The president of Mongolia’s top lawyers’ association was in Dallas-Fort Worth on Friday for meetings on how to improve the country’s bar and implement its newly adopted Bar Act.
Batsukh Dorjsuren, president of the Association of Mongolian Advocates, held private meetings with legal mentors including Judge Joe Spurlock II, a Texas Wesleyan University law professor who founded and directs the law school’s Asian Judicial Institute, which focuses on educating former communist nations about the rule of law and judicial independence.
Just weeks ago, Mongolia’s national legislature passed a Bar Act based largely on the 1939 act that created an integrated Texas bar, Spurlock said. The Mongolian bar now must write its bylaws and establish committees to carry out the reforms, and Batsukh came to Texas to see how the institute could help.
“This is a big step,” said Spurlock, who has been working with the country to develop an integrated bar system since the mid-1990s. “Now that they’ve got it, they don’t want to lose their momentum.”
The change means all lawyers, judges and prosecutors must be a member of the bar association to practice in Mongolia, Spurlock said. The bar also will begin administering lawyer testing, discipline, law school certification, and continuing legal education, he said.
“They are trying to transition from the nonintegrated bar to the integrated bar, and they’ll have a lot of issues on how to get all the lawyers under their umbrella as quickly as possible,” said Dallas attorney Matthew Toback, a cofounder of the Asian Judicial Institute who also met with the Mongolian bar president.
Batsukh previously visited Fort Worth in 2008 as part of the Asian Judicial Institute’s annual training session for Mongolian attorneys and public officials. The Texas Bar Foundation helped fund the institute with a $25,000 grant, which Spurlock called critical seed money.
Also that year, Batsukh and other Mongolian attorneys visited the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Supreme Court in Austin, where they received additional training and information.
“Today’s talk was very helpful,” Batsukh said through an interpreter Friday after meeting with Spurlock. “I’m looking forward to working in the future with this school and the Asian Judicial Institute and the Texas bar association. What we’re doing is very similar to the Texas bar association in its structure, and it was very nice to have the good information.”
Pictured, from left, are Batsukh, Spurlock, and Mongolian interpreter Baasanjar Baska.