Tired of (failing) the California Bar Exam: I'm going federal.

supa_mitsu
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Tired of (failing) the California Bar Exam: I'm going federal.

Postby supa_mitsu » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:30 am

After many attempts, I'm planning on passing the Bar Exam in an easier state (like Wisconsin) and then practice Federal Law (like immigration) in California. What do you think?

estefanchanning
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Re: Tired of (failing) the California Bar Exam: I'm going federal.

Postby estefanchanning » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:33 am

I guess it's a reasonable idea if you want to practice in a rural part of CA. If you're thinking LA, SD, or other metropolitan areas, I'd advise against this. CA is a very saturated market and there are plenty of unemployed grads who did pass the CA bar. Also it's very likely that whatever firm you work for will require you pass CA bar in case you need to do a one-off assignment in state court. Perhaps this may be different if you wanna do solo, but I can imagine it'll be grueling to find immigration work as a solo practice.

Passing a non-CA bar, regardless of what area you're going to practice in, will disadvantage you if you're seeking work in CA.

teaearlgreyhot
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Re: Tired of (failing) the California Bar Exam: I'm going federal.

Postby teaearlgreyhot » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:03 am

supa_mitsu wrote:After many attempts, I'm planning on passing the Bar Exam in an easier state (like Wisconsin) and then practice Federal Law (like immigration) in California. What do you think?


I would also suggest taking the bar in a UBE state, and not Wisconsin. While I'm sure any state bar is easier than California, Wisconsin's bar is based on its own state law which likely means taking amother bar course to learn all of the jurisdictional differences. (I think Wisconsin gets a reputation as an "easy" bar because so few people actually end up having to take it due to diploma privilege).

With the UBE you can likely use a lot of what you learned from studying for California, plus it gives you flexibility to practice in a lot of states.

Good luck!!

sgd19
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Re: Tired of (failing) the California Bar Exam: I'm going federal.

Postby sgd19 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:11 am

supa_mitsu wrote:After many attempts, I'm planning on passing the Bar Exam in an easier state (like Wisconsin) and then practice Federal Law (like immigration) in California. What do you think?


I would not continue making my life miserable. go to another state, take the exam, and get licensed. that license matters more than what an employer thinks. prestige is not going to put food on the table. what matters is you'll be able to call yourself an attorney, you're marketable, and on top of that, you'll get a job anywhere in federal in any state. it doesn't have to be california. but assuming you stick to california and the market is as competitive, then at least you have a job to keep you afloat and you can pay your bills until you get that ideal job in cali. it's a lot easier to find another job when you're working than searching while unemployed.

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CAnow
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Re: Tired of (failing) the California Bar Exam: I'm going federal.

Postby CAnow » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:04 pm

supa_mitsu wrote:After many attempts, I'm planning on passing the Bar Exam in an easier state (like Wisconsin) and then practice Federal Law (like immigration) in California. What do you think?


You should also ask yourself - Is immigration law really something you want to do? If not, taking an immigration law job will just be adding misery to misery.

I also agree on taking the UBE, as that will give you more options on a future place to call home if you do choose to work in a state where you are licensed. Arizona and Oregon are UBE states right next door to California.

supa_mitsu
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Re: Tired of (failing) the California Bar Exam: I'm going federal.

Postby supa_mitsu » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:11 pm

Thanks everybody for the advice. I guess I'll try the CBX another 2 times giving everything I got and then I'll try it in NY, where the cut score is way lower and the prestige/feasibility of the exam seems better than Wisconsin or some other states. Can't wait for this torture to be over...

FinallyPassedTheBar
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Re: Tired of (failing) the California Bar Exam: I'm going federal.

Postby FinallyPassedTheBar » Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:40 pm

I didn't even know it was possible to regularly practice Fed immigration law in CA without a CA license. I thought CA requires attorneys to be CA licensed even if only practicing Fed law issues.

mcmand
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Re: Tired of (failing) the California Bar Exam: I'm going federal.

Postby mcmand » Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:54 pm

6TimeFailure wrote:I didn't even know it was possible to regularly practice Fed immigration law in CA without a CA license. I thought CA requires attorneys to be CA licensed even if only practicing Fed law issues.


I think there would be weird federalism issues if that were the case. I don't think California has the ability to regulate what people do in federal court or in matters of federal jurisdiction/regulation.

maxmartin
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Re: Tired of (failing) the California Bar Exam: I'm going federal.

Postby maxmartin » Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:56 pm

mcmand wrote:
6TimeFailure wrote:I didn't even know it was possible to regularly practice Fed immigration law in CA without a CA license. I thought CA requires attorneys to be CA licensed even if only practicing Fed law issues.


I think there would be weird federalism issues if that were the case. I don't think California has the ability to regulate what people do in federal court or in matters of federal jurisdiction/regulation.


