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The new rule was the product of five years of work by the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism (CJCP) and the Board of Bar Examiners (Bar Examiners). In 2010, then-Chief Justice Carol W. Hunstein established a new Access to Justice Committee of the CJCP and charged it with developing innovative ways to improve access to justice. That committee, noting that many states had updated their rules to allow second year practice, including our neighboring states of Tennessee and North Carolina, proposed amending the existing student practice rule to allow students to practice after completing three semesters.4 In 2012 CJCP approved the committee’s recommendation and Chief Justice Hunstein referred the proposed amendments to the Bar Examiners for consideration.5 Former Superior Court Judge Ralph Simpson, then-chair of the Board of Bar Examiners, appointed a Student Practice Committee comprised of himself, former Superior Court Judge Thomas Cauthorn and former State Bar President John Sammon as chair. 

As a result of a comprehensive review of national resources and models, the Bar Examiners’ committee decided, instead of just amending the existing rule, to draft “a comprehensive new student practice rule that was informed by the best of current policies around the country and designed in light of important trends in legal education, the practice of law and the need for legal services.”