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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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Where should I go next fall? / Re: Studying Law Abroad
« on: September 26, 2014, 02:41:03 PM »
Maintain FL -- thanks for your words of advice. I have done quite a bit of research at this point and am (unfortunately) very confident that I would have to start over with a JD, especially in Florida. The very best that you can do here is find a university that will award you some credits from your past studies and shave a maximum of a year off the JD study time. Thus, my principal concerns are finding working with an LLB/LLM.

Is it possible that FL would allow you sit for the bar exam if you obtained an LL.M from a ABA school? Or do they actually require the JD?
Either way, it's a couple of years of your life, but I think you can at least complete an ABA LL.M online which would allow you to work during that time and minimize debt.

As far as finding work in the U.S. with a German LL.B, I think it would be tough. Firms that practice international might be interested, but they'll likely want someone who is admitted to the bar as well.

Just think about your long term goals, be realistic in your expectations, and let that guide your decision making.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Studying Law Abroad
« on: September 26, 2014, 11:55:54 AM »
I see "partner" and assume you mean same sex partner. Doesn't Germany have a HORRIBLE track record when it comes to that? I'd factor that in.

Germany is quite progressive on this issue.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Studying Law Abroad
« on: September 26, 2014, 11:54:58 AM »
If your goal is to practice in the U.S., then you should go to law school in the U.S. If your goal is to practice in FL specifically, you may want to attend a FL law school.
A German law degree will not be sufficient to sit for the bar in most states. They will require you to obtain an LL.M (from an ABA school) first. Even CA and NY don't really have true reciprocity with any European jurisdictions, meaning that even if your degree is acceptable you still have to take the bar exam.

In CA (which is more open to foreign degrees than other states) your foreign degree will be evaluated to determine whether an LL.M is required. Usually, only common law degrees (UK, Ireland, Canada, etc) are exempt from the LL.M requirement. Some other states may not even accept a German degree with an LL.M, and will require a JD. The German civil law system is so different from the U.S. system that the degree is of very limited use in terms of understanding U.S. law.

A German law degree will not prepare you for any U.S. bar exam, so you'd basically be starting from scratch. The pass rate for foreign educated lawyers is very low.

If you plan to stay in Germany after law school or attend law school in the U.S. and then move to Germany, then you need to look into immigration policies. Most EU countries are quite strict on immigration. It's not easy to get a work permit, especially if you are seen as competing for a job that a citizen might desire (like lawyer). Usually, you have to get sponsored by an employer, which means they have to really really want you.

Something else to consider is language. Is your German good enough to get through a university course in law?

I don't know any JDs working in Europe, although I'm sure they exist. I'm not sure if most EU countries would accept a JD as sufficient to practice, with the possible exception of the UK. The systems are very, very different.

Your best bet is to contact individual countries in which you would like to live and ask about their policies. You may be able to gain admission to the local bar, or as you said, work as a consultant. Also contact any states here in the U.S. in which you are interested and ask them about their policies on foreign degrees. The best information is that which you get straight from the source, so go there first.

Good Luck with your decision!

The notice states that the communication may contain privileged information for the intended recipient, and that disclosure "by others" is prohibited.

Since Jonlevy was the intended recipient, I think this means he is free to disclose it's contents. Others cannot disclose it without his permission. Read the notice more carefully.

The letter doesn't contain any confidential or privileged information.

Is Novus one these places that sets you up with a CA lawyer, then provides some study materials so that you can attempt the "study with a lawyer" route? I wouldn't pay five cents for that nonsense.

Since the degree itself is apparently insufficient to sit for the bar, the prospective attorney will have to fulfill the legal education requirement some other way. Sounds like a waste of time and money with little chance of success. Caveat emptor!

Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« on: September 24, 2014, 12:28:12 PM »
I agree.

It seems like the only gatekeeper activity is the granting or denial of accreditation. But if you don't care about accreditation anyway, so what?

Presumably, you could start a correspondence "law school" in your garage even though you're not a lawyer, never get a single student to pass any state bar exam, and continue to operate with no oversight. Amazing.

Germany has limited the use of terms such as "university" to combat scam diplomas. We could do the same, as the use of terms like "law school" is highly misleading in some circumstances. This seems like a basic consumer fraud issue, but I guess there just isn't any interest in enforcing it.   

L.L.M. Board / Re: Applying to an LLM with a Misdemeanor
« on: September 22, 2014, 09:45:17 PM »
Yes, rules definitely vary state to state. My point was just that I doubt that "lots" of law students have felony convictions. A few, yes. And of those few some will get admitted and some won't depending on the nature of the felony, how much time has passed, etc. My understanding is that most states will pretty much automatically reject a felon, period.

The reason I brought up CA's disbarment proceedings is to illustrate that even in one of the most liberal jurisdictions felonies are taken very seriously. If they're going to disbar a lawyer who gets a felony, then I doubt they'll admit a new member with a felony absent extenuating circumstances.

L.L.M. Board / Re: Applying to an LLM with a Misdemeanor
« on: September 21, 2014, 09:37:47 PM »
LOTS of JD students have felonies who later get licensed just fine as well.

I don't think lots of JD students have felonies, and then get licensed. Misdemeanors , yes, but not felonies. Even in CA (which is pretty lax) a felony conviction results in disbarment proceedings.

If someone has a felony they better check with their state bar before spending three years and $100k on law school.

General Board / Re: Applying to an LLM with a Misdemeanor
« on: September 18, 2014, 11:55:38 AM »
The key is full, complete disclosure. Be completely honest, and you should be alright.

I don't know if you obtained your J.D. in the U.S., but if you did then you have already reported this to your law school and state bar (hopefully). I imagine the process is similar for LL.M programs.

Definitely check out the rules for admission to each individual state bar you plan on applying to, however. Some states are much stricter than others and you don't want to spend a couple of years on an LL.M only to be denied admission to the bar. Be sure to look into this.

There's a lot to address here, but I'll try to keep it short.

Extracurricular "soft factors"

Do they matter? Yes, but not nearly as much as your numbers. These kinds of factors are taken into account in addition to, not in lieu of, a good GPA/LSAT.

I don't know what your GPA actually is, but at T14-T20 (and many schools ranked lower than that) you will need a high GPA and high LSAT, period. Those schools have so many well qualified applicants with high numbers and impressive soft factors that there isn't much incentive to take someone who is lacking in any area.

Lots of applicants, especially at top schools, have impressive soft factors. Pretty much everyone who applies to non-T14 schools, too, does some volunteer work or gets a little experience at a law office, or gets a letter of recommendation from some lawyer. The admissions offices are very used to this. Unless you have truly unique and outstanding experience it will not matter too much, and certainly won't overcome a lack of numeric qualifications.

I'm not saying this to be rude, but depending on how low your GPA is the T14 might be a pipe dream regardless of soft factors or LSAT score.

URM status can be a significant factor, but I'm not sure if Palestinians receive much of a boost. It may help a little, though.

Lastly, until you get a real LSAT score everything is pure speculation. I would advise preparing for the LSAT as much as possible. Do the extracurricular stuff too, but really focus on the LSAT. And remember, the T14 are not the only law schools out there. If you get in, great. If not, think about your goals and see if another school can help you achieve them. 


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