ISBA President Feller encouraged by court ruling - message to members
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Dear ISBA Members,

Friday, September 5th, our Supreme Court entered an order in response to our proposed amendments to bar admission in Iowa (click here for order). In that order, the Court directs that the current process for admission of lawyers by examination should continue to be carefully studied and requested that the Iowa Board of Law Examiners do so with the goal of achieving greater efficiency, expedition, economy and utility for the applicants for admission.

The Board of Law Examiners will, as a part of its work, also issue a recommendation concerning the adoption of the Uniform Bar Exam and the administration of the bar exam during the third year of law school. The Court will also review the current Basic Skills Course in a separate proceeding.

I am very pleased that the Court is requesting the Iowa Board of Bar Examiners to thoroughly review all of our proposals as well as other possible modifications to the current process. The review of the Basic Skills Course is also a welcomed development.

We should celebrate this ruling as a further opportunity to provide input on improving the process for admission to the bar. The conversation concerning legal education and licensure between the Court, the law schools and the bar is off to a great start.

Finally, I want to thank all of you who participated in public discourse which was the first time the bench, bar and our law schools have discussed bar admission in a fully-transparent manner in 150 years. I commend you all for your passion, your wisdom and your willingness to shine a light on an enormously important issue. Clearly, the Board of Law Examiners will be reaching out to all of us as directed by the Court. The current board members and their contact information can be found here.

I commend all of you for the professionalism and civility you have brought to bear. All points-of-view were presented to the Court in an exemplary manner. I thank our Supreme Court for taking these matters up in such an open and engaging process. Today we can truly be proud to be Iowa Lawyers and members of the ISBA and officers of this Iowa Court.

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve as your President.

Joseph M. Feller
The Iowa State Bar Association
P.O. Box 37, Sibley, Iowa 51249