DC Bar

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goal_oriented
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DC Bar

Postby goal_oriented » Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:24 pm

I'm planning to possibly attend law school in DC. How does the bar system work there? Does DC have its own bar? And what are the CLE and MBE?

yabbadabbado
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Re: DC Bar

Postby yabbadabbado » Thu Nov 12, 2009 7:46 pm

DC does have it's own bar, but they have a process where you can take another state's bar exam and just waive into DC. So most people do that. Better to get licensed in two states instead of just one.

MBE is the multistate portion of the bar exam which is the same in every state. MBE is a multiple choice exam.

CLE = continuing legal education, after you pass the bar in any state, you have to take a certain amount of CLE in order to keep your law license. Each state sets it's own rules about CLE.

Anonymous Loser
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Re: DC Bar

Postby Anonymous Loser » Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:29 pm

yabbadabbado wrote:MBE is the multistate portion of the bar exam which is the same in [almost] every state. MBE is a multiple choice exam.


Washington and Louisiana don't use the MBE. Actually, Washington doesn't use the MPRE either.

Which leads to this:

yabbadabbado wrote:DC does have it's own bar, but they have a process where you can take another state's bar exam and just waive into DC. So most people do that.


Waiving into the DC bar with less than 5 years in practice in another jurisdiction requires both a score above 133 on the MBE and a passing score on the MPRE. So, if, like me, you plan on taking the WA bar (and this is the only reason I know this), you are kind of screwed on the DC deal that everyone else gets to take advantage of. Not sure if Louisiana bar members are equally screwed, although simply having to take the bar in Louisiana is arguably getting screwed over in and of itself.


edit:
Rule 46. Admission to the Bar.
(c) Admission Without Examination of Members of the Bar of Other Jurisdictions.
(3) Admissions Requirements. Any person may, upon proof of good moral
character as it relates to the practice of law, be admitted to the Bar of this court without
examination, provided that such person:
(i) Has been a member in good standing of a Bar of a court of general
jurisdiction in any state or territory of the United States for a period of five years immediately
preceding the filing of the application; or
(ii)(A) Has been awarded a J.D. or LL.B. degree by a law school which, at
the time of the awarding of the degree, was approved by the American Bar Association;
(B) Has been admitted to the practice of law in any state or territory of the
United States upon the successful completion of a written bar examination and has received a
scaled score of 133 or more on the Multistate Bar Examination which the state or territory deems
to have been taken as a part of such examination; and
(C) Has taken and passed, in accordance with paragraph (b)(5), the
Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE).

CyLaw
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Re: DC Bar

Postby CyLaw » Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:34 pm

Anonymous Loser wrote:


Excellent information. Good to know.

tengorazon
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Re: DC Bar

Postby tengorazon » Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:42 pm

Also be aware that it takes several months to waive into DC. I applied in December, didn't receive a confirmation until March, and wasn't admitted until the last week of July. Keep this in mind if you need to practice in DC right away (e.g., as a solo)...it's probably one of the only reasons to take the DC bar. Otherwise, accept the asterisk for a few months:

Tengorazon
Associate*
Blah Blah & Blah
Washington, DC

*Admitted only in Virginia. Supervised by members of the DC Bar under Rule X.


Also note that Maryland doesn't have any CLE requirements and is considered one of the easier bars. That said, I took Virginia b/c my firm appears in EDVA a lot.

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reasonable_man
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Re: DC Bar

Postby reasonable_man » Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:26 pm

And frankly, if you can't break a 133 on the MBE, you likely failed whichever other jurisdiction you took. The magic number in NY is usually 140+ if you want to pass. I've not met many people who went below 140 and actually passed. So basically, as long as you get basically the lowest passing score on the MBE you would ever want to get to pass your other state bar, you really should be able to waive into DC. I considered doing this when I took the NY bar, but ultimately didn't do it. (Got lazy at the end lol).

Anonymous Loser
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Re: DC Bar

Postby Anonymous Loser » Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:50 pm

tengorazon, what did you think of the VA bar? I'd heard that VA was one of the harder bar exams. Also, there's this:

The Board is aware that many law firms and other professional offices have "dress down" policies of varying descriptions. There is no "dress down" or "casual dress" policy at the Virginia Bar Exam.

