I am seeking historical information on the process as to how individuals such as my grandfather Judge Lewis (H.) Blackledge were admitted to the bar. He graduated in Jun 1888 from high school at Bloomington, NE.

Lewis read law as a high school student under the firm of Shephard & Black and was admitted to the bar Dec 5, 1887, before he graduated from high school. How would this admission be recorded?

[I have queried Nebraska State Bar Commission of the Nebraska Supreme Court but without success.]


The earlier pattern was that there would be an oral exam before a judge, stemming from pre-Revolutionary practice. This article discusses the history of admission to the bar in Nebraska. When Nebraska first became a territory there was no educational requirement, and the courts just followed practice in deciding, in 1855.

The article then says

By 1867, a system for bar admission had developed. The legislature believed it had the power to regulate the process. It had decreed that each district court judge could admit bar applicants to all other lower courts, and the practice was to admit such district court lawyers to the supreme court on formal motion. Each judge was to supervise a test of the applicant's legal knowledge, and each applicant was to have studied for two years in the office of a practicing attorney. If the applicant had been admitted to practice in another jurisdiction, he was exempted from these requirements.

So the procedure was a formal motion, which may be in available records.

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