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Can I practice in IL if I go to Concord?

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I was a little confused with the Concord site.  They say that you will be able to take the bar in California, but can I also take the bar in IL?  There was also some discrepency that you need to practice in California for a certain amount of time before you can practice anywhere else.  I may have my facts mixed up, but if anyone knows about htis can you please expalin what the deal is?

I believe going to Concord will allow you to only take the CA bar.  I believe that you can practice several years in CA (I believe 5) and then go to another state, but I would contact both the CA and Ill. bars to make sure. 

In my opinion, it seems very risky what it seems like you are trying to do.  Not only is Concord not accredited, and you would probably have problems finding a job as an attorney in CA, but you are going to then try to practice in Ill, where you probably have no alumni support or name recognition. 

I'm new to this "law world" and have the same question as my colleague in Illinois, except that I'm from Indiana.  The DL route looks most advantageous for my situation, given I have a family, FT career, etc.  I've been concerned about the DL JD stigma, but I'm virtually committed to Concord at this point, waiting to start in June.  Any words of wisdom or other "lessons-learned" would be much appreciated. Later, bbqlaw


--- Quote from: bbqlaw on April 27, 2005, 07:42:04 PM ---  Any words of wisdom or other "lessons-learned" would be much appreciated. Later, bbqlaw

--- End quote ---

Yes.  You really need to evaluate what you hope to gain from a legal education.  You are about to attend a non-ABA approved correspondence school.  You need to ask yourself if you'll realistically be able to get a job.  The sorts of jobs you'll probably be looking at may be upper management type jobs having very little to do with legal practice. That JD might look good on paper but it won't get you a job in a law firm before someone with a JD from an ABA approved school.  It may not even get you an interview.

Many law schools have part-time evening programs.  Many students who attend these programs have full-time jobs and families just like you.  Before you take that plunge, you need to consider whether the correspondence route is really worth it.  It might be easier, but easier doesn't always mean better.

Also, in California there are many law schools...many of which are California State Bar approved but not ABA approved.  This means that grads from these schools can only practice in California and they must practice there for a number of years (I think 5 is correct), before they can take the bar someplace else. I don't know about any other state.   You should contact your local state bar to find out their requirements.  You should also check to see what concord graduates are doing, where they are working, etc.

I started with Taft when I was in the military- then decided to go to an ABA school after pouring over various job postings on the web, etc.  Many of the postings required the graduate to have come from an ABA school.  I even thought about the possibility of going back in the military as an attorney... but the military requires their applicants to come from an ABA approved school as well.  I think it is prejudicial, but unfortunately, that is what many attorney jobs require.

A non-aba J.D. won't put you out of the running for law firm jobs though.  I thought I might until I started doing some research on the matter... I emailed a few folks that graduated from Taft. a few years ago, after finding them (several Taft graduates (J.D.) on the internet.  I wanted to know the "real deal" about how the graduates faired after law school.  Both had to take the California Bar twice, and both are now working at CA law firms.

You'll have to practice generally, for 5 years before being able to sit for bars in other states.  The big drawback is, what if you don't want to practice in CA?  Remedy?  Pass the CA bar... THEN, go and get your LLM at a ABA school.  Then you're good to go as far as taking the bar in whatever state  <wink>.

Good Luck

Teila K. Day


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