Getting a JD in one state, then moving to another later?

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upfish
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Getting a JD in one state, then moving to another later?

Postby upfish » Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:09 pm

So, I would love to book it to the West Coast like, stat, but my partner has a great job here in Houston and is finishing a certificate and etc. Basically, there are a lot of solid, continuing life things going on that make staying in Houston a better bet economically (barring lots of scholarship money), and relationship-wise. (And in b4 "relationships don't survive law school." All responses need to operate under a "THIS relationship survives law school" hypothesis.)

My five-year plan is to complete law school at UH (pending likely acceptance), work in a firm in the city for a couple of years to build a resume, then move west either to northern California, or Washington state.

Is this doable? What happens when you move from practicing law in one state to another? As I understand it, I'll be taking the bar in the state I move to. Is this correct? Will firms be hesitant to hire me because I'm from out of state?

Would it be better overall to spend more on loans to go to school in the region I want to have a career in?

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edgnarly
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Re: Getting a JD in one state, then moving to another later?

Postby edgnarly » Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:30 pm

The hard part would be taking two Bar exams I would think, once you pass, the benefit is that you are then able to practice in two states, which could potentially make you more attractive to a firm over someone only able to practice in one state. That is all I've got.

Good luck.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Getting a JD in one state, then moving to another later?

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:53 pm

edgnarly wrote:The hard part would be taking two Bar exams I would think, once you pass, the benefit is that you are then able to practice in two states, which could potentially make you more attractive to a firm over someone only able to practice in one state. That is all I've got.

Good luck.



You probably wouldn't have to take two bar exams, although you always could. You need to look up the reciprocity rules for CA. Most states allow reciprocity after something like 5 years of licensed practice in another state on their reciprocity list. Some, Florida comes to mind immediately, won't ever allow you to practice in the state unless you take and pass their bar. DC is the most lenient...they waive in any bar in the country so long as you run through a few basic steps.

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Lawl Shcool
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Re: Getting a JD in one state, then moving to another later?

Postby Lawl Shcool » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:47 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:
edgnarly wrote:The hard part would be taking two Bar exams I would think, once you pass, the benefit is that you are then able to practice in two states, which could potentially make you more attractive to a firm over someone only able to practice in one state. That is all I've got.

Good luck.



You probably wouldn't have to take two bar exams, although you always could. You need to look up the reciprocity rules for CA. Most states allow reciprocity after something like 5 years of licensed practice in another state on their reciprocity list. Some, Florida comes to mind immediately, won't ever allow you to practice in the state unless you take and pass their bar. DC is the most lenient...they waive in any bar in the country so long as you run through a few basic steps.


Pretty sure CA and NY don't offer reciprocity

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megaTTTron
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Re: Getting a JD in one state, then moving to another later?

Postby megaTTTron » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:58 pm

Lawl Shcool wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:
edgnarly wrote:The hard part would be taking two Bar exams I would think, once you pass, the benefit is that you are then able to practice in two states, which could potentially make you more attractive to a firm over someone only able to practice in one state. That is all I've got.

Good luck.



You probably wouldn't have to take two bar exams, although you always could. You need to look up the reciprocity rules for CA. Most states allow reciprocity after something like 5 years of licensed practice in another state on their reciprocity list. Some, Florida comes to mind immediately, won't ever allow you to practice in the state unless you take and pass their bar. DC is the most lenient...they waive in any bar in the country so long as you run through a few basic steps.


Pretty sure CA and NY don't offer reciprocity



Hahahahahah. +1000. I thought the only states that offer reciprocity are the one's you don't want to go to.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Getting a JD in one state, then moving to another later?

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:05 pm

Lawl Shcool wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:
edgnarly wrote:The hard part would be taking two Bar exams I would think, once you pass, the benefit is that you are then able to practice in two states, which could potentially make you more attractive to a firm over someone only able to practice in one state. That is all I've got.

Good luck.



You probably wouldn't have to take two bar exams, although you always could. You need to look up the reciprocity rules for CA. Most states allow reciprocity after something like 5 years of licensed practice in another state on their reciprocity list. Some, Florida comes to mind immediately, won't ever allow you to practice in the state unless you take and pass their bar. DC is the most lenient...they waive in any bar in the country so long as you run through a few basic steps.


