Press Release

Nine File Amicus Briefs as Utah Supreme Court Assesses Bar Eligibility for "Dreamers"

March 28, 2019

Nine organizations have filed amicus briefs with the Utah Supreme Court advancing arguments involving the court's decision on whether qualified, undocumented immigrants should be admitted to practice law in Utah.

At least six—including the American Civil Liberties Union, LatinoJustice, the Utah Minority Bar Association, and University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law—have sided with the petitioners, represented by Ballard Spahr.

One amicus brief came from the Utah Legislature. It argued that, regardless of federal limitations on issuing professional licenses to undocumented immigrants, the Utah Supreme Court's constitutional authority to regulate lawyers includes the authority to admit undocumented immigrants to the Utah bar.

Anthony C. Kaye, a litigation partner in Ballard Spahr's Salt Lake City office, is representing two women who graduated from Utah law schools and are licensed to practice in California. Both are Deferred Action Against Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, commonly referred to as "Dreamers." Although Utah has yet to determine whether DACA recipients may practice law, several other states have permitted them to do so.

Mr. Kaye represents the women pro bono. Ballard Spahr is a signatory to the American Bar Association and Pro Bono Institute's Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge and has committed to donating at least three percent of its billable hours to pro bono service. That amounts to more than 40,000 hours annually.

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