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The POWER 30: Wil Fluegel

Minnesota Lawyer//June 22, 2023

Wil Fluegel

Wil Fluegel, Fluegel Law Office

The POWER 30: Wil Fluegel

Minnesota Lawyer//June 22, 2023

Fluegel Law Office

In 2022, the Minnesota Supreme Court decided Energy Policy Advocates v. Ellison, which recognized the common interest doctrine in Minnesota. It allows lawyers working together on matters of common legal interest to communicate without waiving the attorney-client privilege and the work-product doctrine.

An arm’s-length list of attorneys appeared in the case for parties or for amici curiae. Among them was Wil Fluegel, who with Jennifer E. Olson, was one of the attorneys for the Minnesota Association for Justice.

Note that the court refers to joint legal interest, not political or commercial interests. “A joint legal strategy agreement would be prudent,” Fluegel suggested.

Fluegel has spent many hours helping the profession determine the future of the bar exam as co-chair of one of three working groups formed by the Board of Law Examiners. It recommended to continue a bar exam as one of other ways to evaluate competency. But the written bar exam will not be the same. The new test, known as NextGen, will focus more on practical knowledge and reasoning, Fluegel said.

The NextGen test may be only one way to enter the profession. The BLE will also consider admission based on clinical work or supervised practice. At deadline, a BLE report was expected June 1.

One of the reasons the bar exam is the object of national study is the concern about implicit bias in the bar exam, including the inherent risk that portions of the exam may be worded in a discriminatory way. Fluegel said that the National Council of Bar Examiners is trying to make a substantial effort to deal with implicit bias.

The working group’s report states that removing inequitable barriers to the practice of law is one reason the group recommends a variety of possible paths to licensure. Fluegel said the bar may be more inclusive if practical experience, as opposed to memorization, is a way to demonstrate competency.

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