Sen. Kennedy awarded honorary degree from Harvard
Court News | 2008/12/02 23:10
Saying he has "lived a blessed time," Sen. Edward Kennedy smiled broadly and flashed a thumbs up as he accepted an honorary degree Monday from his alma mater during a rare special convocation at Harvard University.

The 76-year-old senator walked onstage to a standing ovation and leaned lightly on a cane. He made no mention of his battle with cancer but sounded a reflective note toward the end of his eight-minute address.

"We know the future will outlast all of us, but I believe that all of us will live on in the future we make," Kennedy said. "I have lived a blessed time. Now, with you, I look forward to a new time of aspiration and high achievement for our nation and the world."

In being honored at a special convocation, Kennedy joins a select group that includes George Washington, Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela.

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, a former Kennedy staffer, spoke at the ceremony, and Vice President-elect Joe Biden was among those in attendance. The event had been scheduled for last spring but was postponed as the senator recovered from surgery to treat a malignant brain tumor.

Kennedy devoted nearly a third of his speech to the election of Barack Obama, describing the election of the first African-American head of state as a giant step forward in U.S. history, and one that marks a new beginning for the country.

He said he was "proud to have played a small part" in the historic election. Kennedy gave Obama a key endorsement during his hard-fought Democratic primary against Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

"There is no other time when I would rather receive this honor than this year — at this turning point in American history," he said.

Kennedy also defended his reputation as the "liberal lion" of the Senate, where he has served for 46 years.

He quoted his brother, former President John F. Kennedy, saying: "If by a liberal, they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind ... someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights ... then I am proud to say I am a liberal."

Kennedy graduated from Harvard in 1956 and was elected to the Senate six years later to fill the seat held by his brother before he was elected president.

Breyer, a former assistant professor at the Harvard Law School, introduced himself not as a member of the Supreme Court, but as a "former member of the Kennedy staff" who cut his political teeth working in the senator's office.

He said he learned key lessons from Kennedy, including how to work across political divides.

"He'd say be generous with the credit," Breyer said, "If you're successful there'll be plenty of credit to go around, and if you're not successful, who wants credit for that?"

Breyer ticked off a list of some of Kennedy's legislative successes, including his push to foster neighborhood health centers and to expand health care for children and the mentally ill.

During his comments, Kennedy recalled his love of sailing in the waters off Cape Cod, a metaphor for what he said was the next great adventure in the nation's history.

"I have believed that America must sail toward the shores of liberty and justice," Kennedy said. "There is no end to that journey, only the next great voyage."



Prospective Lawyers May Face Higher Bar Exam Fees
Court News | 2008/03/07 03:18

New lawyers in Maryland could be paying a lot more to take the bar exam.

The Maryland Senate is debating whether bar exam fees should increase from $150 to $325 or as high as $400. The proposal has sparked a fiery debate among lawmakers, many of whom are lawyers.

Some say bar exam fees are too low and that the current fee doesn't cover state expenses. They also say doctors pay a lot more than lawyers to cover licensing.

But some lawmakers insist young lawyers are fresh out of school and don't have hundreds of dollars laying around to cover the higher costs.

The debate continues Thursday in the Senate.



S.C. giving 1st bar exam since test ruled flawed
Court News | 2008/03/06 03:18
Warren Westbrook "Brook" Wills was in Paris on an international law internship in October when he saw the disappointing news on the S.C. Judicial Department's Web site.

He hadn't passed the July bar exam, which meant he couldn't practice law in South Carolina.

But a week later, he learned the Supreme Court had announced that 20 others, including Wills, had passed after the court threw out one essay section.

"So now I've gone from the depths of despair to the height of joy in a week," recalled Wills, 39, now a lawyer in Atlanta.

As a new group of law students sits for the bar exam today, two of the 20 people whose grades were changed talked publicly for the first time to The State newspaper about the exam and how the court handled the matter.

The group includes eight Charleston School of Law graduates and two USC School of Law graduates.

Another group of law school graduates is scheduled to take the seven-section bar exam over three days starting today. As of Friday, 245 people had signed up to take the test, said Dan Shearouse, clerk of the Supreme Court.

