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"I want to be a lawyer!" -- Frequently Asked Questions

 
 
Dannielrd
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Jan, 2005 10:17 am
Thanks Joe!
Ok here's another one...
So say a law school graduate takes the bar exam and gets notice a few months later saying he was successful. If he were to go around telling people he's a lawyer and, rendering legal services to them in those months that are between the notice of his successful bar exam and, the swearing in ceremony, would he then in fact be guilty of unauthorized practice of law since he was telling people that he's a lawyer?

Thanks!
Dann
0 Replies
 
Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Jan, 2005 10:28 am
Good question, Dann. There was a time after I took the bar exam and before I was sworn in, that I was practicing law under the supervision of another lawyer. This is permitted in our state statutes on a temporary basis until you are sworn in. I considered myself a lawyer, and I was certainly not practicing law without a license, because I was lawfully acting under a valid license (of another lawyer). I believe the answer to your question is "yes."
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Dannielrd
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Jan, 2005 11:00 am
I sort of see what your saying ticomaya. But you said you "considered yourself a lawyer" but you hadn't been sworn in and had not received a license from your state, even though you passed the bar. If you look up lawyer in blacks law dictionary it says.. Lawyer; one who is licensed to practice law. now excuse my ignorance on the matter but don't you receive the license to practice when your sworn in? So during that time span when you were acting under the supervision of an attorney, though was lawful, You cant really officially call yourself a lawyer could you?

Thanks ticomaya!

Dann
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Jan, 2005 12:17 pm
Dannielrd: A lawyer isn't a lawyer until he or she has been admitted to the bar. No one is allowed to practice law unless they are admitted to the bar.

As I recall, it was roughly three months between the time I took the bar and the date on which I was admitted. During that time, if I had claimed to be a lawyer, I would have been misrepresenting myself.
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Dannielrd
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Jan, 2005 12:23 pm
Thanks Joe! i was pretty sure that was the case just wanted to check with an expert to make sure! Smile

Have a good day everyone!

Dann
0 Replies
 
Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Jan, 2005 12:33 pm
Dannielrd wrote:
I sort of see what your saying ticomaya. But you said you "considered yourself a lawyer" but you hadn't been sworn in and had not received a license from your state, even though you passed the bar. If you look up lawyer in blacks law dictionary it says.. Lawyer; one who is licensed to practice law. now excuse my ignorance on the matter but don't you receive the license to practice when your sworn in? So during that time span when you were acting under the supervision of an attorney, though was lawful, You cant really officially call yourself a lawyer could you?

Thanks ticomaya!

Dann


I can't speak for Illinois, but the Supreme Court Rules in Kansas permit an applicant for admission to the bar to practice law using the license of a current lawyer, for a temporary period of time until the results of the bar exam are announced, or until sworn in if successful. As far as the State of Kansas was concerned, I was not practicing law without a license.

Quote:
Rule 705 TEMPORARY PERMIT TO PRACTICE

(a) Any applicant for admission to the bar upon written examination who is otherwise qualified for admission, may file with the Clerk of the Appellate Courts a request for a temporary permit to practice law. The request must be accompanied by a written statement from an attorney actively engaged in the practice of law in Kansas that such attorney will supervise and be responsible for the acts of the applicant during the period covered by the temporary certificate. If the Supreme Court shall find that the circumstances are such to justify it, a temporary permit may be granted, expiring at the date the results of the examination are announced, if unsuccessful, or, if successful, on the date the applicant is regularly admitted to the bar. The temporary permit shall be effective upon the applicant's taking an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Kansas, and to conform to the oath prescribed by Rule 704(i).

An applicant who, within ten years prior to filing an application in Kansas, has failed a bar examination in Kansas or any other state or jurisdiction will not thereafter be eligible for a temporary permit.

(b) A practicing attorney of any state or territory in the United States who does not hold a license to practice law in Kansas and who has professional business in any Court in this state may be admitted for the time and purpose of such business by permission of the Court, on motion, without formal admission, upon compliance with the provisions of Rule 116 and/or Rule 1.01(f).
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Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Jan, 2005 12:34 pm
Oh, and I believe the length of time I operated under this "temporary permit" was about 7-8 months.
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Jan, 2005 05:00 pm
That's probably dispositive, e. g. if someone was to act under a "temporary permit" for over year or two, that would hardly be temporary. I think the local Bar association would get a little (to use the technical term) pissed.

