additional training and closer supervision than the Rule requires.

However, we do allow 2Ls to obtain certification in two limited circumstances:

(1) Limited certification -- a law school sponsored pro bono program or externship/practicum placement applies to be approved to train 2Ls to perform specific limited tasks appropriate to the level of experience. The student and program/placement agree that the student may only use the certification in that program/placement, performing the specified tasks.

(2) Unrestricted certification -- all clinics, and certain approved externship or practicum placements provide adequate training to substitute for Trial Techniques and Evidence, such that the student will be trained for any student practice setting. This certification is transferable.

In either case, the placement must first seek and obtain approval via this form before the student can apply for certification (via this form).


Deadlines:

The Bar has requested the law schools submit registrations in bulk and will only process them between the first and fifth day of the month, so requests must be submitted by the 30th of April or May for summer; the 30th of July or August for Fall; and by the 30th of November, December and January for Spring.

It typically takes about 5-7 business days after the Registrar submits the requests for the Registrar to receive the certificates back from the Bar. You will be notified as soon as they have been received by the Registrar.