Law School Discussion

seriously cal-bar F-U shortening the exam to two days

Re: seriously cal-bar F-U shortening the exam to two days
« Reply #60 on: August 19, 2015, 01:46:20 PM »
To some (limited) extent, this already goes on. There are "document preparation" services which facilitate stuff like no-contest divorces.

I have mixed feelings on this one. Although I agree that there are simple legal issues which you probably don't need a JD to handle, someone who is not a lawyer might also miss important issues embedded within the seemingly "simple" issue. This could result in an involuntary waiver of otherwise legitimate claims, that sort of thing. So even then, I think there would have to be some sort of licensing or certification.

In CA we have a problem with "notaries" which the state bar has been trying to address. They are common in Latin America, but have a bad reputation here for engaging in UPL. Helping to fill out a form is one thing, but giving bad legal advice is another. Again,  think there would have to be some way to monitor such services.

I have heard this proposal floated by various libertarians. It would involve some combination of the following-
-Anyone can practice law. No restrictions. No UPL charges.
-Changing the various rules and statutes that privilege attorneys.
-People that want to learn what they are doing can go to school, etc. There could be voluntary organizations (such as the ABA) that an attorney could apply to, or take an exam with, and then advertise. "I'm ABA-certified!"
-Use the tort system (malpractice) to enforce standards.

This is the problem I have with ideologically based solutions. They aren't practical. The average person has no clue what ABA certification is, and it would be ridiculously long and expensive to let the tort system take care of it. A much easier solution is just require an exam!

Re: seriously cal-bar F-U shortening the exam to two days
« Reply #61 on: August 19, 2015, 02:44:09 PM »
Sorry, I meant "notarios" not notaries. Notaries are fine.

Re: seriously cal-bar F-U shortening the exam to two days
« Reply #62 on: August 19, 2015, 08:59:41 PM »
Sorry, I meant "notarios" not notaries. Notaries are fine.
The Spanish speaking nonlawyers helping illegal immigrants illegally? Yeah, I recall my immigration law lawyer calling them a "necessary evil".
My personal feeling (and this goes a step deeper) is that the rules of professional procedure say we can't help someone CONTINUE an illegal act. So, I'm all for helping illegal immigrants become legal, or even just help them with unrelated issues, but the practices out there with fully licensed lawyers who openly admit that their practice exists to help illegal immigrants find ways to avoid getting caught and continue to stay illegally (I have met a fair share of self righteous ones and I know so have all of you no doubt) should be suspended for violating prof procedure. Yes its not equate to murder or the serious "crimes", but its still an act against the law. People love to go "but they came here legally and just didn't leave on time" I get that. And "its a civil issue". Sometimes that's true, worth noting not always, but for sure a good chunk of the time, ok. But its still an ongoing violation of the law. It blows my mind that we go "on this for political reasons, we'll treat this one different".  Especially the ones actively in hiding, insert any other non legal act with people seeking advice on how to avoid law enforcement officers.........it seems transparent.

Re: seriously cal-bar F-U shortening the exam to two days
« Reply #63 on: August 20, 2015, 06:29:13 AM »
So many things to respond to...

Never heard of these rules of professional procedure and I'm from a border state.

Not sure those lawyers are advocating anyone break the law either or what exactly this supposed epidemic of illegal legal advice is.

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Re: seriously cal-bar F-U shortening the exam to two days
« Reply #64 on: August 20, 2015, 07:19:54 AM »
So many things to respond to...

Never heard of these rules of professional procedure and I'm from a border state.

Not sure those lawyers are advocating anyone break the law either or what exactly this supposed epidemic of illegal legal advice is.

This side issue confused me, as well. And I can't speak to it, specifically, since I am unaware of the particulars of these claims. That said, I am familiar with immigration attorneys, and they will zealously represent their clients' interests. Which is what they are supposed to do. If there is a particular claim made that a certain action violates a rule of professional conduct, I'd be open ears.

Re: seriously cal-bar F-U shortening the exam to two days
« Reply #65 on: August 20, 2015, 08:35:45 AM »
I doubt if they're breaching the rules of conduct, as long as they aren't knowingly filing false claims of asylum/political asylum (which, no doubt, some do), etc. Illegal immigration is indeed a political as well as legal issue, however, and is fraught with difficulties and competing interests.

