Formerly Incarcerated Persons Should't Be Denied Entrance into State Bar Associations
Date:  08-22-2017

Barring formerly incarcerated persons from being lawyers dismisses some of the best, brightest and most knowledgeable people
The following article by Chandra Bozelko, Option Contributor to The Hill was originally posted on 8-18-17:

Another outstanding candidate was denied admission to the bar this past week because of an old criminal record. Reginald Dwayne Betts, an award-winning poet and memoirist and Yale Law School graduate who served time for a robbery conviction he incurred years ago as a juvenile, was denied admission to the bar of the State of Connecticut.

The same week, the ACLU of Washington, along with 48 additional organizations, 34 attorneys, and 20 law school faculty members filed an amici curiae brief on behalf of Tarra Simmons, a magna cum laude graduate of Seattle University School of Law who is appealing the Washington State Bar Association’s denial earlier this year of her application to take the bar exam. Simmons served time for drug crimes and was released from prison in 2013.

Not allowing people with criminal records to sit for the bar exam or become attorneys strips the profession of the redemption and understanding it so sorely needs — and bestows upon itself. Continue reading >>>