Pretty sure CA and NY don't offer reciprocity


You're right:

"there is no reciprocity with other states."

http://www.calbarxap.com/Applications/CalBar/California_Bar_Exam/default.asp

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ggocat
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Re: Getting a JD in one state, then moving to another later?

Postby ggocat » Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:41 am

upfish wrote:Is this doable?

Yes.

upfish wrote:What happens when you move from practicing law in one state to another?

You lose your clients (if you have any). You lose your day-to-day mentors. You lose your classmates. You lose your co-workers. You lose practically your entire network. Reputation is important in the law. When you make a drastic move like you're contemplating, your reputation pretty much starts over.

upfish wrote:As I understand it, I'll be taking the bar in the state I move to. Is this correct?

Some states allow you to waive in after a certain number of years practicing. Check reciprocity for your states here: --LinkRemoved--.

upfish wrote:Will firms be hesitant to hire me because I'm from out of state?

Yeah, somewhat. It will likely be more difficult than staying put.

upfish wrote:Would it be better overall to spend more on loans to go to school in the region I want to have a career in?

Depends how much. If it's a big difference, I would go to the cheaper school outside the region. It's a trade off. If you spend your summers in your desired post-grad location, you can have a decent shot at getting a job in the location you want. Just remember: it becomes more difficult to pick up and move the longer you stay in one location.

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upfish
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Re: Getting a JD in one state, then moving to another later?

Postby upfish » Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:20 am

ggocat wrote:
upfish wrote:What happens when you move from practicing law in one state to another?

You lose your clients (if you have any). You lose your day-to-day mentors. You lose your classmates. You lose your co-workers. You lose practically your entire network. Reputation is important in the law. When you make a drastic move like you're contemplating, your reputation pretty much starts over.

upfish wrote:As I understand it, I'll be taking the bar in the state I move to. Is this correct?

Some states allow you to waive in after a certain number of years practicing. Check reciprocity for your states here: --LinkRemoved--.

upfish wrote:Will firms be hesitant to hire me because I'm from out of state?

Yeah, somewhat. It will likely be more difficult than staying put.

upfish wrote:Would it be better overall to spend more on loans to go to school in the region I want to have a career in?

Depends how much. If it's a big difference, I would go to the cheaper school outside the region. It's a trade off. If you spend your summers in your desired post-grad location, you can have a decent shot at getting a job in the location you want. Just remember: it becomes more difficult to pick up and move the longer you stay in one location.


Thanks, this was really helpful and kind of grounding.

I hadn't thought about reputation and network. :| That's gonna have some sway on this decision that I previously hadn't been considering.

Is it difficult to get onto a firm for 1L or 2L summer that's outside your region? I assume it's gotta be since you're competing w/the people in (in this case) the PNW who are looking for the same thing.

Are there specific specialties that transfer better?

Aqualibrium
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Re: Getting a JD in one state, then moving to another later?

Postby Aqualibrium » Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:23 am

upfish wrote:
ggocat wrote:
upfish wrote:What happens when you move from practicing law in one state to another?

You lose your clients (if you have any). You lose your day-to-day mentors. You lose your classmates. You lose your co-workers. You lose practically your entire network. Reputation is important in the law. When you make a drastic move like you're contemplating, your reputation pretty much starts over.

upfish wrote:As I understand it, I'll be taking the bar in the state I move to. Is this correct?

Some states allow you to waive in after a certain number of years practicing. Check reciprocity for your states here: --LinkRemoved--.

upfish wrote:Will firms be hesitant to hire me because I'm from out of state?

Yeah, somewhat. It will likely be more difficult than staying put.

upfish wrote:Would it be better overall to spend more on loans to go to school in the region I want to have a career in?

Depends how much. If it's a big difference, I would go to the cheaper school outside the region. It's a trade off. If you spend your summers in your desired post-grad location, you can have a decent shot at getting a job in the location you want. Just remember: it becomes more difficult to pick up and move the longer you stay in one location.


Thanks, this was really helpful and kind of grounding.

I hadn't thought about reputation and network. :| That's gonna have some sway on this decision that I previously hadn't been considering.

Is it difficult to get onto a firm for 1L or 2L summer that's outside your region? I assume it's gotta be since you're competing w/the people in (in this case) the PNW who are looking for the same thing.

Are there specific specialties that transfer better?


