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Bill would let law profs practice law

An effort to open Virginia State Bar membership to law professors with recent practice experience is advancing again in the General Assembly.

The plan would allow law professors to become active members of the bar if they have engaged in the full-time practice of law for five of the last seven years. Their law license would be good only as long as they remained full-time law professors.

Sen. Henry Marsh’s proposal cleared the Senate last year, but died in a House committee. The current bill cleared the Senate Courts Committee Wednesday by a 12-3 vote.

Meanwhile, the House Courts Committee wants to take a close look at law clerks who serve judges in the circuit courts and appellate courts of Virginia. The panel has approved a bill offered by Del. Scott Surovell, D-Mount Vernon, directing a study by the Judicial Council detailing the duties and pay for the law clerks.

The bill specifically asks for the number of additional hours each circuit judge is available to hear cases because of the assistance of law clerks.

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