Law School Discussion

taft law school

loki13

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Re: taft law school
« Reply #70 on: August 11, 2015, 10:43:59 AM »
Wow, that escalated quickly.

First, I would like to say that I appreciated the links to the Fed. Ct. admissions. It's nice to see it collected in one place. So thank you to Jon Levy / Legalpractioner (I'll call you LP).

That said, this is true, and misleading. Allow me to explain. Imagine this scenario- someone passes online, wants to practice in Florida. They can't. They have a vague idea that federal practice will be allowed, provided they "pass a bar." They know they can pass California. So, they do (which is something, but we'll get to that).

Now, ignoring the fact that N.D. Fla. is about to change their rules to bring them into conformity with S.D. and M.D. Fla, let's assume they get in immediately to N.D. Fla. Here's the thing though- we are all aware of the federal jurisdiction case (state bars can't control it), but it would be almost impossible to-
1. Get hired by a firm with only a N.D. Fla. bar.
2. Practice law in Florida with only a N.D. Fla. bar.
3. Not get a ULP charge.

All of this is to say- it's incredibly hard. Is it doable? Well, anything can be doable. But if I was investing in online, I would expect to practice in a jurisdiction that explicitly allowed for it. Period. And then look into reciprocity. Maybe this will change- but I wouldn't bet on it.

Assuming you will be doing federal practice only ... um, yeah. And given the patchwork of admissions requirements.... (and don't get me started on the "But you can get a Supreme Court bar membership!" that and 4 bucks will get you coffee at Starbucks.)

Re: taft law school
« Reply #71 on: August 11, 2015, 11:25:40 AM »
It depends on the UPL laws in each state exactly what one can get away with.  Setting up a physical office in a state where one is not a member of the bar can be trouble, not always, but is not advised.  There are things one can do to mitigate the UPL issue though:

1.  Always state in any written communication that does not trace back to California - Member of California Bar and also affirmatively state not a member of the bar in any other state involved if there is any ambiguity involved.

2.  Check each states UPL rules and rulings.

3.  Gravitate towards low risk federal practice like immigration, tax, veterans disability, social security disability, international trade, SEC, military appeals and federal tort claims.  The feds occupy 100% of these practice so also regulate who can practice, not the states.

4.  Have your virtual office and mailing address where you are licensed.

5.  And finally avoid clients from your state of residence like the plague.

6. get admitted to as many courts and bars as possible.

7. look to other attorneys who practice online as mentors

Follow the above and you can live anywhere and practice with a Cal bar. license.

Does the typical online grad have these abilities, sure, if they pass the bar they are not dopes.

Re: taft law school
« Reply #72 on: August 11, 2015, 11:34:20 AM »
Let's also assume that no online grad is going to get hired by anyone.

Now it is possible to file federal lawsuits in a large number of jurisdictions with just a California license.  Just Google "Orly Taitz."  Now Orly took a lot of heat for her political views but she has litigated in numerous federal courts with a Taft degree.  She did get sanctioned once but not for UPL.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orly_Taitz

loki13

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Re: taft law school
« Reply #73 on: August 11, 2015, 12:02:38 PM »
LP-

First, if the answer is Orly Taitz, I suggest re-examining your question.

Of course, if you want to be a dentist, you can always do the non-ABA route. That is not at issue. That said, your last post conflate pro hac status and pro se status with admissions to a specific bar. Once you get admission to a state bar (such as California), there are different rules regarding pro hac, and, of course, a person can always represent themselves.

I would avoid your advice regarding UPL. It's pretty simply- if you're going to be practicing law in a state, you should be admitted to practice in that state.

Re: taft law school
« Reply #74 on: August 11, 2015, 02:44:07 PM »
Unless one is still meeting with clients face to face, there is no need to reside in the same state as one practices.  Virtual law firms have been around for well over a decade. If one has gone to all the trouble to study law by distance learning why would they go back to the old school practice of law?
Just pick a field that does not require showing up for court, leave that for others.

loki13

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Re: taft law school
« Reply #75 on: August 12, 2015, 07:59:48 AM »
LP,

I'm not entirely sure where this conversation went awry, but it does seem like you're very close to giving advice to people out there that they do not have to follow the bar rules of jurisdictions, and, moreover, that these types of ethical constraints are just old fashioned. This might be true, but they exist, and if you are what your name says (a legal practitioner), I find it hard to believe that you would knowingly counsel people to engage in the unauthorized practice of law.

