20 Hour ABA Rule

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Miller32
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20 Hour ABA Rule

Postby Miller32 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:45 am

Should the rule be taken seriously? What are potential consequences of breaking it?

I know answers are going to be fairly anecdotal but any input would be appreciated.

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superhands
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Re: 20 Hour ABA Rule

Postby superhands » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:51 am

Depending on the jurisdiction in which you wish to practice, it could preclude your admission to the bar.

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kalvano
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Re: 20 Hour ABA Rule

Postby kalvano » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:16 am

Working more than 20 hours a week would seriously impair your ability to get good grades, so the consequences could be severe.

Miller32
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Re: 20 Hour ABA Rule

Postby Miller32 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:04 am

Care to elaborate Superhands? What jurisdictions? Where are you getting your info from?

Black-Blue
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Re: 20 Hour ABA Rule

Postby Black-Blue » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:54 am

I've never heard of this rule being actually enforced. I don't see how the ABA would know if you're working, or why they'd even bother. Furthermore, these restraints might not even be enforceable in some states if actually challenged.

Working more than 20 hours a week would seriously impair your ability to get good grades, so the consequences could be severe.

Grades don't matter after 1L for many people.

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superhands
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Re: 20 Hour ABA Rule

Postby superhands » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:35 pm

Miller32 wrote:Care to elaborate Superhands? What jurisdictions? Where are you getting your info from?


Check your local rules. I know that the rules of state where I wish to practice specifically provide that you cannot work more then 20 hours per week while enrolled in a full time JD program. Also, I will echo the sentiments of the other posters here and say that working full time during your 1L year is not worth it. The extra time spend working will only earn you a few thousand dollars, and could scholastic performance during your first semester.

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BunkMoreland
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Re: 20 Hour ABA Rule

Postby BunkMoreland » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:08 pm

superhands wrote:
Miller32 wrote:Care to elaborate Superhands? What jurisdictions? Where are you getting your info from?


Check your local rules. I know that the rules of state where I wish to practice specifically provide that you cannot work more then 20 hours per week while enrolled in a full time JD program. Also, I will echo the sentiments of the other posters here and say that working full time during your 1L year is not worth it. The extra time spend working will only earn you a few thousand dollars, and could scholastic performance during your first semester.


What about 3L when grades don't matter?

LawIdiot86
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Re: 20 Hour ABA Rule

Postby LawIdiot86 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:12 pm

BunkMoreland wrote:
superhands wrote:
Miller32 wrote:Care to elaborate Superhands? What jurisdictions? Where are you getting your info from?


Check your local rules. I know that the rules of state where I wish to practice specifically provide that you cannot work more then 20 hours per week while enrolled in a full time JD program. Also, I will echo the sentiments of the other posters here and say that working full time during your 1L year is not worth it. The extra time spend working will only earn you a few thousand dollars, and could scholastic performance during your first semester.


What about 3L when grades don't matter?

I think this depends on the state. I've never heard of anyone failing C&F because they violated this rule. But I do know my state requires every legal employer I've heard during law school to fill out a reference form. I haven't looked at the form yet, but if they ask hours worked per week, it would be absurdly easy to figure out who is violating the rule and ding them.

2LLLL
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Re: 20 Hour ABA Rule

Postby 2LLLL » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:13 pm

I feel like this rule is becoming antiquated in light of the increasing ITE practice of midsize and small firms wanting you to clerk during the 3L school year to get a post-graduation offer, as opposed to just going 2L SA -> Associate. I worked for a firm for my entire 3L fall semester, and while I was scheduled for only 15 hours a week, there were 1-2 weeks where I worked >20. And really, for 3Ls the rule is stupid. Obviously in theory your grades should matter throughout law school, but established hiring practices have made it so that only 1L grades really matter. This rule should really only apply to 1Ls.