Applicants who come to the Virginia Bar Exam are expected to dress in proper attire. For men, proper attire is coat and tie. For women, proper attire is traditional business attire.

Recognizing the high calibre of professionalism that has traditionally characterized the bar, the Board is confident that no further discussion of this topic will be necessary.


:shock:

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reasonable_man
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Re: DC Bar

Postby reasonable_man » Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:38 am

Anonymous Loser wrote:tengorazon, what did you think of the VA bar? I'd heard that VA was one of the harder bar exams. Also, there's this:

The Board is aware that many law firms and other professional offices have "dress down" policies of varying descriptions. There is no "dress down" or "casual dress" policy at the Virginia Bar Exam.

Applicants who come to the Virginia Bar Exam are expected to dress in proper attire. For men, proper attire is coat and tie. For women, proper attire is traditional business attire.

Recognizing the high calibre of professionalism that has traditionally characterized the bar, the Board is confident that no further discussion of this topic will be necessary.


:shock:



I wear a suit in court every time I go... Whats the big deal about wearing a suit for the bar exam...

Leeroy Jenkins
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Re: DC Bar

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:43 am

reasonable_man wrote:I wear a suit in court every time I go... Whats the big deal about wearing a suit for the bar exam...

I'd feel weird taking tests in a suit, I'd want to feel comfortable and a suit isn't exactly the best choice for that...

Anonymous Loser
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Re: DC Bar

Postby Anonymous Loser » Fri Nov 13, 2009 1:14 am

reasonable_man wrote:
Anonymous Loser wrote:tengorazon, what did you think of the VA bar? I'd heard that VA was one of the harder bar exams. Also, there's this:

The Board is aware that many law firms and other professional offices have "dress down" policies of varying descriptions. There is no "dress down" or "casual dress" policy at the Virginia Bar Exam.

Applicants who come to the Virginia Bar Exam are expected to dress in proper attire. For men, proper attire is coat and tie. For women, proper attire is traditional business attire.

Recognizing the high calibre of professionalism that has traditionally characterized the bar, the Board is confident that no further discussion of this topic will be necessary.


:shock:



I wear a suit in court every time I go... Whats the big deal about wearing a suit for the bar exam...


Mostly, it was the tone of the VA Board of Examiners that surprised me. Seems like it would be sufficient to state that professional attire was expected, but the quoted text goes quite a bit further than that.

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reasonable_man
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Re: DC Bar

Postby reasonable_man » Fri Nov 13, 2009 1:37 am

They probably have grown sick of douchebag law grads calling to complain about not being able to dress how they want to for the bar exam.

Personally, I like cut of their jib. I'm sick of lawyers dressing like shit. There was one kid at my admission ceremony who looked like he fell out of bed.. Put on the shitiest suit he could find an barely tied his tie and could hardly hold himself up for the oath.. People that don't take the profession seriously and refuse to dress like professionals should go find a nice cubicle job somewhere for 39k and stay away from the profession...

That said.. when i took the NY bar, i wore a tshirt and shorts lol

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voice of reason
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Re: DC Bar

Postby voice of reason » Fri Nov 13, 2009 1:58 am

There are two reasons to wear a suit. 1) You have something to prove -- something subjective about yourself. 2) You want to contribute formality/respect/grandeur to an occasion.

Some business meetings warrant suits for reason 1. Graduation ceremonies, weddings, and other fancy parties can warrant suits for reason 2. Court appearances warrant them for both reasons.

Taking a test doesn't warrant a suit. Sounds to me like the Virginia Bar has a stick up its collective ass.

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dextermorgan
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Re: DC Bar

Postby dextermorgan » Fri Nov 13, 2009 2:23 am

voice of reason wrote:There are two reasons to wear a suit. 1) You have something to prove -- something subjective about yourself. 2) You want to contribute formality/respect/grandeur to an occasion.

Some business meetings warrant suits for reason 1. Graduation ceremonies, weddings, and other fancy parties can warrant suits for reason 2. Court appearances warrant them for both reasons.

Taking a test doesn't warrant a suit. Sounds to me like the Virginia Bar has a stick up its collective ass.

+1

Anyone know of any other jurisdictions that require a suit to take the exam?

