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Author Topic: License Lawyers Without JDs?  (Read 10793 times)

edadams

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License Lawyers Without JDs?
« on: February 04, 2013, 04:20:56 PM »
NYS is considering it. More here from Bloomberg Law: http://youtu.be/IIeM1-yYVfs

jonlevy

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Re: License Lawyers Without JDs?
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2013, 08:48:43 PM »
Don't hold your breath, the law schools have a vested interest in keeping you on the hook for 3 years. In fact all one really needs is a Bachelors in law as in England.

Maintain FL 350

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Re: License Lawyers Without JDs?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2013, 12:00:33 AM »
In California 60 units plus a J.D. is the minimal requirement. That could be accomplished in just five years, only one more than the English LL.B. The issue, of course, is that most ABA approved law schools won't take an applicant without a bachelor's (with a few notable exceptions). The applicants are usually limited to CBE or correspondance schools.

Nonetheless, if one took 60 unit local community college then obtained a CBE degree they could get it done quicker and cheaper. The option exists, I just don't think too many people are interested. They want the recognition of the approved degrees.

livinglegend

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Re: License Lawyers Without JDs?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2013, 02:29:32 AM »
The California Bar is considering a similar option http://www.calbarjournal.com/February2013/TopHeadlines/TH1.aspx . I don't know how I feel about any of it even with all the restrictions there are definitely plenty of attorneys with severe problems if they make the lessen the screening process I think it would get much worse.

The expense is tough, but there are plenty of schools you can attend and pay only in-state tuition, which is often quite reasonable. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out, but since I have gone through all the hurdles it would be frustrating to watch it become easier for others, but that is me being selfish.

jonlevy

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Re: License Lawyers Without JDs?
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2013, 11:36:26 PM »
This is the stupidest thing California has ever come up with:

"The State Bar Board of Trustees has expressed interest in examining a limited-practice licensing program that would create a new class of professionals who could give legal advice."

They already have so called independent paralegals messing up peoples family law cases; non lawyers dispensing legal advice sounds like a bad idea to me.

Economically, speaking the Cal bar must be smoking crack; they have too many lawyers; creating a whole new profession to underbid lawyers will drive solo practitioners into bankruptcy.

The rationale here is that since paralegals are already practicing law without a license in California and are not being prosecuted; it makes sense to license them. and collect dues!  The consumer is the loser since many so called independent paralegals rarely can fill out a form correctly since they do not know the law nor understand it.

The solution is to go with an undergraduate law degree with a 1 year trainee contract.  This would result in better lawyers than are being turned out now with JDs and no practical experience.


RobWreck

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Re: License Lawyers Without JDs?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2013, 10:08:59 AM »
New York has had a way for non-JD's to take the bar for many years now...

http://www.nybarexam.org/Eligible/Eligibility.htm
Quote from: NY BOLE
LAW OFFICE STUDY/CLERKSHIP

New York is one of only a few jurisdictions that permits an applicant to qualify to take the bar examination on the basis of some law school study combined with law office study or clerkship. Section 520.4 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals sets forth the eligibility requirements for law office study. Interested applicants are urged to carefully review the requirements of Section 520.3 To qualify to take the bar examination on the basis of law office study under Section 520.4, the applicant must demonstrate:

1. that applicant commenced the study of law after applicant's 18th birthday; and
2.the applicant successfully completed the prescribed requirements of the first year of full-time study in a first degree in law program at an ABA approved law school, whether attending full-time or part-time, earning a minimum of 28 credit hours (the threshold period);
3.that applicant thereafter studied law in a law office or offices located within New York State under the supervision of one or more attorneys admitted to practice law in New York State, for such a period of time as, together with the credit allowed pursuant to this section for attendance in an approved law school, shall aggregate four years.

While at least the above-method replaces the formal education portion with practical experience, I think the idea of simply abandoning the last year is a horrible idea. I think the opportunities and experiences you have during law school, many of them unavailable to 1L's, really give a depth of understanding to the materials. Internships, clinics, externships, etc... all help to give context to the actual practice of law, all within the safety of the academic world. Skipping that last year really takes away a lot of that contextual development...
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jack24

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Re: License Lawyers Without JDs?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2013, 12:49:43 PM »

While at least the above-method replaces the formal education portion with practical experience, I think the idea of simply abandoning the last year is a horrible idea. I think the opportunities and experiences you have during law school, many of them unavailable to 1L's, really give a depth of understanding to the materials. Internships, clinics, externships, etc... all help to give context to the actual practice of law, all within the safety of the academic world. Skipping that last year really takes away a lot of that contextual development...

Rob, are you a law school graduate?   "Safety of the academic world."  What?    I have a buddy who did 22 credits of "externships."   All he had to do was submit monthly reports about what he was doing and get the employers to sign a one page document verifying that he was working for them.  There was no safety.   It was just a good way for the law school to charge this kid a ton of money while providing essentially nothing.

Now I agree that the third year *can* be valuable, but it really doesn't have to be.  It is incredibly easy to learn little to nothing your 3L year.   For every kid who participates in law review, clinics, on-the-job-training and takes difficult and practical classes, there are two kids who take a bunch of fluff classes like "american juris prudence" "american legal history" or a variety of other subjects that are not on the bar and will not relate to their eventual job.     If you *can* get through your third year without improving,  why can't you just do an apprenticeship for free and then take the bar instead?