You can practice Federal issues in CA in a firm but you cannot open your solo shop in CA to practice federal issues without a valid CA license. At least you have to associate a CA lawyer to open a shop in CA. That is my understanding.

supa_mitsu
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Re: Tired of (failing) the California Bar Exam: I'm going federal.

Postby supa_mitsu » Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:14 am

mcmand wrote:
6TimeFailure wrote:I didn't even know it was possible to regularly practice Fed immigration law in CA without a CA license. I thought CA requires attorneys to be CA licensed even if only practicing Fed law issues.


I think there would be weird federalism issues if that were the case. I don't think California has the ability to regulate what people do in federal court or in matters of federal jurisdiction/regulation.


Exactly, in this link (§2.3(b) page 21) it says you can. It's only referred to appearing in front of an immigration judge but I assume it's valido also to practice immigration law in general.


maxmartin wrote:You can practice Federal issues in CA in a firm but you cannot open your solo shop in CA to practice federal issues without a valid CA license. At least you have to associate a CA lawyer to open a shop in CA. That is my understanding.


Oh, bummer. I tried to look for the source but I can't find it. Do you happen to have it?

maxmartin
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Re: Tired of (failing) the California Bar Exam: I'm going federal.

Postby maxmartin » Sun Dec 03, 2017 3:43 am

Even in a firm, I think your activity can only be temporary, not continuous in CA. So 6TimeFailure is largely correct. And I don't think the whole issues is settled yet.

https://apps.calbar.ca.gov/mcleselfstud ... ?testID=98

The primary inquiry is whether the unlicensed lawyer engaged in sufficient activities in the state, or created a continuing relationship with the California client that included legal duties and obligations.

When you are practicing federal issues in CA, you are engaging in sufficient activities in CA,
that is my understanding. But I attended an out of state law school, maybe someone who took CA PR class can give you a better answer. :D

maxmartin
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Re: Tired of (failing) the California Bar Exam: I'm going federal.

Postby maxmartin » Sun Dec 03, 2017 4:02 am

https://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/can- ... 66677.html

This thread may answer your question better. It looks like you can do administrative practice in front of a federal agency nation wide with only one state bar.

I still don’t think you can open your shop in CA without a CA license.

AspiringCALawyer
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Re: Tired of (failing) the California Bar Exam: I'm going federal.

Postby AspiringCALawyer » Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:27 am

maxmartin wrote:https://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/can-attorneys-licensed-in-a-state-practice-federal-966677.html

This thread may answer your question better. It looks like you can do administrative practice in front of a federal agency nation wide with only one state bar.

I still don’t think you can open your shop in CA without a CA license.


I too am not licensed in CA (failed twice); therefore, I am always hitting up people for workarounds. While speaking with a more seasoned attorney at a networking event, I was surprised to learn that a non-CA attorney can get a staff attorney job with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He suggested that as an option that would give one time to study for the bar while earning some money. I don't know how doable that is, though.

http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/e ... f_Atty.pdf

In addition, once you get licensed elsewhere, you could try to get in-house job and become a registered in-house counsel in CA. That's the strategy I'm pursuing in the meantime, especially since my character and fitness is already approved and valid for three years.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Tired of (failing) the California Bar Exam: I'm going federal.

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:38 am

mcmand wrote:
6TimeFailure wrote:I didn't even know it was possible to regularly practice Fed immigration law in CA without a CA license. I thought CA requires attorneys to be CA licensed even if only practicing Fed law issues.


I think there would be weird federalism issues if that were the case. I don't think California has the ability to regulate what people do in federal court or in matters of federal jurisdiction/regulation.

I don’t know anything about this from personal experience, but from looking at job postings, many (most?) US Attorney’s offices don’t require you to be barred locally, but the ones in California do, FWIW. (Even if practicing in federal court, you usually have to follow the professional rules of the underlying state jdx where the federal court sits, so there are some connections, though I don’t know whether technically it’s the state or feds who has decided that.)

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streetlawyer
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Re: Tired of (failing) the California Bar Exam: I'm going federal.

Postby streetlawyer » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:05 am

I'm in your same boat. To represent someone in an immigration matter you need to be licensed in a state so that you can fill out the G-28. If you are going to practice in immigration court you need to be registered with the Executive Office for Immigration Review. For any of that they don't ask you if you are licensed in the state you are practicing out of. I know a guy who is licensed in my state and is constantly going down to Texas for Immigration matters even though he isn't licensed there.

The problem is that I believe immigration is the only area of law that allows you to do that. You can't do that for Bankruptcy Court (need to join the Federal Bar of your State or move for Pro Hoc Viche if you go out of state) or anything else I know of. By the way pro hoc viche really is a miserable way to practice. Every state has different requirements, they want you to make a special motion and pay an exorbitant fee prior to getting anywhere near the case you went to that state for. It's not like TV where a lawyer just stands up, makes an oral motion and their in.