Everyone complains about how law school doesn't prepare its graduates for practice, and how law school is too expensive, but then they make a rule discouraging students from gaining real-world practice experience and alleviating the need for student loans.

timbs4339
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Re: 20 Hour ABA Rule

Postby timbs4339 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:44 pm

Anyone know if this rule applies only to salaried work or also includes volunteering for no credit or pay?

At some schools, there is basically a 0% chance you'll fail during 2L and 3L even if you don't show up to class and wing the exam from a shared drive outline. But these schools are placing so many of their graduates into lucrative positions that nobody really cares about bringing in an extra $20/hr working for a small firm during the year. I did have a friend who grossed over a $100k during law school with a combination of SA jobs and working part-time at pro-rated salary for his boutique firm during 3L (he had a very in-demand PhD and was able to get IP jobs both 1L and 2L summers) but this is rare.

Then you have the schools where people could benefit from working and being able to prove their worth to employers, but these are also schools where you might actually fail out of law school. Or they are schools that focus on preparing students for the bar, so students need to put in some real face-time.

Their are probably schools in the middle where students can sleepwalk their way to a JD but still aren't placing many graduates into lucrative positions. So these students would really benefit from being able to bring in some extra money and have a shot at working their way into a full-time position.

The whole rule should be reformed to exempt work in law offices or firms. I think the ABA Law Student section recommended something to the ABA. But lol @ them ever taking that seriously.

Black-Blue
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Re: 20 Hour ABA Rule

Postby Black-Blue » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:46 pm

The rates at IP boutiques are way higher than 20/hr. These firms are the high-paying ones who employ students part time during the school year, since biglaw doesn't usually employ part time clerks. I think the 20 hour limit, if it is actually enforced, hurts the IP folks the most.

LawIdiot86 wrote:but if they ask hours worked per week, it would be absurdly easy to figure out who is violating the rule and ding them.

Even if you work more than 20 hours a week, that doesn't mean you violated any rules. A lot of students at some schools switch between part time and full time, and those with part time status can work any number of hours. Merely working over 20 hours during your JD time doesn't mean anything.

Secondly, a lot of people are officially scheduled for less than 20 hours a week, but might incidentally work over 20 hours a week on some occasions. The employer might not even be keeping track, or if they did, they wouldn't bother to check each week to see if the number is over 20.

Miller32
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Re: 20 Hour ABA Rule

Postby Miller32 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:05 pm

OP here. My dilemma is i'll be working 20 hours per week with a firm, and then 5-10 as an RA. I'm not a 1L. Would rather not give up the RA position as its easy and I like it, but not sure how seriously I should take the 20 hour rule.

zomginternets
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Re: 20 Hour ABA Rule

Postby zomginternets » Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:45 pm

Miller32 wrote:OP here. My dilemma is i'll be working 20 hours per week with a firm, and then 5-10 as an RA. I'm not a 1L. Would rather not give up the RA position as its easy and I like it, but not sure how seriously I should take the 20 hour rule.


ABA Rule 304(F): "A student may not be employed more than 20 hours per week in any week in which the student is enrolled in more than twelve class hours."

I presume working as a paid RA counts as being "employed" for the purpose of this rule.

Actually committing to (as opposed to "accidentally") working more than 20 hours per week seems risky. Did you sign a form w/ your school stating you wouldn't work more than 20 hours per week? If so, this ups the risk even more.

I'm sure there are cases you can find on westlaw/lexis that have addressed this problem before. Maybe working without pay for the RA position (if you like it that much) might get around this.

Miller32
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Re: 20 Hour ABA Rule

Postby Miller32 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:02 pm

Thank you for quoting the rule I am clearly already aware of.

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hdivschool
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Re: 20 Hour ABA Rule

Postby hdivschool » Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:41 pm

I don't think ABA 304(f) applies directly to students (although there may be other rules to the same effect that do); it applies to schools.

You should be more worried about being sanctioned by your school, which almost certainly has adopted ABA 304(f) in the student handbook. In fact, they may have adopted an even stricter rule. Also, your school most likely requires you to report the number of hours you're working, and if it's over 20, they'll do something (I'm not sure what, though).