It really depends on your school and rank. From Houston, I'm sure if you're in the top 10 or 15% you can at least get a few interviews for firm work in California. From there it's on you, but the competition is gonna be tough.

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upfish
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Re: Getting a JD in one state, then moving to another later?

Postby upfish » Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:54 am

Aqualibrium wrote:It really depends on your school and rank. From Houston, I'm sure if you're in the top 10 or 15% you can at least get a few interviews for firm work in California. From there it's on you, but the competition is gonna be tough.


Good to know. I wasn't sure of Houston's reputation outside Texas, so that's a little hopeful.

And I guess I'll add some more apps to PNW schools and see what kind of $$ I can get.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Getting a JD in one state, then moving to another later?

Postby Aqualibrium » Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:58 am

upfish wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:It really depends on your school and rank. From Houston, I'm sure if you're in the top 10 or 15% you can at least get a few interviews for firm work in California. From there it's on you, but the competition is gonna be tough.


Good to know. I wasn't sure of Houston's reputation outside Texas, so that's a little hopeful.

And I guess I'll add some more apps to PNW schools and see what kind of $$ I can get.



It's not so much about Houston having a good reputation outside the state. Not at all about that...I don't want to imply that because I just don't know enough about Houston. It's more about being at or near the top of your class at what employers can perceive to be at least a marginally good school.

I don't want to give the impression that it'll be easy. You'll have to do A LOT of leg work just to get interviews, then you'll have to rock them, then you'll have to stand up against the already very stiff competition in California. It's certainly doable, but your best bet may be to go to school in Cali. Especially since were operating under the "THIS relationship survives law school hypothesis."

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upfish
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Re: Getting a JD in one state, then moving to another later?

Postby upfish » Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:50 am

Aqualibrium wrote:
upfish wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:It really depends on your school and rank. From Houston, I'm sure if you're in the top 10 or 15% you can at least get a few interviews for firm work in California. From there it's on you, but the competition is gonna be tough.


Good to know. I wasn't sure of Houston's reputation outside Texas, so that's a little hopeful.

And I guess I'll add some more apps to PNW schools and see what kind of $$ I can get.



It's not so much about Houston having a good reputation outside the state. Not at all about that...I don't want to imply that because I just don't know enough about Houston. It's more about being at or near the top of your class at what employers can perceive to be at least a marginally good school.

I don't want to give the impression that it'll be easy. You'll have to do A LOT of leg work just to get interviews, then you'll have to rock them, then you'll have to stand up against the already very stiff competition in California. It's certainly doable, but your best bet may be to go to school in Cali. Especially since were operating under the "THIS relationship survives law school hypothesis."



Yeah, you have a point. I did a quick search for UH-educated lawyers in CA and WA and came back with quite a list. So, at least I know it's possible.

In the end, I think it's going to come down to available $$. If I can get enough to move out there now and not spend a shit ton on COL, then I will probably do it since it seems like not doing it will cost me long-term. Otherwise, I think making my career harder to save $100k+ on loans might be the better option, at least ITE.

Thanks, guys. =)

LurkerNoMore
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Re: Getting a JD in one state, then moving to another later?

Postby LurkerNoMore » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:47 pm

If you think you want to practice in another state some day, you should set up your career to make that happen. Since UH has a good reputation in Houston, you will need to capitalize on that. At the top of your list should be working with a law firm with a national reputation.

If you make it into a firm, you should then try to craft a practice that is portable. This means try to stay away from energy and oil law -- that's a TX and DC (on the regulatory end) practice primarily. Seek out projects that will allow you to build a broader base of skills, whether it is in litigation or transactional work.

The next step would be to consider whether or not you see yourself in a firm practice long term or not. If you do, you really do want to be in BigLaw -- preferably a firm that might allow an in-firm transfer. If not, then you will need to bank on the strength of your firm's name to help you lateral into a new market.

If you are looking to go in-house, switching markets isn't as big of deal. Companies will look for skill sets. Having a firm with a national reputation will help bolster your school. You should really think about what kind of in-house work you want to do early on in your career, though. In-house positions don't typically offer the type of training you get in a firm. Further, some skills are more in-house friendly than others.

If you do move, you will likely have to take the bar again -- but may get around this if you want to go in-house and the state you want to practice in has an in-house counsel registration process (or just doesn't consider in-house attorneys as practicing law for purpose of the bar).

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Re: Getting a JD in one state, then moving to another later?

