New Bar Exam List of Questions
On November 30, 2010, the Board of the Federal Bar Association of Russia approved a new list of questions to be included on the examination sheet that is taken to obtain the status of a lawyer (the bar exam). This list was prepared by lawyers from the Slavic Center for Law and Justice (SCLJ), Roman Maranov and Vladimir Ryakhovsky, who were part of a working group of the Federal Bar Association.
It was necessary to develop a new set of questions because the previous list was “morally” outdated, namely due to the changing situation in the sphere of Russian legislation. There were a number of shortcomings in the old list, as follows: the redundancy of the questions, the predominance of purely theoretical questions, and the incorrect and/or irrelevant wording of questions in the context of current legislation. As well, there were no questions that covered such important topics for a lawyer; for instance, there was no section of the examination that dealt with “administrative proceedings.” Essentially, there were not enough questions on the basics of the legal profession.
The new list of questions was formulated, taking the above-mentioned comments into consideration. The wording of all questions was made in accordance with current applicable law. The questions excluded from the aforementioned list pertain to knowledge that is largely redundant for the majority of practicing lawyers.
At the same time, the list of questions on the basics of the legal profession (i.e. the history of the development of the legal profession, the relationship between a legal counsel with the trustee/ client, legal ethics, guarantees as to a lawyer’s independence, lawyer’s liability, etc.) was also expanded.
In addition, a whole new section was added on the “lawyer’s legal skills,” which includes questions designed to assess the level of a candidate’s practical skills with respect to preparing procedural documents and working with a client. The list includes a new section entitled “Administrative Proceedings” and covers issues pertaining to procedural and industry-related legislation, including issues that are not only theoretical, but also practical in nature. For instance, this includes the specifics of considering the most “popular” categories of disputes in modern-day Russia.
These same questions will be uniformly used in preparing lawyers for the bar exam throughout the Russian Federation. Currently, the SCLJ is planning to prepare and publish a manual designed to help prepare candidates for their bar exam.