Which Bar to Take

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Anonymous User
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Which Bar to Take

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 05, 2009 2:28 pm

I left the heading broad so that others can feel free to chime in with information and questions about other states as they make their own decisions regarding which bar to take.

I'm a 3L who will be going to a DC firm next year, and I'm starting to think about which bar to take (since you can waive into the DC bar from any state). In particular, I'm thinking about the Georgia bar and the Florida bar, since I'm sort of from both places and might want to move back to one of them in the future if I leave DC. The big thing I'm thinking about is reciprocity rules. Georgia has pretty lenient ones (you can waive in from any other jurisdiction that will let you waive in based on GA bar membership, as long as you've been practicing 5 of the last 7 years). Florida, on the other hand, has no reciprocity. So one thought is that I could take Florida, waive into DC, and then use the DC membership to waive into Georgia if I ever move there. On the other hand, I think it's more likely I would want to move to Atlanta than to any Florida market, and I don't know if the five-year wait would be an issue. Hopefully I'll like my firm and want to stay in DC, but who knows... I know about the BigLaw attrition rate, of course.

Does anyone have any particular information about pros or cons of the Florida or Georgia bar exams (or bar membership) I should keep in mind?

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reasonable_man
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Re: Which Bar to Take

Postby reasonable_man » Sat Sep 05, 2009 2:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I left the heading broad so that others can feel free to chime in with information and questions about other states as they make their own decisions regarding which bar to take.

I'm a 3L who will be going to a DC firm next year, and I'm starting to think about which bar to take (since you can waive into the DC bar from any state). In particular, I'm thinking about the Georgia bar and the Florida bar, since I'm sort of from both places and might want to move back to one of them in the future if I leave DC. The big thing I'm thinking about is reciprocity rules. Georgia has pretty lenient ones (you can waive in from any other jurisdiction that will let you waive in based on GA bar membership, as long as you've been practicing 5 of the last 7 years). Florida, on the other hand, has no reciprocity. So one thought is that I could take Florida, waive into DC, and then use the DC membership to waive into Georgia if I ever move there. On the other hand, I think it's more likely I would want to move to Atlanta than to any Florida market, and I don't know if the five-year wait would be an issue. Hopefully I'll like my firm and want to stay in DC, but who knows... I know about the BigLaw attrition rate, of course.

Does anyone have any particular information about pros or cons of the Florida or Georgia bar exams (or bar membership) I should keep in mind?


I took NY and CT in 08 and passed both.. Florida and Georgia might be tough to take at the same time, but I've heard of people doing stranger things.. Once you study for the harder of the two states, its not particularly hard to prep for the second state...

That said, FL is supposed to be a pretty tricky bar..

Also, waiving into DC, as I understand it, is easier from a state that utilizes the MBE?... As long as you break a 135 or 140 on the MBE, I believe you can waive into DC... Might be worth it to check and see if both Florida and Georgia use the MBE..

Anonymous User
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Re: Which Bar to Take

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 05, 2009 2:56 pm

Thanks for that!

I should have been more clear... I'm deciding between the two; don't want to take both. They do both use the MBE, btw.

So, the Florida bar is supposed to be tricky? That's exactly the kind of info I'm looking for.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Which Bar to Take

Postby reasonable_man » Sat Sep 05, 2009 3:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for that!

I should have been more clear... I'm deciding between the two; don't want to take both. They do both use the MBE, btw.

So, the Florida bar is supposed to be tricky? That's exactly the kind of info I'm looking for.


Yeah typically, they say that NY and Cali are the two toughest (refuse to start a debate over which is harder.. we'll call it a tie).. and then generally Florida is supposed to be the next most difficult.. Like NY, FL, if I am not mistaking, tends to test a lot of florida specific law.. I, personally, didn't mind having to learn more state specific law, but it could be annoying if you aren't going to practice in that jurisdiction right away, i.e. if you aren't practicing there, knowing the exact timing for a motion for summary judgment is far less important/useful..

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ggocat
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Re: Which Bar to Take

Postby ggocat » Sat Sep 05, 2009 3:33 pm

Would a difference in the CLE requirements make a difference? (Do you intend to maintain your GA/FL bar membership while practicing in DC?)

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Re: Which Bar to Take

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 05, 2009 4:02 pm

Thanks reasonable_man. Very helpful!

ggocat, the CLE requirements are relatively equivalent. Florida it's something like 30 over 3 years, while Georgia is 12 per year. So slightly more in Georgia. But I hear it's pretty easy to get CLEs at the firm... lunch presentations, etc.




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