Today the Presiding Justices of the four Appellate Divisions issued a joint statement announcing the courts' intention to resume the attorney admissions process. As we previously covered, the New York State Courts suspended all non-essential operations, which included attorney admissions and attorney grievance matters. Below is the full text of the joint statement:
We would like to share some important news regarding admission to the practice of law. We are pleased to announce today that, with the support and encouragement of Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, and with the innovative use of technology, each Department of the Appellate Division will soon be resuming the admission process that had been paused due to the present public health crisis. Virtual admission ceremonies will be conducted for eligible candidates. Character and fitness interviews may also be waived or conducted virtually. While the precise methodology may vary somewhat among the Departments, we are each committed to admitting all qualified candidates as expeditiously as circumstances permit.
Candidates awaiting admission will be contacted by our committed and dedicated Committee on Character and Fitness staff. Because of the substantial volume of pending admission applications, we request that candidates wait to be contacted. We would appreciate your patience. Otherwise, status inquiries from the thousands of people now awaiting admission will consume our staff’s time and potentially delay the admissions themselves. We thank you for your understanding and reiterate our commitment to have all successful candidates admitted to the practice of law as soon as possible.
Stay healthy and stay safe.
The joint statement suggests that the Appellate Divisions' immediate focus will be pending applications in an effort to address the thousands of applicants who are either waiting to complete their character and fitness interviews or to be formally sworn-into the bar. Hopefully this is the first step towards fully resuming the attorney admissions process and allowing the Character and Fitness Committees to accept new applications from candidates seeking admission.