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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview

Agency History

Scope and Contents of the Records

Arrangement of the Records

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Minutes, 1983-1991, 1994-1999,

Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas Board of Law Examiners:

An Inventory of Minutes at the Texas State Archives, 1983-1991, 1994-1999



Overview

Creator: Texas Board of Law Examiners.
Title: Minutes
Dates: 1983-1991, 1994-1999
Abstract: These records consist of copies of minutes of meetings of the Texas Board of Law Examiners, 1983-1991 and 1994-1999; and of minutes of the Hearings Panel of the Board of Law Examiners, 1994-1999. A major part of these have been hearings on moral character and fitness of candidates for admission to the State Bar in Texas. The board meetings concentrate on other items of discussion and action, such as consideration of questions of eligibility and individual requests; appearance of unsuccessful bar examinees before the board for formal Rule VII(i) review; financial reports and investment reports (included as attachments); committee and staff reports; litigation reports; consideration of amendments to the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas; and special requests.
Quantity: 0.96 cubic ft.
Language English.

Agency History

The Texas Board of Law Examiners was created in 1919 (Senate Bill 99, 36th Legislature, Regular Session), to aid the Supreme Court of Texas in admitting persons to the practice of law. To do this, the board determines the eligibility of candidates for admission to the State Bar, holds hearings on moral character and fitness, prepares and administers the bar examinations, and determines whether attorneys from other states meet the admission requirements. Once all of the qualifications have been met, the board recommends candidates to the Supreme Court for licensing.

From 1846 to 1903, admission to the practice of law in Texas was determined by the various district courts for local practice, and by the Supreme Court for appellate practice. From 1903 to 1919, each court of appeals created its own board of law examiners.

The Board of Law Examiners consists of nine members (originally five, increased in 1977), appointed by the Supreme Court for two-year terms. Each member must be at least 35 years old, must be licensed to practice law in Texas, and must have had at least ten years of experience as a lawyer or judge of a court of record. Members are compensated by a sum set annually by the Supreme Court, not to exceed $20,000. The board appoints an executive director.

By 1994, hearings on moral character and fitness began to be conducted separately by a hearings panel composed of three members of the board in rotation (each member serving a turn).

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Scope and Contents of the Records

These records consist of copies of minutes of meetings of the Texas Board of Law Examiners, 1983-1991 and 1994-1999; and of minutes of the Hearings Panel of the Board of Law Examiners, 1994-1999. Items of discussion and action in the earlier board meetings (1983-1991) include hearings on moral character and fitness of candidates for admission to the State Bar in Texas; consideration of questions of eligibility and individual requests; appearance of bar examinees before the board for formal Rule VII(i) review (providing an oral or written analysis of the applicant's performance on the essay portion of either part of the Bar exam failed); review of the budget and other administrative items; and various other discussions (e.g. responses of deans of Texas law schools agreeing to review essay questions, a study of admission standards of other states, etc.). Certain names have been redacted by the Board of Law Examiners from these earlier minutes, mainly from the hearings summaries.

Beginning in 1994, hearings on moral character and fitness were conducted separately by a hearings panel composed of three members of the board in rotation (each member serving a turn). The board meetings proper concentrate on other matters, such as financial reports and investment reports (both of which are included as attachments), reports of the Implementation Committee, reports of the Executive Director, reports of the Director of Character and Fitness, reports of the Director of Eligibility and Examination, litigation reports, consideration of amendments to the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas, special requests, plus an occasional hearing on moral character and fitness.

Minutes are created to document in a thorough but summary fashion the official actions of the board, and of the hearings panel, in its meetings.

To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.

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Arrangement of the Records

These records are arranged chronologically.

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

None for the records in the holdings of the Texas State Archives (described in this finding aid).

Minutes before 1994 were redacted by the agency prior to transfer, to mask the names of some (but not all) applicants for the bar exam. The Texas State Archives does not have the unredacted copies, which are retained by the Texas Board of Law Examiners, and which may contain portions that fall under Public Information Act exceptions.

According to Texas Government Code, Section 82.003, Open Records and Open Meetings: "(a) Except as provided by Subsections (b) and (c), the Board of Law Examiners is subject to Chapter 552, and Chapter 551....(c) Deliberations relating to moral character and fitness of an applicant may be closed to the public, and records relating to these subjects are exempt from disclosure...."

Restrictions on Use

None.

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Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Subjects:
Law examinations--Texas.
Admission to the bar--Texas.
Lawyers--Texas.
Document Types:
Minutes--Texas--1983-1991, 1994-1999.
Functions:
Regulating admission to the bar.
Examining lawyers.

