Connecticut Attorneys are those lawyers who are barred in the State of Connecticut and represent clients in all legal matters involving individuals’ dealings within the State of Connecticut. Connecticut attorneys represent clients in criminal matters involving misdemeanors, felonies, traffic violations, and city and borough ordinances. In civil matters the Connecticut attorney will represent clients involving torts, contracts, real estate purchases, incorporations, landlord/tenant disputes and many others.
How do you become a Connecticut Attorney?
In order to practice law within the State of Connecticut an individual must meet a number of requirements set out by the Connecticut Bar Association. An applicant who wishes to become a Connecticut Attorney must have received a bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university. In addition, an applicant who wishes to become a Connecticut Attorney must also have graduated from an accredited law school within the United States or meet the other options listed in the Connecticut Bar Association’s list of acceptable alternatives. Once an individual has been accepted and graduated from an accredited law school then that individual must take and pass the Connecticut bar exam.
To be a Connecticut Attorney an individual must take, and pass, the Connecticut Bar Exam. The Connecticut bar exam is a two day exam that gauges a potential Connecticut attorneys ability to know both federal and state law as well as write persuasively. The first day of the Connecticut bar exam consists of 12 essay questions comprising Connecticut substantive law. These questions are created by the Connecticut Board of Bar Examiners. The second day of the Connecticut 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 Connecticut Board of Bar Examiners weighs the MBE and the essay questions equally when grading the exam. The passing rate for the Connecticut Bar Exam is around 73%.
In addition to passing the Connecticut Bar Exam the future Connecticut Attorney must also fill out an application for background checks to ensure the Connecticut Bar Association that the applicant represents the character and fitness necessary to practice law as a Connecticut Attorney. The Connecticut Attorney must also pass the Multi-State Performance Exam with a passing score of 80.
If an individual has been practicing law in a state that has reciprocity with the State of Connecticut he, or she, may become a Connecticut lawyer without taking the Connecticut Bar Exam. Connecticut has reciprocity with 33 other states. The requirements are only that the prospective Connecticut Attorney have practiced in another State, that has reciprocity, for 5 of the past 7 years before application, pay an $1,800 fee, and have scored an 80 on the MPRE.
What is the Connecticut Court system composed of?
The Connecticut State Court System is broken up into three tiers. These are the superior court, the Appellate Court, and the Supreme Court. The Superior Courts are the trial courts with in the State of Connecticut. There are 15 Superior Courts within the State of Connecticut and each one is divided into 4 main divisions: The Criminal Division, The Civil Division, The Housing Division and the Family Division. Unlike most other States, Connecticut does not have separate courts for misdemeanors and felonies. Aside from the Superior Courts the State of Connecticut also has a separate probate court.
Disciplinary matters involving Connecticut Attorneys
If you have had a problem involving an ethical violation by your Connecticut Attorney it may be necessary to file a complaint with the Connecticut Bar Association. It is not necessary that you be the Connecticut Attorney’s client, it is only necessary that you have information about a Connecticut attorney that reflects poorly on their ability to practice law. A Connecticut Attorney is considered a lawyer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is expected to uphold the rules of professional responsibility at all times. If you wish to file a complaint against any Connecticut Attorney you should go to www.jud.ct.gov From there you will be requested to fill out an complaint form which can be downloaded and printed from that page. You must print and sign the complaint form. The Connecticut Bar Grievance Committee will not accept grievance forms that are electronically file, faxed or copies. All grievance forms must be sent to :
Statewide Bar Counsel
287 Main St., Suite 2, 2nd Floor
East Hartford, CT 0618-1885
If the Connecticut Bar Grievance Committee finds merit to the complaint then formal charges will be brought that may result in reprimands, sanctions, suspension or even disbarment of the Connecticut Attorney.
The Bar Grievance Committee handles matters of ethics and violations of the rules of professional responsibility. If you have a dispute over fees with your Connecticut Attorney you will need to go through the arbitration or legal fee dispute process set up by the Connecticut Bar Association. This can be done by calling 860-223-4400 or otherwise contacting the Connecticut Bar Association at:
Connecticut Bar Association
30 Bank St.
P.O. Box 350
New Britain, CT 06050-0350
Where do I find Connecticut Attorneys?
If you need a Connecticut Attorney then you have many options. You can do a cursory internet search and find Connecticut Attorneys near you who can represent you in your particular legal matter.
You can also use contact any one of the 4 local bar association referral programs within the State of Connecticut. These include:
Fairfield County : 203-335-4116
New Haven County : 203-562-5750
New London County : 860-889-9384
All other Counties : 860-525-6052
In addition, if you cannot afford a lawyer than you may be able take advantage of free legal aid services in from a Connecticut Attorney. Connecticut Attorneys are required to perform a certain amount of pro bono hours per year. Connecticut Attorneys who can help with free legal advice may be found at Statewide legal services by calling 1-800-453-3320. The attorneys at Statewide Legal Services will be able to help you with matters including domestic relations, housing, access to government benefits and employment discrimination.