PS Tico, I didn't know you were a member of the club (though I guess I'm retired from the club). :-D
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realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Jan, 2005 06:19 pm
Good evening. I was a CPA (a whole different discipline with its own rules for qualification). I enjoyed it for awhile but eventually discovered that
looking at what people did with their money last year was a bit boring. That's a gross over-simplification of what lawyers and accountants do, and I will readily concede that point.
But before I left that field I had a mentor, a good person. It seemed to me that, watching him, I would have to devote a lot of time, a lot of time, drumming up new business.
Does it matter, joe or jespah, whether you are good lawyer? Or, if you want a corner office with lots of windows, do you have to be a salesman? -rjb-
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Jan, 2005 11:37 pm
realjohnboy wrote:
Does it matter, joe or jespah, whether you are good lawyer? Or, if you want a corner office with lots of windows, do you have to be a salesman? -rjb-

Well, sure it matters if you're a good lawyer. Being a good lawyer is, all things considered, better than being a bad lawyer.

And if you want the corner office with lots of windows, then you need to generate business. That certainly involves some salesmanship -- "rainmaking" is the term used by lawyers. Some lawyers, in fact, do nothing but rainmaking, while others manage a kind of balance between practicing law and generating business.
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bonymimi
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Jan, 2005 02:15 pm
the same
i want to becom a lawyer what A levels do i take
pls some one help
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Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Jan, 2005 03:33 pm
What the devil is an "A level"?
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Jan, 2005 07:08 am
A levels are apparently British (I think also Australian) aptitude tests, see: http://education.independent.co.uk/schools/az-alevels/story.jsp?story=302645
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Steppenwolf
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jan, 2005 10:17 pm
Let me add one random little thing about law school and course preparation (for American law schools -- I know nothing about the UK or Australia). Don't bother taking pre-law classes or worrying about which courses you should take. It doesn't matter. Take classes that you enjoy; you'll get better grades, and that's more important than being "prepared" for the study of law. As a law student, I've found absolutely no correlation between my colleagues' undergrad majors and either their performance in law school, or their ability to find attractive work opportunities. As far as I can tell, law school admissions officers also prefer a wide array of undergrad experience rather than a strictly pre-law curriculum.
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realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Jan, 2005 05:03 pm
Here is another little random aside. I own a couple of residential properties that I offer for lease, as well as some office property, also for lease. I'm a good ole boy. I prefer a firm handshake to a written lease. You pay me the rent on time and if there is a problem that is not your fault, let me know and I will get it fixed immediately. 25 years and I've never been burnt and I still get Christmas cards from tenants whose kids were, I guess, created in one of my cottages and who are now off to college or playing sports or music in high school or middle school.
There is a dirty little secret around our university town, amongst small landlords, that one should never, never rent to law students. Excessive partying? Perhaps. But it could also be that "...a little knowledge is a dangerous thing."
Did I ever tell yall about my recent encounter with, in another venue, me, a law student, and a 1906 Supreme Court decision?
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WhatTheDickens
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Jan, 2005 09:42 am
A few questions...
Hello all,

First off, i'd like to thank all of you offering advice. It's helpful to those of us who are too intimidated by the Law School Application Process to even think clearly.

I'd like to ask some question which are a little more pertinant to my situation:

I'm a recently graduated EE (Electrical Engineer), and i've been fortunate enough to find employment at a small electronics company. My company is slowly shifting over to China, and as a result, i'm interested in what I can do with my EE degree (which was a pain and a half to get) which won't be outsourced to someone who's smarter than I am, and getting paid at a fraction of what I'm paid.

I've recently stumbled across IP/IT Law, which seems right up my alley. I have a strong technical background (Design Engineer), and i've gotten some solid work experience. I think i'll be working in a more business oriented job when I get my pink slip, something along the lines of technical policy writing or insurance/venture capitol management for small tech companies. If I can get a job with an IP/IT Lawyer or Agent, i'd gladly take it, as it'll only be to my benefit.

My question is this: will there still be a demand for IP/IT Lawyers in the upcoming years? I don't want to sink a considerable fortune into getting another hard degree, only to watch my job opportunites shipped off to someone who earns pennies on the dollar. My GPA was ok, nothing too fancy (ie around the high C+/B mark - thanks to a difficult engineering program), and i'll be sitting for the LSAT soon. How much weight do Law Schools put towards the GPA...should I be worried about not making it in? I'm a Canadian (in Canada Very Happy ) but i'd like to go to a Law School in the States, as there are better opportunites in the States, and you guys have much better cell phone plans than we do up here :wink:.

I've spoken to a few IP Lawyers, and while the work is demanding, I love writing, and I'm technically inclined. I'd much prefer writing to evaluating circuits all day long, truth be told. I'm convinced that it's for me, I just hope that I have what it takes to make it in, stay in, and have a long lasting and interesting career for years to come.

Any advice/concerns would greatly be appreciated.

