Yale Grad, Convicted Felon Must Prove ‘Moral Character’ To Practice Law

NEW HAVEN, Conn (CBS Connecticut) – A convicted felon who graduated from Yale Law School in 2016 is being forced to prove he has the “moral character and fitness to practice law” in Connecticut.

36-year-old Reginald Dwayne Betts passed the state bar exam in February, but his felony convictions for a carjacking he committed in Virginia two decades ago as a teenager, has triggered additional proceedings before the Connecticut bar examining committee.

Betts’ attorney William F. Dow III tells the Hartford Courant he believes this delay will not end his client’s chances of practicing law in the state. “I’m confident that once the admissions committee examines all that he has accomplished — his academic accomplishments, his literary accomplishments, his accomplishments in assisting others, his intellectual accomplishments — they’ll be as impressed as I am and he’ll be a member of the bar,” Dow said. “And we’ll all be better for it; this man will be an asset to the state of the Connecticut.”

Betts, a Maryland native, served eight years for his crimes. In the years since his release, he has worked as an intern with New Haven’s public defenders’ office, in addition to attending Yale.

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