WHAT IS THAT?
The Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners (BBE) stated in a September 3, 2013 letter to the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission of the Supreme Judicial Court that they understood “that the need for the availability of legal services to the poor is increasing at staggering rates….” Hence, effective for the July 2016 Bar Examination, the BBE will now test this broad field encompassing legal services to the poor. Below is a list of the areas within “Access to Justice” and what major topic they tie into with your current materials:
Landlord-Tenant, including evictions, affirmative defenses and counterclaims. Fee-shifting statutes and foreclosures.
This is currently within the scope of Property, Contracts, and Chapter 93A
Divorce, including child custody, support, visitation. Termination of Parental Rights. Domestic Abuse.Guardianship and Conservatorship.
This is currently within the scope of Family Law
Consumer Matters, including debt collection, predatory lending and unfair or deceptive trade practices.
This is currently within the scope of Chapter 93A
Health Care Proxies, Power of Attorney, Advanced Directives.
This is currently within the scope of Wills and Trusts
Due Process doctrines related to fair hearings, civil commitment and civil right to counsel.
This is currently within the scope of Constitutional Law
Representation of nonprofit organizations.
This is currently within the scope of Business Organizations
Ethical rules including MRCP 1.2, 1.5, .4, 1.15, 4.3, 6.1, 6.5 and Limited Assistance Representation.
This is currently within the scope of Professional Responsibility.
LawTutors will include these topics in their workshop classes when reviewing the predominant topic subject. For example, when teaching Constitutional Law, due attention will be given to due process doctrines related to fair hearings, civil commitments, and civil right to counsel.
Essentially, the BBE is giving a list of sub-topics they may test within the major topics that you will already be studying so that you may focus attention on these potentially ripe testing areas.