Not sure those lawyers are advocating anyone break the law either or what exactly this supposed epidemic of illegal legal advice is.


If you mean the notarios issue, it is a genuine problem in CA. Notarios operate almost exclusively within the immigrant community and act as quasi-lawyers. They often have no legal training, and advise people on a broad range of subjects, not just immigration. They stand in the hallways outside the courtroom huddling with clients and telling them what to do. The advice is often bad, and the client has no recourse since the notario is unlicensed and uninsured, and can disappear into the woodwork.

Calbar was looking into this about a year ago and put up a warning on their website in Spanish telling people how to distinguish between lawyers and notarios.   

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Re: seriously cal-bar F-U shortening the exam to two days
« Reply #66 on: August 20, 2015, 09:09:27 AM »
If you mean the notarios issue, it is a genuine problem in CA. Notarios operate almost exclusively within the immigrant community and act as quasi-lawyers.

Going completely afield of the original topic, IIRC, isn't it it the case that there is a difference between the function of an American notary and notaries in (some) other countries? For example, I believe that certain European notaries have what some of us would view as quasi-lawyer abilities.

Might that be the case with "true" Mexican (in Mexico) notaries, thus causing some confusion?

Re: seriously cal-bar F-U shortening the exam to two days
« Reply #67 on: August 20, 2015, 10:27:58 AM »
Maintain, I didn't say anything about notarios. Soy de Los Angeles, so I am certainly familiar with them. I was more shocked that the poster was alleging that attorneys were violating their professional responsibilities by advocating for immigrants.

Re: seriously cal-bar F-U shortening the exam to two days
« Reply #68 on: August 20, 2015, 12:48:04 PM »
Just to go back I think the whole point of lawyers is to argue for things that are not necessarily legal.

A few months ago helping a same-sex couple get married was illegal now it is not.

Harboring fugitive slaves was highly illegal and I am sure lawyers defended those that participated in that.

American soliders putting Japanesse in Internment Camps were doing so legally, but now that is frowned upon.

Many attorneys advocate for changes in Guantanemo Bay I could go on and on, but the point of a lawyer is to do what they can to protect their clients' interest.

The "law" changes quite often and what is or is not legal can be entirely different in 10 years.

Clearly a lawyer cannot do illegal acts, but they can advice someone how to not get in trouble.  I.E. a Criminal Defense Lawyer will tell their client don't say anything as they are trying to avoid a conviction.

Lawyers represent their clients needs. Of course if a client asks a lawyer to kill someone that does not justify it, but helping illegal immigrants stay in the country is not something I would want to work on, but there are certainly rational arguments supporting helping immigrants come to America.


Re: seriously cal-bar F-U shortening the exam to two days
« Reply #69 on: August 20, 2015, 12:54:47 PM »
Just to go back I think the whole point of lawyers is to argue for things that are not necessarily legal.

A few months ago helping a same-sex couple get married was illegal now it is not.

Harboring fugitive slaves was highly illegal and I am sure lawyers defended those that participated in that.

American soliders putting Japanesse in Internment Camps were doing so legally, but now that is frowned upon.

Many attorneys advocate for changes in Guantanemo Bay I could go on and on, but the point of a lawyer is to do what they can to protect their clients' interest.

The "law" changes quite often and what is or is not legal can be entirely different in 10 years.

Clearly a lawyer cannot do illegal acts, but they can advice someone how to not get in trouble.  I.E. a Criminal Defense Lawyer will tell their client don't say anything as they are trying to avoid a conviction.

Lawyers represent their clients needs. Of course if a client asks a lawyer to kill someone that does not justify it, but helping illegal immigrants stay in the country is not something I would want to work on, but there are certainly rational arguments supporting helping immigrants come to America.
Giving legal advice on how to continue an illegal act is a violation of the rules of prof procedure
and yeah, harboring runaway slaves WAS illegal (and enforced). And murder is another example, equally illegally. Your post pretty much sums up my point about how people view the subject, the feel they are in the moral right, so it justifies being in the legal wrong. I have trouble digesting that concept. And just so you know if simply tell them how to get away with an upcoming murder, you'd be in violation too. Just in case there is any confusion there. You don't have to do the act, its the aiding through legal advice and assistance of any kind that is the violation. And helping immigrants come to America is legit, and it is funny how often people try to confuse those two. They are polar opposites. That's like comparing legally buying a car to carjacking.