Without getting into the weeds, the thing to understand is that this isn't a general admission provision, this is under the generic reciprocity provisions.In other words, this isn't about someone getting their "whatever" degree and trying to get a Texas license. It's a specific rule about how an attorney, license in a different jurisdiction, may also become licensed in Texas. That's why it's called "Applicants From Other Jurisdiction." More specifically, this only applies if you are a practicing attorney, in a different jurisdiction, and you would like a Texas license. So there are two categories-1. Graduate from an ABA-approved school (Sec. 1). In that case, so long as you have been practicing law, you can get the license from Texas without taking the Bar.2. Do not graduate from an ABA-approved school (Sec. 2). This is the unapproved school route; in that case, you so have to take the Texas Bar, and you must have been practicing law for three of the past five years.Clear?
A couple of points:1) Admission under either of these sections requires that the applicant first be admitted to practice in the state in which the school is accredited. Thus, you would first have to pass the CA bar, then get admitted to CA, THEN apply to Texas.2) The most important thing to note (I think) is this: Section 2 refers to "a law school that is accredited in the state where it is located..."California, as you may know, is one of a handful of states that allows ABA accredited, our own CA state bar accredited, and non-accredited law schools. I assume that by "accredited" they mean at least state bar accreditation. Taft is not accredited by the CA state bar, in fact no online or correspondence law schools are accredited by the CA state bar.Taft and other such schools do have accreditation by non-legal entities, but that may or may not be relevant. I would contact the TX bar and ask for clarification on exactly what/which accrediting body needs to approve the school in order to meet the TX requirements. Typically, when talking about law school accreditation, the only accreditation that matters is state bar or ABA.
California online and correspondence law schools are not accredited by California but are "registered", so I think they would fail the Texas test. I think California accredited non ABA schools of which there are several would pass the test though.
Decided that it might be important to review the rule with definitions:Can be met by either:(1) holds a J.D. degree, from an UNapproved law school that is accredited in the state where it is located.(2) holds the equivalent of a JD degree from a law school that is accredited in the state where it is located AND that requires a course of study that is substantially equivalent in duration and substance to the legal education provided by an approved law school. ------------------------------------“Accredited” means that a law school is recognized as beingqualified by the competent accrediting agency of a state or foreign jurisdiction, by a political subdivision of a state or foreign jurisdiction, or by another authorized body of a state or foreign jurisdiction.“Approved law school” means a law school approved by the American Bar Association.
Exactly! But what needs to be accredited? The JD one holds? Or the degree by which one judges the JD one holds? The held degree needs to be accredited? (why would section 2 say this, when section 1 already addressed this)... or the degree held need to be EQUIVALENT to one that is accredited? See what I mean about how the lack of a comma between (holds the equivalent of a JD degree) and (from a law school that is accredited...) changes the meaning of the rule...?I feel like this can be read to say that: So long as a Taft degree is "the equivalent of a J.D. degree from a law school that is [actually] accredited in the state where it is located", AND "so long as a Taft degree is equivalent in duration and substance to the legal education provided by an [actual] approved law school," then you may pass go.Is this how you interpret the meaning of the rule?