Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Never too late  (Read 3440 times)

CA Law Dean

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 100
  • Yes . . . law school is intentionally challenging.
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Never too late
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2013, 11:40:23 PM »
LL has it right and I think Duncan is doing a good job of keeping it all in perspective.
Monterey College of Law
www.montereylaw.edu

jack24

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1050
    • View Profile
Re: Never too late
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2013, 03:04:05 PM »
I attended an ABA school, but agree with Duncan's point for the most part an attorney is an attorney. There are some places that have elitism and anyone attending a CBA school should be realistic in their expectations as they are unlikely to clerk for the Supreme Court right out of law school, but there are plenty of people in need of legal representation and most clients simply want an attorney to resolve their problem with a law license from any school you can accomplish a goal for your client.

I don't think anyone even CA Law Dean would encourage someone who wants to work for Cravath or O'Melveny & Meyers to attend Monterrey College of Law as those doors will be closed, but someone that wants to do Family Law, Criminal Defense, even small civil Litigation in the Bay Area particularly Monterrey itself it is likely a good option for the right person.

"An attorney is an attorney."

I understand your point, but it's simplistic.  Attorney jobs really aren't equal, and most people are only cut out for a certain percentage of attorney jobs.  Students should avoid severely limiting their options.   Yes, any licensed attorney can open a small firm and chase down family-law leads.   In that sense, an attorney is an attorney.   I believe most students don't know what kind of attorney they want to be, so it's important for them to have as many options as possible.  Otherwise, you are playing roulette with your future.   You may be perfectly cut-out to be a staff attorney for the state supreme court, but you may not be a good fit to be a commision-only personal injury attorney.

You need passion, you need to be able to pay your debts, and you need the right personality for the jobs that will be available to you.  Just remember that there is almost as much variety in the legal industry as in the general economy.

jonlevy

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 578
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Never too late
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2013, 07:27:15 PM »
Put another way, if you have a Harvard JD you could clerk for a Federal Judge or have the option of representing SSI claimants if that's your cup of tea; unranked and lower ranked school graduates don't have the same band width of options. The lower ranking your school, the fewer options you will have straight out of school.  However, in the scheme of things helping SSI claimants may indeed do more good for society than being the hatchet person for a corporate schill  judge or an insurance company or god forbid a bank!

CA Law Dean

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 100
  • Yes . . . law school is intentionally challenging.
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Never too late
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2013, 07:20:44 PM »
Put another way, if you have a Harvard JD you could clerk for a Federal Judge or have the option of representing SSI claimants if that's your cup of tea; unranked and lower ranked school graduates don't have the same band width of options. The lower ranking your school, the fewer options you will have straight out of school.  However, in the scheme of things helping SSI claimants may indeed do more good for society than being the hatchet person for a corporate schill  judge or an insurance company or god forbid a bank!

JL, I think you have merely re-stated the obvious . . . and it it just as true in other graduate programs as well, business, engineering, architecture . . . top schools and top graduates get different choices. However, you provide such a one-dimensional view of life after law school. I graduated in the 70's from what is now appx. a 50th ranked school (they didn't rank the schools when I graduated) from a southwestern state, but even then I knew that SCOTUS was out of the question and my mid-class ranking wouldn't get me in to the urban high-rise BigLaw practice. None of that is new information. Wasn't then, isn't now. However . . . there are really interesting things that can be done with a law degree . . . business, finance, entrepreneurship, non-profit . . . many of which could care less about your school and class standing and much more about your initiative, creativity, drive, work-ethic, etc.
Monterey College of Law
www.montereylaw.edu

jonlevy

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 578
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Never too late
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2013, 08:22:17 PM »
Actually I agree, law students often do not understand that the JD is just the beginning and after graduation fall into a rut.  How many California lawyers are needlessly afraid of federal court, criminal law or trying something new for fear of making a mistake or looking foolish? In the EU, a European lawyer can practice in any member state - in the USA we have over fifty different state and territorial bars with a lot of needless barriers erected.  As a non ABA grad, I can practice in a handful of states but have been admitted in 4 different UK jurisdictions.  I often wonder if our mainstream law schools foist an unnecessaruly restrictive worldview on their students?

CA Law Dean

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 100
  • Yes . . . law school is intentionally challenging.
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Never too late
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2013, 01:09:36 PM »
I think we completely agree on this . . . how could it be that lawyers who are perfectly capable, licensed, and experienced in one or more states and then come to California and only have a 20-30% pass rate on the California bar exam? Reciprocity is virtually non-existent in the US. The only real explanation is the unionism/cartel approach to American attorney licensure.
Monterey College of Law
www.montereylaw.edu

jonlevy

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 578
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Never too late
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2013, 11:49:52 PM »
Even stranger California does have a reciprocity agreement with Ireland of all places:

Only lawyers qualified in one of the jurisdictions listed below may be eligible to sit the QLTT:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, California (with one year PQE in California), Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, England and Wales, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, New York (with one year PQE in New York), Norway, Pennsylvania (with five years PQE in Pennsylvania) Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Scotland, Switzerland, New South Wales and New Zealand.

http://www.lawsociety.ie/Documents/education/qltt/QLTTInfoPack.pdf

CA Law Dean

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 100
  • Yes . . . law school is intentionally challenging.
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Never too late
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2013, 12:59:22 PM »
. . . I am disappointed that my Texas license doesn't count . . . particularly since the current Texas Governor kicks around the idea of secession from time to time.
Monterey College of Law
www.montereylaw.edu

jonlevy

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 578
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Never too late
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2013, 08:05:45 PM »
Just shows that California's Bar can negotiate deals if it wants to - no rhyme or reason why a California lawyer would need only 1 year experience and a Pennsylvania one five?  The reciprocity is that Irish solicitors can sit the California bar.  New York gets no reciporcity with Ireland despite having a big St Paddy's Day Parade every year.

This demonstrates why an optional national bar would be a good idea.

livinglegend

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 343
    • View Profile
    • legalmatch
Re: Never too late
« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2013, 03:24:35 AM »
Having an individual state bar exam is a great money maker for each state. I think that is the real reason for the system clearly the MBE is basically a national bar exam, but I think big states i.e. Califronia really enjoy the revenue of a $500 moral character application and an $838 bar exam fee from 10,000 or so students every year. Not to mention the annual $410 bar member fee they receieve where would all that money go if there was a national bar exam? :)