Legal Services in Utah
Becoming a lawyer in Utah
In order to attend an American Bar Association (ABA) approved law school, one must have an undergraduate degree in any field. Undergraduate degrees must be from an accredited institution which is recognized by the United States Department of Education.
Prior to attending law school in Utah, applicants must pass the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The LSAT is offered four times annually at locations across the United States. Resources are available to help prospective attorneys pass the exam.
The LSAT website has free study resources. Colleges in Utah offer preparatory courses at a variety of prices. The University of Utah in Salt Lake City offers an LSAT preparatory class through its continuing education division. Ace Test Preparation offers an online LSAT prep course and Brigham Young University in Provo offers an LSAT review while Utah State University in Logan has a LSAT preparation course. LSAT guides are available at the University of Utah Library. Once prospective law school students pass the LSAT, they can apply to the ABA approved law schools in Utah.
Upon successful completion of a Juris Doctor (JD) degree, prospective attorneys must take the Utah State Bar Exam. Prep courses are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners Website. One must register through the Utah Bar Association to be eligible to sit for the Utah State Bar Exam. Upon passing the bar exam, one must attend a licensing ceremony that is held twice a year. At the ceremony, attorneys take an oath and sign a roll of attorneys that is submitted to the United States Supreme Court.
Utah requires a few more exams after passing the state bar exam. Within two years of passing the bar exam, one must take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE). In addition, Utah requires that new attorneys complete a New Lawyer Training Program (NLTP) during the first year of law practice. This program pairs new attorneys with experienced attorneys. This partnership is designed to help new attorneys improve lawyering skills, professionalism and ethics.
Free Legal Advice in Utah
Utah offers free legal advice services in several cities across the state. Legal clinics in Utah provide general legal advice and help complete forms. Working with a legal clinic does not form an attorney client relationship nor will the attorney represent a person in court. Here are just a few examples of available resources in Utah.
Senior citizens across Utah have access to legal help regarding elder abuse, consumer issues, housing or public benefits and estate planning. Services are provided by phone Monday through Friday.
Residents of Brigham City can take advantage of Tuesday Night Bar held twice each month. No appointment is necessary and attorneys are available to help with any civil topics. The Utah Legal Services Pro Se Clinic is held once a month by appointment only. Here, attorneys help with civil matters, not criminal matters.
Layton offers two free legal clinics. The Layton Family Law Brief Advice Clinic, held on the first and third Thursday of each month, help with child custody, divorce and protection orders. The Mountain View Legal Clinic is available the third Monday of each month to help with civil topics.
Legal Associations and Organizations in Utah
The Utah Association for Justice is the largest trial association in Utah. The association consists of primarily plaintiff attorneys who want to bring justice to injured people, guard victim's rights and educate the public on health and safety issues.
In addition, the Utah Association for Justice works with new attorneys to provide mentoring services, and a list serve where attorneys can ask questions and network.
On the other end of the spectrum is the Utah Defense Lawyers Association. Their goal is to bring together civil defense lawyers to share information, ideas and litigation strategies in an effort to improve the skills of Utah's defense attorneys. The Association offers CLE credits to members.
One more example of legal associations in Utah is the Women Lawyers of Utah. This association exists to encourage and help women advance in the legal profession and legal system. Part of the mission of Women Lawyers of Utah is to better serve women's needs in the justice system and to improve living and working conditions for all the women of Utah. The Women Lawyers of Utah is pleased to offer free CLE classes to members.