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Related Material

The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
None.
Publications
Rules governing admission to the Bar of Texas, adopted by the Supreme Court of Texas; administered by State Board of Law Examiners of the State of Texas. (The Texas Documents Collection of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission holds rules dating 1949, 1977, 1987-1989, 1992, 1994, and 1998.)
Civil statutes of Texas and rules of the Supreme Court of Texas: governing the examination for admission to the bar and the course of study for the examination, exemptions from the examination, the licensing of attorneys from other jurisdictions, and admission of attorneys generally, Austin: Texas Supreme Court. (The Texas Documents Collection of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission holds those rules dating 1936, 1938, 1940, 1946-1948.)

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item), Minutes, Texas Board of Law Examiners. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession numbers: 1998/044, 1999/111, 2000/129

These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Texas Board of Law Examiners on November 26, 1997; June 8, 1998; February 25, 1999; and March 13, 2000.

Processing Information

Tony Black, August 1998, March 2000

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Detailed Description of the Records

 

Minutes, 1983-1991, 1994-1999,
0.96 cubic ft.

Board meeting minutes, 1983-1991
box
1998/044-1 January 1983
February 1983
April 1983
June 1983
July 1983
November 1983
January 1984
February 1984
April 1984
June 1984
July 1984
September and October 1984
November 1984
January 1985
February 1985
April 1985
June 1985
July 1985
September and November 1985
January 1986
February 1986
March and April 1986
June 1986
July 1986
October and November 1986
January 1987
February 1987
April 1987
June 1987
July 1987
November 1987
January 1988
February 1988
April 1988
June 1988
July 1988
November 1988
box
1998/044-2 January 1989
February 1989
April 1989
June 1989
July 1989
November 1989
January 1990
February 1990
April 1990
June 1990
July and August 1990
November 1990
January 1991
February 1991
April 1991
June 1991
July and September 1991
October 1991
Board meeting and hearings panel minutes, 1994-1999
box
1998/044-2 Board meeting minutes, April 1994
Hearings panel minutes, July 1994
Hearings panel minutes, September 1994
Hearings panel minutes, October 1994
Hearings panel minutes, November 1994
Board meeting minutes, November 1994
Hearings panel minutes, January-February 1995
Board meeting minutes, February 1995
Hearings panel minutes, March-April 1995
Board meeting minutes, May 1995
Board meeting minutes, June 1995
Hearings panel minutes, June 1995
box
1998/044-3 Board meeting minutes, July 1995
Long range planning meeting minutes, September 1995
Hearings panel minutes, October-November 1995
Board meeting minutes, November 1995
Hearings panel minutes, January-February 1996
Board meeting minutes, February 1996
Hearings panel minutes, March-April 1996
Board meeting minutes, April 1996
Hearings panel minutes, May 1996
Board meeting minutes, June 1996
Hearings panel minutes, June 1996
Board meeting minutes, July 1996
Hearings panel minutes, July 1996
Board meeting minutes, August 1996
Hearings panel minutes, August-September 1996
Hearings panel minutes, October 1996
Board meeting minutes, November 1996
Hearings panel minutes, November-December 1996
Board meeting minutes, January 1997
Hearings panel minutes, January-February 1997
Board meeting minutes, February 1997
Hearings panel minutes, March-April 1997
Board meeting minutes, April 1997
Hearings panel minutes, May-June 1997
Hearings panel minutes, July and September 1997
box
1998/044-4 Hearings panel minutes, January 1998
Hearings panel minutes, February 1998
Hearings panel minutes, March 1998
Hearings panel minutes, April 1998
Executive Committee minutes, May 1998
Hearings panel minutes, May 1998
Executive Committee minutes, June 1998
Hearings panel minutes, June 1998
Executive Committee minutes, July 1998
Hearings panel minutes, July 1998
Hearings panel minutes, September 1998
Executive Committee and Committee to Study Question Drafting and Review minutes, November 1998
Hearings panel minutes, November 1998
Hearings panel minutes, January 1999
Board meeting minutes, January 1999
Hearings panel minutes, February 1999
Board meeting minutes, February 1999
Hearings panel minutes, March 1999
Board meeting minutes, March 1999
Board meeting minutes, April 1999
Hearings panel minutes, April 1999
Hearings panel minutes, June 1999
Board meeting minutes, June 1999
Hearings panel minutes, July 1999
Board meeting minutes, July 1999
Board meeting minutes, August 1999
Hearings panel minutes, September 1999
Hearings panel minutes, October 1999
Hearings panel minutes, November 1999
Hearings panel minutes, December 1999
Board meeting minutes, December 1999

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