As you may know, the Connecticut Bar has decided not to recommend our colleague Reginald Dwayne Betts to the bar at this time. Although you have may already signed an online petition on change.org in support of Dwayne, please consider signing this letter which will be formally submitted to the Connecticut Bar Examining Committee to urge them to admit Dwayne to the bar.
To sign onto this letter, please fill out this form at: https://goo.gl/forms/TgASxvIcX0Ekr1Aw2. The deadline for sign-ons is close of business on Friday, September 25, 2017.
Thank you for your consideration!
Liz Ryan, Shaena Fazal, Angela Ciolfi, Jason Szanyi, Marcy Mistrett, Neelum Arya, Mishi Faruqee
Dear Connecticut Bar Examining Committee,
We, the undersigned, urge you to immediately admit Reginald Dwayne Betts to the Connecticut Bar.
The failure of this Committee to accept his application despite Dwayne’s manifest qualifications calls into question the content and application of the Character and Fitness standards themselves. We believe that in addition to accepting Dwayne as a member of the Connecticut bar, the time is ripe for this committee to engage in a full and thoughtful reconsideration of the character and fitness review process to ensure that qualified applicants are not denied access to enter the legal profession in the future.
Although our immediate goal is to support Dwayne’s application to the Connecticut Bar, we would also like to lend our support to broader reforms of the bar admission process. We believe that aspiring lawyers with prior justice system involvement deserve second chances and the ability to enter the legal profession if they have completed their legal education and demonstrated a strong character. Admission for these individuals should not depend on having the type of powerful credentials and national recognition and support network that Dwayne has.
Rejecting Dwayne’s application to the bar highlights how the current process limits high quality candidates from being members of the bar in Connecticut solely because of their criminal history. The current process creates a separate, and unequal process for people with criminal convictions to become members of the bar in Connecticut, and we urge the committee to reject this antiquated approach and revise its processes to one that promotes equity.
Thank you for your time and consideration.