Postby upfish » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:55 pm

Ugh, I was really hoping to avoid BigLaw even though I figured that was my best choice as far as moving.

I've heard that there is a lot of IP work in Houston, which is what I would ideally like to do. (I've heard you can get SOME work in IP w/o a strong tech background. If this isn't true, then it's obviously out.) Labor/employment would probably be my second choice. I'd basically love to do any kind of non-profit work as my career endgame, so oil/land stuff is not my preference anyway.

So I guess I will adjust to angling for BigLaw in the short-term and try to transition to CA/WA MidLaw in the long-term.

But thanks, that was extremely helpful advice.

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General Tso
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Re: Getting a JD in one state, then moving to another later?

Postby General Tso » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:01 pm

wait, you are going to Houston Law? the west coast markets are difficult even for UW/Hastings/Davis/Pepperdine/Loyola/USD students to land jobs. most out of state people practicing in California went to T20 schools + GW/ND.

there are about 20 Houston grads in LA, 20 in SF, and 12 in SD
http://californiabar.globl.org/report.p ... 0&g=2&pp=5

EDIT: as for WA state, I know a top 1/3 2009 UW grad who had to go solo due to no jobs in Seattle.

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upfish
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Re: Getting a JD in one state, then moving to another later?

Postby upfish » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:06 pm

General Tso wrote:wait, you are going to Houston Law? the west coast markets are difficult even for UW/Hastings/Davis/Pepperdine/Loyola/USD students to land jobs. most out of state people practicing in California went to T20 schools + GW/ND.

there are about 20 Houston grads in LA, 20 in SF, and 12 in SD
http://californiabar.globl.org/report.p ... 0&g=2&pp=5

EDIT: as for WA state, I know a top 1/3 2009 UW grad who had to go solo due to no jobs in Seattle.



Yeah, I've heard Seattle is tight right now. and the fact that people are having trouble graduating into jobs is one thing that makes me want to delay the move until I have experience in legal work. I figure a lawyer with 2-5 years of experience in Whatever would be a better sell than a fresh grad almost anywhere. Obv I'm a 0L w/no idea if that's true but that seems to be how most jobs work so I assume it transfers to law somewhat.

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ggocat
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Re: Getting a JD in one state, then moving to another later?

Postby ggocat » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:49 pm

upfish wrote:Is it difficult to get onto a firm for 1L or 2L summer that's outside your region? I assume it's gotta be since you're competing w/the people in (in this case) the PNW who are looking for the same thing.

If you already have ties to the region, it's easier. (e.g., you lived there for some time or went to school there). But generally difficult.

upfish wrote:Are there specific specialties that transfer better?

Tax, bankruptcy, intellectual property, and any specialty that has a federal emphasis.

CyLaw
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Re: Getting a JD in one state, then moving to another later?

Postby CyLaw » Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:40 am

Lawl Shcool wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:
edgnarly wrote:The hard part would be taking two Bar exams I would think, once you pass, the benefit is that you are then able to practice in two states, which could potentially make you more attractive to a firm over someone only able to practice in one state. That is all I've got.

Good luck.



You probably wouldn't have to take two bar exams, although you always could. You need to look up the reciprocity rules for CA. Most states allow reciprocity after something like 5 years of licensed practice in another state on their reciprocity list. Some, Florida comes to mind immediately, won't ever allow you to practice in the state unless you take and pass their bar. DC is the most lenient...they waive in any bar in the country so long as you run through a few basic steps.


Pretty sure CA and NY don't offer reciprocity


While not relevant to the OP as they want to end up in CA, NY does offer reciprocity for some states.

http://www.nybarexam.org/AOM/AdmissiononMotion.htm

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upfish
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Re: Getting a JD in one state, then moving to another later?

Postby upfish » Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:00 pm

CyLaw wrote:While not relevant to the OP as they want to end up in CA, NY does offer reciprocity for some states.

http://www.nybarexam.org/AOM/AdmissiononMotion.htm


Being from OK originally, I'm surprised our backwards-ass state meets whatever standard they use for reciprocity. o.O

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Re: Getting a JD in one state, then moving to another later?

Postby Anonymous Loser » Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:25 pm

Since I've seen Washington being thrown around a bit in this thread, I thought I would point out that Washington does not use the MBE or the MPRE, which complicates reciprocity with many jurisdictions.




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