You need your license. Even as an immigration lawyer your ability to help someone is limited without your state's license. A lot of immigration clients will eventually end up in criminal court where you definitely do need your state's license. You need to get that license by any means necessary. I'm licensed in New York and work in Connecticut, I can't waive in and I've failed three times already. I started studying in October using all the leftover Bar Bri resources that I didn't use fully the first time around. By the end of December I plan on just doing practice questions. I have to master this, you have to master this. If we knuckle under what kind of lawyers will we be.

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Re: Tired of (failing) the California Bar Exam: I'm going federal.

Postby L_William_W » Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:38 pm

supa_mitsu wrote:After many attempts, I'm planning on passing the Bar Exam in an easier state (like Wisconsin) and then practice Federal Law (like immigration) in California. What do you think?


Take the NY Bar. NY used to be as hard as California until they dumbed it down and made it UBE. I passed the July 2017 NY Bar after getting my ass handed to me on the July 2014 NY Bar.

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horriblegb
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Re: Tired of (failing) the California Bar Exam: I'm going federal.

Postby horriblegb » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:13 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
mcmand wrote:
6TimeFailure wrote:I didn't even know it was possible to regularly practice Fed immigration law in CA without a CA license. I thought CA requires attorneys to be CA licensed even if only practicing Fed law issues.


I think there would be weird federalism issues if that were the case. I don't think California has the ability to regulate what people do in federal court or in matters of federal jurisdiction/regulation.

I don’t know anything about this from personal experience, but from looking at job postings, many (most?) US Attorney’s offices don’t require you to be barred locally, but the ones in California do, FWIW. (Even if practicing in federal court, you usually have to follow the professional rules of the underlying state jdx where the federal court sits, so there are some connections, though I don’t know whether technically it’s the state or feds who has decided that.)


FWIW, I am a recent transplant from a UBE state to CA, and a federally employed attorney. Under the CD Cal. local rules I have one year to be barred in California in order to practice here, so i have to take the bar exam even though i am a federal attorney. There is no work around there as far as I know. It really sucks.

supa_mitsu
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Re: Tired of (failing) the California Bar Exam: I'm going federal.

Postby supa_mitsu » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:05 pm

You are saying you work for the government, right?

mcmand
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Re: Tired of (failing) the California Bar Exam: I'm going federal.

Postby mcmand » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:17 pm

horriblegb wrote:FWIW, I am a recent transplant from a UBE state to CA, and a federally employed attorney. Under the CD Cal. local rules I have one year to be barred in California in order to practice here, so i have to take the bar exam even though i am a federal attorney. There is no work around there as far as I know. It really sucks.


Interesting. Well if the federal court is imposing that on you then there isn't really a federalism issue, I guess.

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pancakes3
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Re: Tired of (failing) the California Bar Exam: I'm going federal.

Postby pancakes3 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:38 pm

immigration is a different beast. you don't need to be barred at all to argue in front of the BIA - or at least you don't have to for certain issues.

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horriblegb
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Re: Tired of (failing) the California Bar Exam: I'm going federal.

Postby horriblegb » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:38 pm

I dont really know anything about immigration, but yes I do work for the federal gov't

supa_mitsu
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Re: Tired of (failing) the California Bar Exam: I'm going federal.

Postby supa_mitsu » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:46 pm

horriblegb wrote:I dont really know anything about immigration, but yes I do work for the federal gov't


It sounds like the government is imposing some extra rules on its employees. From what I understand, this limit won't apply to indipendent lawyers. Not sure though, I haven't checked your source.

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horriblegb
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Re: Tired of (failing) the California Bar Exam: I'm going federal.

Postby horriblegb » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:49 pm

It just the local rules for the C.D. Cal. for practice, this does not apply in the other federal districts as far as i know. And it is just a paragraph related to federal employees, I am not sure about private outside in house counsel, which just need to register in CA I believe

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Tired of (failing) the California Bar Exam: I'm going federal.

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:01 pm

supa_mitsu wrote:
horriblegb wrote:I dont really know anything about immigration, but yes I do work for the federal gov't


It sounds like the government is imposing some extra rules on its employees. From what I understand, this limit won't apply to indipendent lawyers. Not sure though, I haven't checked your source.

So if you go to the CD Cal website it looks like it’s not a government lawyer requirement but an everyone requirement - you can’t be admitted to appear in federal district court there without a California bar number. That probably doesn’t apply in immigration court (don’t know about bankruptcy) so whether this would work for will depend on whether you have to appear in federal district court as well as immigration court.

maxmartin
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Re: Tired of (failing) the California Bar Exam: I'm going federal.

Postby maxmartin » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:42 pm

supa_mitsu wrote:
horriblegb wrote:I dont really know anything about immigration, but yes I do work for the federal gov't


It sounds like the government is imposing some extra rules on its employees. From what I understand, this limit won't apply to indipendent lawyers. Not sure though, I haven't checked your source.


The issue is not entirely settled. You probably are fine to open a solo shop (I don't think you can) and practice administrative immigration matters. But once a disgruntled client or your competitors in the market complained to the bar, that would be a big headache for you.




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