The Resource Agency history for the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners
- Agency history for the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners
- Biographical or historical data
- The Virginia Board of Bar Examiners was established by an act of the General Assembly approved March 14, 1910. Prior to this time, lawyers were admitted to the bar by the judges of the courts in which they intended to practice. The act of 1910 provided for the appointment by the Governor of a Board of Examiners to license lawyers. The Board served under the auspices of the Supreme Court of Appeals. The Board became a separate department in March 1972, when it was placed under the Supreme Court of Virginia. The five member board is appointed by the Chief Justice for a five year term; the Board elects one of its members to serve as its president.
- The Board is responsible for determining the qualifications of applicants who wish to take the bar examination. The applicants may be graduates of law schools, or they may have "read for the bar." Lawyers with many years of experience can request to be admitted "on motion" without having to take the exam. The Board is directly involved in preparing, conducting, and grading the examinations to satisfy the requirements. The bar examination is given twice each calendar year.
- The Board meets at least six times during the year. It issues licenses to practice in the state of Virginia, and certifies to the Supreme Court of Virginia the list of current licensees. It has the power to revoke, for good cause, a license issued. The Board appoints a qualified member of the Virginia State Bar to act as secretary and treasurer. An attorney serves on a part-time basis as director. The board publishes "Rules of the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners," examinations, and "Read for the Law."
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