Thanks again.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Jan, 2005 10:09 am
Re: A few questions...
WhatTheDickens? wrote:
My question is this: will there still be a demand for IP/IT Lawyers in the upcoming years? I don't want to sink a considerable fortune into getting another hard degree, only to watch my job opportunites shipped off to someone who earns pennies on the dollar. My GPA was ok, nothing too fancy (ie around the high C+/B mark - thanks to a difficult engineering program), and i'll be sitting for the LSAT soon. How much weight do Law Schools put towards the GPA...should I be worried about not making it in? I'm a Canadian (in Canada Very Happy ) but i'd like to go to a Law School in the States, as there are better opportunites in the States, and you guys have much better cell phone plans than we do up here :wink:.

I've spoken to a few IP Lawyers, and while the work is demanding, I love writing, and I'm technically inclined. I'd much prefer writing to evaluating circuits all day long, truth be told. I'm convinced that it's for me, I just hope that I have what it takes to make it in, stay in, and have a long lasting and interesting career for years to come.

Any advice/concerns would greatly be appreciated.

Thanks again.

Greetings, Dickens, welcome to A2K.

A couple of my best friends from law school were EEs who went into intellectual property (IP) law. I think there will be a fairly steady demand for IP lawyers, especially those with technical backgrounds, in the foreseeable future.

Law schools have different formulas for weighing grades, LSAT scores, and other factors. Schools will typically have some sort of system to weigh not only GPAs, but also the types of classes that you took, the difficulty of your major field, and the quality of your undergraduate institution. So a nuclear engineering degree from MIT would probably weigh more than a Creative Writing degree from Podunk State. Remember, though, that schools will also take your non-academic factors into account, such as your work in the engineering field. With decent LSAT scores, you should probably have no trouble getting into a good law school.
0 Replies
 
WhatTheDickens
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Jan, 2005 10:20 am
Re: A few questions...
joefromchicago wrote:

Greetings, Dickens, welcome to A2K.

A couple of my best friends from law school were EEs who went into intellectual property (IP) law. I think there will be a fairly steady demand for IP lawyers, especially those with technical backgrounds, in the foreseeable future.

Law schools have different formulas for weighing grades, LSAT scores, and other factors. Schools will typically have some sort of system to weigh not only GPAs, but also the types of classes that you took, the difficulty of your major field, and the quality of your undergraduate institution. So a nuclear engineering degree from MIT would probably weigh more than a Creative Writing degree from Podunk State. Remember, though, that schools will also take your non-academic factors into account, such as your work in the engineering field. With decent LSAT scores, you should probably have no trouble getting into a good law school.


Thanks for the welcome!

When I went into EE, there was a huge demand for us tech geeks. Employers didn't even care what your background was, as long as you were a warm body and could put together sentences longer than two words, you were hired. Times were good for guys like me. Then the bubble burst, and there were too many guys like me Sad

I'm hoping that if I diversify and go to Law School, I won't have to face the reality that some of my friends/family have had to deal with. 15+ years of working experience at a XYZ Telecom, only to be laid off with no remorse, and being over qualified to get another job - or being underpaid at another company.

Would you guys recommend a test prep school which is good? I've researched Kaplan, Oxford, etc, but I don't know which one is good, and which one will really prepare me for the LSAT's, and which one will just take my money, give me a book and tell me to read.

Thanks Again!
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Jan, 2005 11:50 am
Re: A few questions...
WhatTheDickens? wrote:
Would you guys recommend a test prep school which is good? I've researched Kaplan, Oxford, etc, but I don't know which one is good, and which one will really prepare me for the LSAT's, and which one will just take my money, give me a book and tell me to read.

Thanks Again!

I can speak about Kaplan and Princeton Review -- I'm not familiar with the other test prep companies. Both have classroom instruction as part of their course offerings, so they won't just sell you a bunch of books and tell you to read. I know that Kaplan also offers extensive on-line instruction materials, and I would imagine that Princeton Review does as well. Furthermore, both offer private tutoring (for an additional fee, of course).

In general, I tell people that LSAT prep courses are particularly helpful if you study better in a structured environment. If you're self-motivated, organized, and studious, then you can probably do just as well studying on your own with some test prep books rather than spending a lot of money on a course. On the other hand, if you need the motivation and structure that a course provides, it would be money well spent.
0 Replies
 
WhatTheDickens
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2005 08:52 am
Re: A few questions...
I had some another questions regarding the IP Law field:

Is it/can it (IP/IT Law) be exported or outsourced overseas to a third world country where foreign workers can do the job at pennies on the dollar?

And, what is the job market like? When I started studying EE, tech companies were begging us to come work for them...and now they don't even return our phone calls. Upon graduation, is it difficult to find gainful employment as an IP/IT Lawyer - or at least in a Law firm?

I don't know much about the hiring policies in Law companies, but if it's anything like those of Tech companies, you're only an asset when someone else wants you, otherwise you're expendable.

I guess I just want to know if it'll be difficult to get a placement in a IP Law firm, and not have to go from contract to contract like i'm doing now.

Thank Again, and please forgive my ignorance.
0 Replies
 
 

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