When people think of a Bar Review, many picture law students gathering to study for the Bar Exam. And perhaps that is where it all began. But over time, Bar Review socials became events which were participated in by law students in law school to blow off steam and build comradery, and soon the practice evolved to include practicing attorneys as well as law students.
The Bar Review is a great way to network and to see old friends and meet new ones. In Utah, Bar Review events were reimagined and introduced by Angelina Tsu for practicing lawyers during her presidency of the Utah State Bar in 2016.
The 2021 Bar Review Kick-off event was held on Sept 7 at the Alta Club. The event was sponsored by the Litigation Section and 72 attorneys attended. The food was excellent as was the company.
While there were many familiar faces of those who often attend Bar events, I was thrilled to see many individuals who do not attend Bar functions often enough, including many minority, solo or small firm attorneys, newer attorneys, attorneys who practice outside Salt Lake, Justice Court judges, and many others.
I spoke to one attorney who said it was the only Bar function they had ever attended in 32 years of practice and that it took just the simple encouragement of an acquaintance who said they’d meet them there to drew them out. It doesn’t take much to be that acquaintance that lifts another up. Watch the Bar’s website for updates on future Bar Review events.
Bar Review events are a great way for the new attorneys we are welcoming to the profession to network and meet new colleagues. And, speaking of new colleagues, Utah was one of the few states in the nation who saw an increase in Bar Exam pass rates for the July exam. The pass rate was 86 percent for those that sat for the exam in July, which was a seven percent increase over the 2019 exam. (Due to diploma privilege, only 59 people sat for the exam in 2020. The 2021 pass rate was a 17 percent increase over the 2020 rate.)
Finally, as I speak with attorneys and law firms, I find many that either do not know or do not understand the benefits of Utah’s new Licensed Legal Professionals, the Licensed Paralegal Practitioner. The LPPs can provide legal help in the areas of debt collection, family law, and landlord-tenant matters. The LPP is an important component of closing the access to justice gap. The target market for LPPs isn’t the segment of the market that hires attorneys—it’s the huge number of individuals who attempt to navigate the legal system on their own. Currently, there are 13 LPPs licensed in Utah, with another five being sworn in Oct. 15. By this time next year, the number will be around 25.
If you have questions about the LPP program, reach out to Associate General Counsel Scotti Hill, who oversees the program. She’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Thanks for all you do to make the Bar such a valuable resource to attorneys and to the public. Your efforts are appreciated and noticed!