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Kansas Supreme Court announces amendments to Rule 712

The Kansas Supreme Court announced on September 6, 2018, it has amended Rule 712 to allow attorneys who perform legal services for a single employer under a restricted license to provide pro bono legal services through organizations the Supreme Court approves for that purpose.

Pro bono services are professional services provided by attorneys without payment. "The Supreme Court gave careful consideration to the amendments and to the public comments we received about them," said Chief Justice Lawton Nuss. "By amending this rule, we have enabled attorneys licensed to work for one employer to donate what could be thousands of hours of professional services to individuals and entities who cannot afford to hire an attorney, which improves their access to justice."

Rule 712 already allowed an attorney who passed another state's bar exam to work for a single employer under a restricted license without taking a Kansas examination. The amendments approved allow attorneys with Rule 712 licenses to perform pro bono services through either a not-for-profit civil legal services provider, or an accredited law school clinic, as long as the provider or clinic has been approved by the Supreme Court for that purpose.

The Supreme Court regulates the practice of law in Kansas through its authority to admit persons to practice as attorneys in the courts of Kansas, to prescribe rules to supervise attorney conduct, and to discipline attorneys. It also approves rules of procedure and practice used throughout state courts in Kansas.

Mary Shultz