Your best best to keep both jobs is to do the RA work for free.

2LLLL
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Re: 20 Hour ABA Rule

Postby 2LLLL » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:24 pm

I don't think ABA 304(f) applies directly to students (although there may be other rules to the same effect that do); it applies to schools.

You should be more worried about being sanctioned by your school, which almost certainly has adopted ABA 304(f) in the student handbook. In fact, they may have adopted an even stricter rule. Also, your school most likely requires you to report the number of hours you're working, and if it's over 20, they'll do something (I'm not sure what, though).

Your best best to keep both jobs is to do the RA work for free.



I think this is true about the rule applying to schools. My school recently sent out a thing where you had to certify that you weren't in violation, and the e-mail from the school said it was an issue with the school remaining accredited

LawIdiot86
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Re: 20 Hour ABA Rule

Postby LawIdiot86 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:25 pm

2LLLL wrote:
I don't think ABA 304(f) applies directly to students (although there may be other rules to the same effect that do); it applies to schools.

You should be more worried about being sanctioned by your school, which almost certainly has adopted ABA 304(f) in the student handbook. In fact, they may have adopted an even stricter rule. Also, your school most likely requires you to report the number of hours you're working, and if it's over 20, they'll do something (I'm not sure what, though).

Your best best to keep both jobs is to do the RA work for free.



I think this is true about the rule applying to schools. My school recently sent out a thing where you had to certify that you weren't in violation, and the e-mail from the school said it was an issue with the school remaining accredited

USNews rank and year? I'm a 3L at a T14 and I know this rule is in our handbook, but I've never seen a reporting form or notice reminding us to abide by the rule.

2LLLL
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Re: 20 Hour ABA Rule

Postby 2LLLL » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:30 pm

LawIdiot86 wrote:
2LLLL wrote:
I don't think ABA 304(f) applies directly to students (although there may be other rules to the same effect that do); it applies to schools.

You should be more worried about being sanctioned by your school, which almost certainly has adopted ABA 304(f) in the student handbook. In fact, they may have adopted an even stricter rule. Also, your school most likely requires you to report the number of hours you're working, and if it's over 20, they'll do something (I'm not sure what, though).

Your best best to keep both jobs is to do the RA work for free.



I think this is true about the rule applying to schools. My school recently sent out a thing where you had to certify that you weren't in violation, and the e-mail from the school said it was an issue with the school remaining accredited

USNews rank and year? I'm a 3L at a T14 and I know this rule is in our handbook, but I've never seen a reporting form or notice reminding us to abide by the rule.


My school isn't marginally accreditted if that's what you're getting at. It wasn't really a reporting form, just a think you had to sign saying you weren't going to work >20 hours. My guess is they had a problem with it last year and this was some administrator's response

NotMyRealName09
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Re: 20 Hour ABA Rule

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:46 pm

LawIdiot86 wrote:
2LLLL wrote:
I don't think ABA 304(f) applies directly to students (although there may be other rules to the same effect that do); it applies to schools.

You should be more worried about being sanctioned by your school, which almost certainly has adopted ABA 304(f) in the student handbook. In fact, they may have adopted an even stricter rule. Also, your school most likely requires you to report the number of hours you're working, and if it's over 20, they'll do something (I'm not sure what, though).

Your best best to keep both jobs is to do the RA work for free.



I think this is true about the rule applying to schools. My school recently sent out a thing where you had to certify that you weren't in violation, and the e-mail from the school said it was an issue with the school remaining accredited

USNews rank and year? I'm a 3L at a T14 and I know this rule is in our handbook, but I've never seen a reporting form or notice reminding us to abide by the rule.


"USNews rank and year?" What a douchebag. You could have omitted that question completely to get your point across, instead you imply that non-T14 schools are, um, concerned with ethics and ABA compliance, which is oh-so-very TTT?




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