Diploma Privilege for DC

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Legal Philosopher

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Diploma Privilege for DC

Post by Legal Philosopher » Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:17 pm

Hello!

In the midst of the pandemic, can the US Congress enact legislation for diploma privilege in DC for everyone???

At least, a lot of people could be Out-of-State attorneys in their own jurisdictions and also can do fed jobs (i.e. Immigration, Bankruptcies)

nixy

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Re: Diploma Privilege for DC

Post by nixy » Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:50 pm

That’s not going to happen.

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polareagle

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Re: Diploma Privilege for DC

Post by polareagle » Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:57 pm

Legal Philosopher wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:17 pm
Hello!

In the midst of the pandemic, can the US Congress enact legislation for diploma privilege in DC for everyone???

At least, a lot of people could be Out-of-State attorneys in their own jurisdictions and also can do fed jobs (i.e. Immigration, Bankruptcies)
I mean, it *could* in the same way that it *could* legislate the opening hours of a particular swimming pool (which it once did) or *could* set the speed limit on a neighborhood street because all power over D.C. ultimately rests with Congress.

It won't because that's about the last thing on anyone's mind on the Hill and, with the exception of certain high profile culture war issues like financing of abortion or needle exchanges, Congress generally tries to avoid meddling in local affairs.

And it shouldn't (and would be opposed by the D.C. Bar for sure) because, among other reasons, it makes no sense to saddle one jurisdiction with responsibility for attorney misconduct by thousands of attorneys who will never work in (or maybe even visit) the District. And requiring the D.C. Bar to complete C&F evaluations on these thousands of lawyers would back up a system that already takes way, way too long with just D.C. exam takers and regular waive-ins. The waiver procedure already makes it uniquely easy to join the D.C. Bar--just take *any* other bar exam and you're good!

Also, you can't just be an "out of state" attorney practicing in another jurisdiction--that's unauthorized practice of law. A given judge can admit you pro hac for a given matter, but you're not likely to be going in front of a judge as a first year anyway. You're right that D.C. admission would permit you to practice in bankruptcy or (some) federal courts and do any federal attorney job, but, again, that's not really going to be applicable to a new graduate.

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cavalier1138

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Re: Diploma Privilege for DC

Post by cavalier1138 » Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:11 pm

This is a not-great idea, even ignoring the practical difficulties.

I get that COVID-19 has made this year an extremely difficult year for test-takers (and everyone else, not that this seems to matter...), but that doesn't mean that bars like DC and NY should be implementing such extreme solutions. Diploma privilege works when it can be contained and only extended to a select group. NY and DC can't do that in any kind of fair way, because a lot of people who want to practice in those states (and "state") aren't going to school there. But unless the ABA actually starts enforcing standards for schools and shutting down the predatory scams that currently have accreditation, the kind of widespread diploma privilege you imagine is a horrible idea.

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