Alaska Attorneys are those lawyers who are barred in the State of Alaska and represent clients in all legal matters that involve an individuals dealings within the State of Alaska. Alaska attorneys represent clients in criminal matters involving misdemeanors, felonies, traffic violations, and city and burrough ordinances. In civil matters the Alaska lawyer will represent clients involving torts, contracts, real estate purchases, incorporations, landlord/tenant disputes and many others.
How do you become an Alaska Attorney?
In order to be able to practice law within the State of Alaska an individual must meet a number of requirements set out by the Alaska Bar Association. An applicant to become an Alaska Attorney must have received a bachelors degree from a recognized college or university. In addition, an applicant to be an Alaska Attorney must also have graduated from an accredited law school within the United States or meet the other options listed in the Alaska Bar Association’s list of acceptable alternatives. Once an individual has gotten accepted and graduated from an accredited law school then that individual must take the Alaska bar exam.
To be an Alaska Attorney an individual must take, and pass, the Alaska Bar Exam. This is a 3 day exam that gauges a potential Alaska attorneys ability to know both federal and state law as well as write persuasively. The first and third day of the Alaska Bar Exam consists of 9 essay questions, three short and six long, as well as 2 90 minutes MPTs. The 9 essay questions are created by the Alaska Board of Bar Examiners and are to gauge an Alaska attorney applicants ability to know Alaska State Law. The MPT, or the Multi-State Performance Test is a 90 minute test that gauges an applicant for admittance to be an Alaska attorney in his, or her, ability to take evidence and statutory law and create a cohesive, persuasive memo or brief. The second day of the Alaska Bar Exam is the multi-State bar exam which is a multiple choice exam that is administered by the National Board of Bar Examiners. The weight that is given to the portions of the exam are 50% for the MBE; 15% for the long essays; 22.5% for the short essays and 12.5% for the MPTs. The passing rate of the Alaska Bar Exam is around 65% annually with the exam being offered twice a year, once in the end of February and once in the end of July.
In addition to passing the Alaska Bar Exam the Alaska Attorney applicant must also fill out an application for background checks to ensure the Alaska Bar Association that the applicant represents the character and fitness necessary to practice law as an Alaska Attorney. The Alaska Attorney must also pass the Multi-State Performance Exam with a passing score of 80.
Where Do Alaska Attorneys Practice?
Alaska Attorneys will represent clients in one of 3 different trial courts. The trial courts in that Alaska attorneys practice in within the state are the district courts, superior courts, and through magistrates. The District courts are overseen by 21 judges in separate courts. The district courts handle misdemeanors, minor violations, and violations of city and burrough ordinances. The District courts also have the authority to issue summons, search and arrest warrants. The District courts hear all civil cases where the amount in question is less than $100,000, small claims cases, and emergency orders involving children and domestic violence.
The Superior court is another trial court system that hears both criminal and civil actions, appeals from district courts, matters involving juvenile delinquency, probate matters and domestic relations matters. The magistrates are independent judgeships that move around from locale to locale to hear cases in local communities far away from the district or superior courts.
The Alaska Appeals court must accept all appeals from the district and superior courts involving criminal matters. The Alaska Supreme Court hears all civil matters that are brought on appeal from the district or superior courts as well as the magistrates.
Disciplinary matters involving Alaska Attorneys
If you have had a problem involving an ethical violation by your Alaska Attorney it may be necessary to file a complaint with the Alaska Bar Examiners office. It is not necessary that you be the Alaska Attorney’s client, it is only necessary that you have information about an Alaska attorney that reflects poorly on their ability to practice law. An Alaska Attorney is considered a lawyer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is expected to uphold the rules of professional responsibility when he, or she, is not even in the court room. If you wish to file a complaint against any Alaska Attorney you should go to www.alaskabar.org. From there you will be requested to fill out an attorney grievance form which can be downloaded and printed from that page. You must print and sign the grievance form. The Alaska Bar Counsel will not accept grievance forms that are electronically file, faxed or copies. All grievance forms must be sent to
Alaska Bar Association
P.O. Box 100279
Anchorage, AK 99510-0279
If the Bar Counsel finds merit in the complaint they will forward the grievance against the Alaska Attorney to the Alaska Disciplinary board to issue formal charges. The Bar Counsel handles matters of ethics and violations of the rules of professional responsibility. If you have a dispute over fees with your Alaska Attorney you will want to complete the petition for arbitration of fee dispute and mail to the same location.
Where do I find Alaska Attorneys?
If you need an Alaska Attorney then you have many options. You can do a cursory internet search and find Alaska Attorneys near you who can represent you in your particular legal matter.
You can also use the referral service at Alaska Bar Association at www.alaskabar.org. The referral service. All Alaska Attorneys that are used in the referral service are barred and in good standing in the State of Alaska. The referral service may be reached calling 907-272-0352 to speak with a representative or by completing the online referral form at www.alaskabar.org. The Alaska lawyer referral service operated by the Alaska Bar Association will offer you the names and phone numbers of up to 3 lawyers in your area that practice in your area area of law, are barred, and in good standing in the State of Alaska. Any Alaska Attorney referred through the service may charge no more than $125 for a 30 minute consultations.
In addition, if you cannot afford a lawyer than you may be able take advantage of free legal aid services in from an Alabama Attorney. Alabama Attorneys are required to perform a certain amount of pro bono hours per year. In order to find out if you qualify for free legal aid from Alabama Attorneys you may call 1-866-456-4995 or fill out the form at www.alabar.org. Even if you do qualify for free legal aid from the Alabama Bar Association cannot help with traffic, criminal or juvenile matters.