Under a petition filed with the Wisconsin Supreme Court by the Wisconsin Access to Justice Commission, law students would be allowed to get practical, hands-on experience under supervision earlier than they do now.

The Commission has proposed Petition 20-04, to amend Supreme Court Rule (SCR) Chapter 50, which governs the practical training of law students. The rule change would allow law students to practice under the supervision of a licensed attorney after completing one year of law school. The current rule requires one-and-a-half years of school before practicing.

Several law school professors testified recently at a Wisconsin Supreme Court hearing on the proposed rule change. They said the rule change would give law students more practical training while also increasing access to justice. Wisconsin Supreme Court Rule Chapter 50 was originally adopted in 1975

The State Bar of Wisconsin, the State Public Defender, Legal Action of Wisconsin, the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee all support the rule change. It would be the first change to the rule in more than 40 years.