I think the more appropriate answer is that if a person really wants to practice law, they should go to an ABA-approved law school. If they are considering a non-traditional option, they should fully educate themselves on the various barriers to entry in the profession, and match those with their desired objectives. This includes paying attention to jurisdiction-specific rules, as well as desired future employment.

These things may change in the future; that said, I do not find your assertions... reassuring.

Re: taft law school
« Reply #76 on: August 12, 2015, 08:38:07 AM »
Florida has one of the toughest UPL regimes but even Florida admits that practice of patent law, federal tax, immigration at the agency level is federally, not state, regulated:

http://www.flcourts.org/core/fileparse.php/304/urlt/Summary-UPL-Cases.pdf

Point is do not make sweeping generalizations and do your own research.



loki13

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Re: taft law school
« Reply #77 on: August 12, 2015, 08:48:18 AM »
LP,

I think you are missing, well, a lot of points. I have already covered what you discussed, twice. Anyone who has been through law school has encountered Sperry v. Florida ex rel. Florida Bar, 373 U.S. 379 (1963) and its progeny.

However, your "sweeping generalizations" about the protections afforded by, inter alia, not meeting clients face to face and just trying to avoid bar licensing requirements are dangerous. Telling people not to worry about bar licensing requirements because they can look forward to a career litigating exclusively federal claims is disingenuous.

I will reiterate- don't give bad advice. The best advice, if you don't want to worry about a severe lack of career options, is to attend an ABA-accredited school. If you attend a school that is not ABA-accredited, you should understand that your options may be very limited, and you should have identifiable goals (in terms of jurisdiction and career options) prior to attending, and research same. But if you have some type of nebulous, "Maybe I'll be a public defender, or try to work at BigLaw(tm), or patent law sounds interesting, and what's this I hear about trust..." then you're doing it very, very, very wrong.

This may change in the future. But that future is not today.

Re: taft law school
« Reply #78 on: August 12, 2015, 09:44:42 AM »
I agree - anyone going into DL law school should know the score, 20-1 odds (5% chance) against ever passing the Cal Bar (whereas an ABA is grad is looking at maybe a 90- 95% chance they will eventually pass a bar) and no job at the end.  But people do it and are successful.  And they do have options besides sitting in California.  Everyone has to find their own way and that involves specific research.  Personally, I'd advise avoid Florida like the plague because unlike most states it really does occasionally go after UPL violations BUT I know attorneys who have navigated around that via federal practice alternatives and other methods.

But this forum is about alternatives and if someone serious and qualified wants to go the DL route for various good reasons, telling them ABA or no way is a disservice IMO.  There are enough DL and correspondence California grads out there practicing now to provide empirical proof this works for some people, some of the time.

loki13

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Re: taft law school
« Reply #79 on: August 12, 2015, 10:11:36 AM »
"telling them ABA or no way is a disservice IMO"

I don't think I do that. But I would say that it is a very, very rare person for whom a non-ABA school is a better alternative. And I wouldn't be giving advice such as you were giving- instead, I would be upfront as you were in the last post (20-1 odds again, probably no job), before saying that it might make sense, if you are just the right type of unique snowflake.

Overall, I am agnostic about the future of accreditation, distance learning, etc. But I prefer advice that is descriptive rather than normative. And for the vast majority of people, going to a non-accredited school is a bad decision (unless you don't particularly want or need to practice law). To use an analogy- just because there are example of people that make a career out of the NBA, doesn't mean I suggest that everyone in middle school can make it to the NBA. If you want to be a practicing attorney, you significantly increase your odds by going to an ABA-accredited school. I think people can make reasonable arguments about the barriers to entry, but they exist currently. And I think you can point to people that have succeeded from non-ABA schools (but not Orly Taitz, please), but they are exceptions. Maybe this will change, but I wouldn't bet *my* future on it.