Law School Discussion

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2) is referring to non-JD law degrees (LL.Ms, I suppose) which are accredited in the state in which the law school is located.

In either case, I see no provision whatsoever for an unaccredited law school. The TX rules, as far as I can tell, explicitly require at least state bar accreditation.

This does make sense, too. 

However, the second part of #2 (equivalent in duration) couldn't apply to an LLM.  When you go back and see what the verbiage used to be (how the rule was altered) it used to say something to the effect of: "is equivalent to three years of education"... this implies to me that the spirit of #2 is referring to one's first law degree, not ones qualifying post doctoral LLM. 

Your interpretation to #2 does make sense (e.g., "LLM, I suppose") except that it doesn't fit with the second part of the rule, and LLMs are addressed in the Foreign Law Degree section. 

So I'm still not quite clear.

Thanks for sharing and helping. 
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Exactly!  But what needs to be accredited?  The JD one holds?  Or the degree by which one judges the JD one holds?  The held degree needs to be accredited?  (why would section 2 say this, when section 1 already addressed this)... or the degree held need to be EQUIVALENT to one that is accredited?  See what I mean about how the lack of a comma between (holds the equivalent of a JD degree) and (from a law school that is accredited...) changes the meaning of the rule...?


I feel like this can be read to say that:

So long as a Taft degree is "the equivalent of a J.D. degree from a law school that is [actually] accredited in the state where it is located", AND "so long as a Taft degree is equivalent in duration and substance to the legal education provided by an [actual] approved law school," then you may pass go.

Is this how you interpret the meaning of the rule?

No, that is not how I would interpret the rule. It seems clear that the LAW SCHOOL ITSELF must be accredited. That's how the accreditation process works. The school gets accredited, and then confers degrees. So for example, I don't think I have an "accredited JD", I simply have a JD from an accredited law school.

I see no mention of unaccredited law schools here. 
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Decided that it might be important to review the rule with definitions:

Can be met by either:

(1) holds a J.D. degree, from an UNapproved law school that is accredited in the state where it is located.
(2) holds the equivalent of a JD degree from a law school that is accredited in the state where it is located AND that requires a course of study that is substantially equivalent in duration and substance to the legal education provided by an approved law school

------------------------------------

“Accredited” means that a law school is recognized as being
qualified by the competent accrediting agency of a state or foreign jurisdiction, by a political subdivision of a state or foreign jurisdiction, or by another authorized body of a state or foreign jurisdiction.

“Approved law school” means a law school approved by the American Bar Association.

Don't read more into this than is actually present.

1) is referring to non-ABA approved law schools which are accredited by the state bar.

2) is referring to non-JD law degrees (LL.Ms, I suppose) which are accredited in the state in which the law school is located.

In either case, I see no provision whatsoever for an unaccredited law school. The TX rules, as far as I can tell, explicitly require at least state bar accreditation.
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Online Law Schools / Re: taft law school
« Last post by cusc2011 on February 16, 2017, 09:25:50 PM »
Yes, that is in my future plans as well is the QLTS. Also, the DC bar, however, there's been new rule modification to Rule 46.  Also, DC is now a UBE state and I am taking the UBE and plan to transfer in DC through UBE transfer admissions.
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Decided that it might be important to review the rule with definitions:

Can be met by either:

(1) holds a J.D. degree, from an UNapproved law school that is accredited in the state where it is located.
(2) holds the equivalent of a JD degree from a law school that is accredited in the state where it is located AND that requires a course of study that is substantially equivalent in duration and substance to the legal education provided by an approved law school

------------------------------------

“Accredited” means that a law school is recognized as being
qualified by the competent accrediting agency of a state or foreign jurisdiction, by a political subdivision of a state or foreign jurisdiction, or by another authorized body of a state or foreign jurisdiction.

“Approved law school” means a law school approved by the American Bar Association.
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California online and correspondence law schools are not accredited by California but are "registered", so I think they would fail the Texas test. I think California accredited non ABA schools of which there are several would pass the test though.

But aren't you assuming that (b)(2) is saying that the degree one holds has to be accredited?  I'm reading it to mean that the degree one holds, must be equivalent to an accredited degree.  It, itself, does not, so long as it is equivalent to one that IS accredited.  Does this make sense? 

For example, in Psychology we require an APA accredited Ph.D./Psy.D. in Texas, OR... the psychologist must show that they hold the EQUIVALENT of an APA-accredited Ph.D.

I take my interpretation from the lack of comma. 

