SUMMARY OF: A Sunset Review on the Alaska Court System, Board of Governors of the Alaska Bar Association (board), July 11, 2012

Purpose of the Report

In accordance with Title 24 and Title 44 of the Alaska Statutes (sunset legislation), we have reviewed the activities of the board. The purpose of this audit was to determine if there is a demonstrated public need for its continued existence and if it has been operating in an effective manner. As required by AS 44.66.050(a), this report shall be considered by the committee of reference during the legislative oversight process in determining whether the board should be reestablished. Currently, under AS 08.03.010(c)(2), it will terminate on June 30, 2013 and will have one year from that date to conclude its administrative operations.

Report Conclusions

We conclude that the board’s termination date should be extended. The board, through the Alaska Supreme Court, protects the public by ensuring that persons licensed to practice law are qualified. It also provides for complaint investigation and has established a disciplinary process designed to promote competence and professionalism in licensed individuals. We recommend that the board’s termination date be extended to June 30, 2021.

One recommendation was made to increase continuing legal education (CLE) for attorneys. CLE contributes to lawyer competence and benefits the public and the profession by ensuring that attorneys remain current regarding the law, the profession’s obligations and standards, and the management of their practices.

Findings and Recommendations

    1. The board should recommend to the Alaska Supreme Court that mandatory minimum CLE for attorneys be increased.