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Messages - betazed

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Great catch!

The letter from the Deputy Director actually does say "cannot not". I believe that the first sentence in the paragraph makes it clear that he meant "cannot" regardless of what he actually wrote.

I'll send him another letter to make sure.

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If someone can tell me how to post a .pdf here, I will include the letter signed by the Deputy Director of the Committee on Admissions in another post.  The following (including (Emphasis added)) is taken directly from his letter to me dated August 18, 2010.

Quote
As you are aware, D.C. App. Rule 46(b)(4) provides that: An applicant who graduated from a law school not approved by the American Bar Association shall be permitted to take the bar examination only after successfully completing at least 26 semester hours of study in the subjects tested in the bar examination in a law school that at the time of such study was approved by the American Bar Association. (Emphasis added).

The Committee on Admissions' long-standing interpretation of the meaning and intent of above-underlined text is that a student's physical presence in an ABA-approved law school is necessary to meet this requirement. Accordingly, the Committee cannot not accept credits awarded by an ABA-approved law school which were completed through correspondence or online study.

It seems pretty clear to me that you do, in fact, "have to be physically in the school." I've got no reason to make this stuff up...I was hoping to to use the FCSL LLM precisely for the purpose of qualifying to sit for the DC Bar exam.

By the way, I also asked the Committee if the LLM program content satisfied their requirements.  The Committee limited its response to the statement above that it "cannot not accept credits awarded by an ABA-approved law school which were completed through correspondence or online study."

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Florida Coastal's policy with respect to Americans with non-ABA J.D.s. actually is not so clear.  In one place, the web site describes the LLM program as being for foreign lawyers and in another it describes the LMM program as being for lawyers with degrees from foreign countries (which would include Americans with LLBs from any of the British external programs).
 
Rather than speculate as to the School's policy with respect to Americans with non-ABA J.D.s, I exchanged emails with and spoke directly with an administrator in the program. Although it expects to be asked at at some point, the school has never been asked to decide if it will accept Americans with non-ABA J.D.s.  The administrator with whom I spoke strongly preferred inclusion but emphasized that School had not decided the question. Given that FCSL is a for-profit operation, I suspect that it will decide to allow Americans with non-ABA J.D.s into the LLM program if asked to decide. As noted below, however, admission to the FCSL LLM is the lesser of the problems facing the non-ABA JD seeking admission in DC.

The bigger issue concerns whether the DC Bar will accept the FCSL distance LLM in fulfillment of its 26 hour requirement.  I exchanged letters with the DC Court of Appeals Committee on Admissions and learned that the Commottee interprets literally the rule that the student complete "26 semester hours of study in the subjects tested in the bar examination in a law school that at the time of such study was approved by the American Bar Association". Specifically, the Committee on Admissions requires those 26 hours to be completed while the student is physically present "in" the law school. So much for using the FCSL LLM in DC!

Someone with a non-ABA JD wanting to practice in DC has another option for satisfying the 26 hour requirement. The University of the District of Columbia 's David A. Clarke School of Law offers admission (competitive and the LSAT is required) to 5 non-degree students per semester for no more than 9 credit hours per semester.

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Distance Education Law Schools / Re: 1 L starting school in July 2010
« on: August 09, 2010, 09:49:28 AM »
Each Federal Court regulates its own admissions.

Most (but not all) require an attorney to first be admitted in the state in which the Federal Court is located.

5
Florida Coastal offers an online 26 hour LLM for foreign lawyers that is likely to satisfy the DC requirements. 

The only issue seems to be the 1-hour Intro course.

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