(Holds the equivalent of a JD degree from a law school that is accredited)
    (in this case means whatever degree you hold needs to be the same as an accredited JD)

doesn't mean the same thing as:

(Holds the equivalent of a JD) + (from a law school that is accredited)
    (in this case means whatever you hold needs to be similar to a JD [seems dumb] and needs to be from an accredited     
         school [also dumb since the first rule would have captured this requirement already]).



If the rule is asking whether these two conditions are met:
 
1. Is a Taft JD the equivalent of a JD from a law school that IS accredited in CA?   
         Answer:  Yes.  Proven by California's acceptance of it to practice law (and allow it to be registered)

2. Is the course of study at Taft substantially equivalent in duration and substance to the legal education provided by an APPROVED law school? 
         Answer:  Yes.  Proven by California's acceptance of it to practice law (and allow it to be registered)


That ^ is how I automatically interpreted the rule when I FIRST read it.  However, I've since read it to mean other things, and I'm not sure of the authors' intent behind the verbiage.  This is the other way:

1. Is a Taft JD the equivalent of a J.D. degree?   Yes.
2. Is a Taft JD from a law school that is accredited?   No. 
3. Does Taft require a course of study that is equivalent to the education of an approved school?  I say yes. 



I'm reminded of my legal writing professor who used to stress the importance of punctuation. 


I'm guessing if I found a California citation where non-Accredited, but Registered Law Schools were deemed to be "equivalent of a JD degree from a law school that IS accredited," then, boom.  Point made. 

But haven't looked.
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A couple of points:

1) Admission under either of these sections requires that the applicant first be admitted to practice in the state in which the school is accredited. Thus, you would first have to pass the CA bar, then get admitted to CA, THEN apply to Texas.

2) The most important thing to note (I think) is this: Section 2 refers to "a law school that is accredited in the state where it is located..."

California, as you may know, is one of a handful of states that allows ABA accredited, our own CA state bar accredited, and non-accredited law schools. I assume that by "accredited" they mean at least state bar accreditation.

Taft is not accredited by the CA state bar, in fact no online or correspondence law schools are accredited by the CA state bar.

Taft and other such schools do have accreditation by non-legal entities, but that may or may not be relevant. I would contact the TX bar and ask for clarification on exactly what/which accrediting body needs to approve the school in order to meet the TX requirements. 

Typically, when talking about law school accreditation, the only accreditation that matters is state bar or ABA.

Exactly!  But what needs to be accredited?  The JD one holds?  Or the degree by which one judges the JD one holds?  The held degree needs to be accredited?  (why would section 2 say this, when section 1 already addressed this)... or the degree held need to be EQUIVALENT to one that is accredited?  See what I mean about how the lack of a comma between (holds the equivalent of a JD degree) and (from a law school that is accredited...) changes the meaning of the rule...?


I feel like this can be read to say that:

So long as a Taft degree is "the equivalent of a J.D. degree from a law school that is [actually] accredited in the state where it is located", AND "so long as a Taft degree is equivalent in duration and substance to the legal education provided by an [actual] approved law school," then you may pass go.

Is this how you interpret the meaning of the rule?
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Without getting into the weeds, the thing to understand is that this isn't a general admission provision, this is under the generic reciprocity provisions.

In other words, this isn't about someone getting their "whatever" degree and trying to get a Texas license. It's a specific rule about how an attorney, license in a different jurisdiction, may also become licensed in Texas. That's why it's called "Applicants From Other Jurisdiction."

More specifically, this only applies if you are a practicing attorney, in a different jurisdiction, and you would like a Texas license. So there are two categories-

1. Graduate from an ABA-approved school (Sec. 1). In that case, so long as you have been practicing law, you can get the license from Texas without taking the Bar.

2. Do not graduate from an ABA-approved school (Sec. 2). This is the unapproved school route; in that case, you so have to take the Texas Bar, and you must have been practicing law for three of the past five years.

Clear?


Thanks Loki.  Yes, I realize how reciprocity works - we have similar rules for psychological practice.  I just figured most folks knew that if I'm speaking of Cali-Online schools, bar passage and practice in Cali would be an automatic requirement for 3/5 years.  Reciprocity is the only way Taft grads can be permitted to take the bar in other states.

My concern is more about the language/intent of the rule.

Thanks for the help!

R.
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Online Law Schools / Re: taft law school
« Last post by legalpractitioner on February 16, 2017, 06:03:55 PM »
I had no problems getting a bar ticket and will be taking the bar for the first time and once I pass I will have other jurisdictions available to me.

Not passed yet?  When you pass, let us know.  And you will have to wait five years to motion into DC.  After that you may want to take the QLTS.
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California online and correspondence law schools are not accredited by California but are "registered", so I think they would fail the Texas test. I think California accredited non ABA schools of which there are several would pass the test though.
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