Waiving into a state

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Go Bears

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Waiving into a state

Postby Go Bears » Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:45 pm

This may not be the right place for this, as this seems mostly 3Ls or junior associates, but I will try anyway.

I have been at my current biglaw job almost 4 years, 8 months. This week, I accepted a job in the state next door, in the suburbs, starting later this month.

The new state's "foreign license" waiver allows you to obtain a license to practice there if you have been "actively engaged in the practice of law for five years" in your prior state.

I was wondering whether if by staying active in a couple of pro bono matters at my old firm, in my prior state, for the next four months, I would meet that requirement? I called down to ask, but I couldn't get a straight answer, because a 10-person board votes on you, and the inquiry is "fact-intensive."

I feel like I really possibly screwed up my career and my life here - I have a family and a house - if I can't get admitted. The bar exam isn't offered again until next February.

Go Bears

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Re: Waiving into a state

Postby Go Bears » Fri Jun 02, 2017 1:48 pm

I talked to my new employer, and they do have cases located in my prior state, which is good. Hopefully the state bar won't be concerned that I'm practicing out of the new state's office, though. It doesn't seem like that should matter, but, you know, lawyers.

Night_L

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Re: Waiving into a state

Postby Night_L » Fri Jun 02, 2017 1:59 pm

Go Bears wrote:I feel like I really possibly screwed up my career and my life here - I have a family and a house - if I can't get admitted. The bar exam isn't offered again until next February.


How so? The worst that could happen is that you have to sit through the bar again in Feb. Not ideal but hardly the apocalyptic end to your career and life. What am I missing?

Go Bears

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Re: Waiving into a state

Postby Go Bears » Fri Jun 02, 2017 2:08 pm

Night_L wrote:
Go Bears wrote:I feel like I really possibly screwed up my career and my life here - I have a family and a house - if I can't get admitted. The bar exam isn't offered again until next February.


How so? The worst that could happen is that you have to sit through the bar again in Feb. Not ideal but hardly the apocalyptic end to your career and life. What am I missing?


True. Just that it's a boutique/suburban firm and I doubt they'd be willing to wait around a year for me to get admitted.

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Mickfromgm

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Re: Waiving into a state

Postby Mickfromgm » Fri Jun 02, 2017 2:55 pm

Go Bears wrote:This may not be the right place for this, as this seems mostly 3Ls or junior associates, but I will try anyway.

I have been at my current biglaw job almost 4 years, 8 months. This week, I accepted a job in the state next door, in the suburbs, starting later this month.

The new state's "foreign license" waiver allows you to obtain a license to practice there if you have been "actively engaged in the practice of law for five years" in your prior state.

I was wondering whether if by staying active in a couple of pro bono matters at my old firm, in my prior state, for the next four months, I would meet that requirement? I called down to ask, but I couldn't get a straight answer, because a 10-person board votes on you, and the inquiry is "fact-intensive."

I feel like I really possibly screwed up my career and my life here - I have a family and a house - if I can't get admitted. The bar exam isn't offered again until next February.


It's impossible to answer this question if you don't disclose the two states involved, dontcha think? Nevertheless, I think you have the right answer - this active practice requirement is a fact-intensive inquiry . . . meaning the 10 people are not bound by any precedent (if there is any) and they can decide whatever based on the seat of their pants).

I find it very hard to believe that your old firm would let you stay on, presumably without pay, benefits, etc., but *with* malpractice coverage ($$), to represent their pro bono clients. Their malpractice might very well require them to make you a W-2 employee, not an outside contractor of some sort, to keep coverage.

I'd think that you can "actively" practice law part-time in the old state for the balance and still meet this 5 year requirement. Can you "set up" a "Law Office of Go Bears" in the first state for 3 months or so? I don't believe "actively practice law" necessarily means that you are practicing law full-time in that jurisdiction, or you have *any* clients in the jurisdiction. If you don't have clients, you can wait to get malpractice coverage. Ditto for an escrow account.

I mean, cough, if you open up a new office, you would need to go look for new clients and that could take up all of your time in the next 3-4 months, cough. Depending on the rules, you probably need a physical address for a "bona fide office" in the first state, maybe your old home or an office-share type of thing with Regus or whoever.

Don't fret, there is always a solution to everything . . . as long as you are creative and flexible. :)

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kellyfrost

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Re: Waiving into a state

Postby kellyfrost » Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:30 pm

Find a family member or friend who needs legal advice. Turn this into a four month long engagement with the client in which you are drafting them legal memorandums and giving them advice. You don't have to charge them.
Last edited by kellyfrost on Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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elendinel

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Re: Waiving into a state

Postby elendinel » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:11 pm

Go Bears wrote:
Night_L wrote:
Go Bears wrote:I feel like I really possibly screwed up my career and my life here - I have a family and a house - if I can't get admitted. The bar exam isn't offered again until next February.


How so? The worst that could happen is that you have to sit through the bar again in Feb. Not ideal but hardly the apocalyptic end to your career and life. What am I missing?


True. Just that it's a boutique/suburban firm and I doubt they'd be willing to wait around a year for me to get admitted.


As long as you didn't lie and say you were already admitted, I don't see why they wouldn't be willing to wait for you to get admitted; they'd have no reason to assume you're already admitted and they had your resume, which indicates how long you've been practicing/would give them all they needed to know about whether or not you could waive in.

Even if you're not overreacting about their not being willing to wait it out, it's hardly going to ruin your life even if you get fired. Cut yourself some slack.



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