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reasonable_man
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Re: DC Bar

Postby reasonable_man » Fri Nov 13, 2009 2:36 am

voice of reason wrote:There are two reasons to wear a suit. 1) You have something to prove -- something subjective about yourself. 2) You want to contribute formality/respect/grandeur to an occasion.

Some business meetings warrant suits for reason 1. Graduation ceremonies, weddings, and other fancy parties can warrant suits for reason 2. Court appearances warrant them for both reasons.

Taking a test doesn't warrant a suit. Sounds to me like the Virginia Bar has a stick up its collective ass.


Im not sure TLS is big enough for the 'reasonable_man' and the 'voice of reason.' 20 Paces at dawn. ;)

tengorazon
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Re: DC Bar

Postby tengorazon » Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:25 am

Anonymous Loser wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:
Anonymous Loser wrote:tengorazon, what did you think of the VA bar? I'd heard that VA was one of the harder bar exams. Also, there's this:

The Board is aware that many law firms and other professional offices have "dress down" policies of varying descriptions. There is no "dress down" or "casual dress" policy at the Virginia Bar Exam.

Applicants who come to the Virginia Bar Exam are expected to dress in proper attire. For men, proper attire is coat and tie. For women, proper attire is traditional business attire.

Recognizing the high calibre of professionalism that has traditionally characterized the bar, the Board is confident that no further discussion of this topic will be necessary.


:shock:



I wear a suit in court every time I go... Whats the big deal about wearing a suit for the bar exam...


Mostly, it was the tone of the VA Board of Examiners that surprised me. Seems like it would be sufficient to state that professional attire was expected, but the quoted text goes quite a bit further than that.


Lol if you're going to take the VA bar, get used to that tone; you will see it repeatedly...from telling you not to call to see if your application has been received, to what you will be denied admission to the exam over, to making you write out an oath on your exam that you will not call to ask when scores will be released, to saying scores will be posted on the website only if no one calls them, and so forth...

That said, I am a fan of the suit-during-exam policy. When my friends who took other exams talk about their exam day attire (or people wearing their law school t-shirts en masse), it always takes me a second to remember that they didn't have to wear suits. At first I was annoyed that people in other jurisdictions were able to dress more comfortably, but there is something special about walking in to see 1000+ people getting ready to take an exam in a suit. And men can take off their jackets, so it wasn't that bad. Honestly, once you crack open the exam, you forget about everything else anyway.

As for the bar exam itself, it certainly is one of the harder ones, along with CA and NY. It tests 22+ areas (I've forgotten exactly how many), which is several more than CA, and possibly more than NY. You don't know in advance which areas they're going to test, so you have to study all of them. That said, pretty much everyone takes BARBRI, so if BARBRI doesn't teach it, no one else will probably know it either. There are certain subjects that come up every year, like VA procedure and trusts and estates. My year, I think, there was a tax question that was the first in over a decade. But overall, I didn't think it was that bad. I'm one of those weird people who kinda enjoyed studying for the bar and learning rudimentary, practical stuff that I didn't learn in law school.

Related to waiving into DC, VA doesn't release MBE scores...you just find out whether or not you passed. They will, however, tell you if your score was high enough to waive into another jurisdiction...for a fee (I forget what it is).

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reasonable_man
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Re: DC Bar

Postby reasonable_man » Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:29 am

NY test 25+ areas... I refuse to believe CA is as hard as everyone says it is.. I didn't realize VA had a tough exam, but 22 areas of law is a lot.. certainly more than most of those kiddie jurisdictions that only test 6 to 10 areas.. ;)

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voice of reason
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Re: DC Bar

Postby voice of reason » Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:54 pm

reasonable_man wrote:
voice of reason wrote:There are two reasons to wear a suit. 1) You have something to prove -- something subjective about yourself. 2) You want to contribute formality/respect/grandeur to an occasion.

Some business meetings warrant suits for reason 1. Graduation ceremonies, weddings, and other fancy parties can warrant suits for reason 2. Court appearances warrant them for both reasons.

Taking a test doesn't warrant a suit. Sounds to me like the Virginia Bar has a stick up its collective ass.


Im not sure TLS is big enough for the 'reasonable_man' and the 'voice of reason.' 20 Paces at dawn. ;)


lol :lol:




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