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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, 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. 


Where should I go next fall? / Re: Considering Law School
« on: September 11, 2014, 01:02:33 PM »
My much more realistic, but still reach, schools are what you recommended: Vandy, Texas, UCLA, and Georgetown, with my target schools ranging from George Washington, Minnesota, Notre Dame, USC, and Boston University to Boston College and Fordham.

Keep in mind that (with the exception of Georgetown) these are basically highly respected regional schools. Your employment opportunities are still going to be somewhat limited to the immediate region. 

Does that mean that a UCLA grad can't get hired in NYC? No, of course not. It just means that they're going to compete against many local grads, and won't really be able to rely on the reputation of the school to open doors. In California it's a different story. A degree from UCLA will open doors. For example, ask Minnesota how many Los Angeles firms interviewed on campus last year. Probably very few, if any.

Unless you attend a truly national school with a strong enough reputation to open doors automatically, I would really consider going to law school in a city/region in which you would be comfortable staying.   

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Considering Law School
« on: September 09, 2014, 01:15:33 PM »
Congratulations on a great LSAT score!

As a splitter it's hard to predict where you will get into. All you can do is apply and see what happens.

The truly elite schools (Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc) are probably out based on your GPA. For those schools a 171 is pretty average, but your GPA is low. For some of the still very respected but not exactly elite schools (UCLA, Texas, Vanderbilt, etc) a 171 may be enough to get in even with a lower GPA.

Here's one other option to consider: using your LSAT to obtain a full scholarship somewhere. I don't know where you are located or where you intend to practice, but this might be a really good option. For example, I live and work in southern California. If I had a choice between a $150,000 debt from UCLA or a free degree from Loyola, I would seriously consider the free degree. You have to consider your long term goals and whether or not a T14 degree is necessary to accomplish those goals.

Good Luck! 

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