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    Steve LevineGene Rankin

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Letters to the editor: The Wisconsin Lawyer publishes as many letters in each issue as space permits. Please limit letters to 500 words; letters may be edited for length and clarity. Letters should address the issues, and not be a personal attack on others. Letters endorsing political candidates cannot be accepted. Please mail letters to "Letters to the Editor," Wisconsin Lawyer, P.O. Box 7158, Madison, WI 53707-7158, fax them to (608) 257-4343, or email them to org wislawyer wisbar wisbar wislawyer org.

Authors Respond

Rankin: Other States Should Catch Up

Mr. Vernon is wrong about the ABA pro hac vice model rule, and in at least two ways: 1) pro hac vice admission is case-by-case admission and is irrelevant to the discussion of motion admission or diploma privilege; and 2) the version of the model rule he refers to was deep-sixed by the ABA, and no longer requires one to have been first admitted by examination to qualify for motion admission.

His point about "second-class law schools" is perfectly fine ... except including them in the diploma privilege also means either including all the law schools no matter how they rate, or having the court decide which is better, Harvard or Oral Roberts.

I cannot speak to the statement that "Wisconsin ranks 50th among the states in attracting graduates from out-of-state colleges" because that lumps Platteville in with the U.W. (and Stout, Whitewater, La Crosse) and ignores the built-in (and purposive) bias to admit in-state students.

Ms. Sajna neglects the fact that bar exams are similar nationwide, and all test subjects "those lawyers have never practiced and have no intention of ever practicing." As long as we all give general licenses to practice law, we must assume that lawyers will attempt to serve whoever comes in the door.

Mr. Jones needs to check his stats more closely. The 2003 Edition of the ABA-LSAC Guide to Law Schools shows that all five Marquette grads passed the Illinois bar at the rate of 80 percent, while Wisconsin's 211 grads passed at the rate of 100 percent.

Gene R. Rankin, Director, Board of Bar Examiners

Levine: End Separate-But-Equal Bar Admission

Lawyers from all over the country have responded to the December article with letters and calls. What surprised me was not only the response from lawyers who have had to run the gauntlet of our present bar exam, but the friendly reaction by U.W. and Marquette graduates who realize that the present two-track system is unfair to graduates of other law schools and should be changed. There are many U.W. and Marquette grads who don't share the view that only Wisconsin "gets it right" with respect to legal education or that only Wisconsin law schools provide a "quality" education.

I did not write the article merely as an intellectual exercise. Now that the problem has been identified, it's time for action. In the coming months a proposal will be presented to the Board of Governors and supreme court to extend the diploma privilege to graduates of all ABA-approved law schools on the same basis as it applies to graduates of U.W. and Marquette. Anyone interested in working on this effort, please contact me.

Recently, I discovered that from 1897 to 1903, the diploma privilege was extended to graduates of out-of-state law schools. (See Steininger, The Diploma Privilege - Recent Developments, Wis. B. Bull., April 1974, pp. 14-18). The time has come to try it again.

Steve Levine, Madison, steven.levine@charter.net