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Thinking about starting my own practice..can I do that with just a JD?



I have a JD that I got years ago but for some reason or another I never got my license. I wanted to start my own practice but not go to court. I want to create contracts, maybe do wills, employee benefits, investments, negotiations. I also love immigration and worked as a paralegal.

I am in the process of taking my series 7, and 23 exams.

Is that possible with just a JD? What can I do with my own practice with a JD? What aspects of law can i have in my own practice with a JD?

Unfortunately, none without a license. Man up and take the exam. It's really not that bad. However, in some areas there can be a decent living made doing background type work (research, drafting etc.) for other lawyers. This is particularly so in areas where solo-practitioners and small groups are more the norm.

Unfortunately, what you're talking about sounds like the unauthorized practice of law, at least with respect to wills and contracts, probably employee benefits. I imagine investment businesses are regulated in some way, but not by the state bar unless it's some sort of finance law. Not sure what you mean by negotiations. Immigration work is not necessarily the practice of law but anything involving immigration law would be off limits.

I agree with the above poster that you should take the bar examination. Even if you are in a tough state like CA or NY, there are options. I also agree that some background or paralegal work, under the supervision of a licensed attorney, might be a good way to get your feet wet.

Where actually did you get a JD from?  Any law school grad would know that trying to practice without a license is UPL.


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