More than 380 people who passed the July exam were sworn in to the S.C. Bar in November.

They included the daughters of Rep. Jim Harrison, R-Richland, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee; and longtime Circuit Judge Paul Burch of Pageland. Catherine Harrison and Kendall Burch were among the 20 who passed the July test after the Supreme Court's intervention.

Jim Harrison and Paul Burch earlier told The State they had contacted court officials after learning their daughters had failed the exam. Harrison, an attorney, stressed that he was inquiring about the unusually high number of examinees who had flunked the wills, trusts and estates essay section.

Chief Justice Jean Toal -- and the Supreme Court in prepared statements on their Web site -- have said justices didn't know the identities of the 20 before they threw out the wills, trusts and estates section on Nov. 2.

"I don't think what those fathers of those two girls did was wrong," one of the 20 said. "There have been other dads in the past who have done this."

Still, he didn't believe that Harrison's and Burch's contact with court officials -- which might have violated court rules -- influenced the high court's decision, noting, "I have faith that the system wasn't going to lay down for these two dads."



DC Young Lawyers in for Bar Exam Sticker Shock
Court News | 2008/03/06 03:16

An attempt to save young lawyers from higher bar exam fees has failed in the Maryland Senate, meaning prospective attorneys could pay hundreds more to pass the bar. A bill headed for approval in the Senate would increase bar exam fees from $150 up to a possible $400. The move comes as officials say current fees don't cover the cost of administering and grading the exams.

The bill was put off while one lawyer in the Senate tried to amend the bill to lower bar exam fees for young lawyers. But the amendment was rejected 36-11 Thursday after another senator asked why the state should pick up the tab for people who flunk the bar exam.

The bill must clear one more vote in the Senate before heading to the House.



2008 Arizona Bar Exam Deadlines and Fees
Court News | 2008/02/29 22:40
February 2008

No applications accepted prior                      $125 application and $235 examination
to August 15, 2007

September 1, 2007                                       $360 (application and examination)
September 2 to September 30, 2007              $460 (includes $100 late fee)
October 1 to October 31, 2007                     $560 (includes $200 late fee)
November 1 to November 30, 2007              $660 (includes $300 late fee)

Close of Filing:

November 30, 2007 for applications and supporting documents
December 31, 2007 for correction of deficient documentation



July 2008

No applications accepted prior                      $125 application and $250 examination
to January 15, 2008

February 1, 2008                                         $375 (application and examination)
February 2 to February 29, 2008                   $475 (includes $100 late fee)
March 1 to March 31, 2008                          $575 (includes $200 late fee)
April 1 to April 30, 2008                              $675 (includes $300 late fee)

Close of Filing:

April 30, 2008 for applications and supporting documents
May 31, 2008 for correction of deficient documentation


February 2008 CA Bar Exam Deadlines
Court News | 2008/02/28 22:05
FEBRUARY 2008 CALIFORNIA BAR EXAMINATION INFORMATION

DATE, TIME, LOCATIONS, FEES AND IMPORTANT DEADLINES
DATE: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, February 26, 27 and 28, 2008
TIME: Morning and Afternoon on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Important Dates and Deadlines for the February 2008 California Bar Examination

Timely Filing Deadline November 1, 2007
$50 Late Filing Fee November 2, 2007 - November 30, 2007
$250 Late Filing Fee December 1, 2007 - January 15, 2008
Withdrawal Deadline (60% refund - 30 days after timely filing) December 3, 2007
Withdrawal Deadline (30% refund - 45 days after timely filing) December 17, 2007
Final Deadline to Withdraw from Examination (No refund) February 13, 2008
Final Filing Deadline January 15, 2008
Change of Address Deadline January 15, 2008
Examination Type Change Request January 15, 2008 (for Attorney Applicants only)
Test Center Change Request Deadline January 15, 2008
Testing Accommodations Petition Final Filing Deadline January 15, 2008 (Petitions must be complete)
Final Eligibility Deadline February 13, 2008
Proof of Admission (first-time Attorney Applicants) February 13, 2008
Proof of Law Study (first-time Applicant for the General Bar Examination) February 13, 2008


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