Proposal requires hands-on training for law students

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Proposal requires hands-on training for law students

Postby cbkent » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:09 pm

http://www.calbarjournal.com/March2013/ ... s/TH1.aspx

If this proposal is adopted, it will be interesting to see how the CA DL law schools respond.

"The Task Force on Admissions Regulation Reform is tentatively recommending that law school students complete 250 semester hours of training between their second and third years of law school, as well as 50 hours of pro bono or low bono legal service either in law school or during their first year of practice."
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Re: Proposal requires hands-on training for law students

Postby Rich Douglas » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:24 am

IIRC, the DL schools are not CalBar accredited. Would that not mean that the standards cited here would be irrelevant to them?
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Re: Proposal requires hands-on training for law students

Postby cbkent » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:47 pm

I did not see anything in the proposal that limits the practical training requirement to students and graduates of accredited law schools.

In addition to unaccredited DL and internet schools, California has unaccredited B & M law schools. It is also possible to qualify for the bar exam by law office study or study in judge's chambers.

See:
http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Requirements.aspx

•J. D. degree from a law school accredited by the State Bar of California or approved by the ABA;
•Four years of study at a fixed-facility law school registered with the Committee;
•Four years of study, with a minimum of 864 hours of preparation and study per year, at an unaccredited distance-learning or correspondence law school registered with the Committee;
•Four years of study in the law office/judge’s chambers study program; or
•A combination of these methods.
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Re: Proposal requires hands-on training for law students

Postby Tark » Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:19 am

I believe that the proposed new requirement would apply to anyone applying for the Bar in California, regardless of the type of school attended.
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Re: Proposal requires hands-on training for law students

Postby gravamen » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:33 am

I don't see why the hands-on training requirement would pose a problem for DL law schools. The proposed requirement is for 250 hours of training (i.e., classroom instruction) in the things lawyers actually do in the practice of law. Based on my experience at Taft, that equates to approximately one 7-hour course in the CalBar distance law school world. So the distance law schools could add a course like that to the curriculum or, better yet, they could replace the two 3-hour electives I took in 4L and take an hour out of one of the 8-hour monster courses (e.g., Evidence) in the curriculum.

The pro bono requirement should pose no problem at all as long as it can be satisfied during the first year of practice.
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Re: Proposal requires hands-on training for law students

Postby nosborne48 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:55 pm

Our State Supreme Court recently imposed a mentorship requirement for most new attorneys. Nice idea but I don't think it will last.

I was contemplating opening a commercial bankruptcy practice in addition to tax when I retire. The idea would be to accept referrals from more general commercial law firms in two extremely technical practice areas without threatening to to take over the client completely. Well! A couple of hours of research in the hows and wheres of commercial bankruptcy caused me to shelve the idea. These days, you can't just "do" it. You have to get set up with the right accounts and software packages and the latter are expensive. Plus the whole system has become a trap for the unwary (or even the wary, really). Make a mistake, miss a deadline or fail to file this or that disclaimer and "poof!" the case gets dismissed and cannot be easily reopened or refiled.

Moral One: If you don't do bankruptcy, don't do a bankruptcy.

Moral Two: If you don't do bankruptcy but want to, work for an established firm for a while first. You really need the hands-on training so that you know where the more obvious alligators lurk.

CHOMP! :shock:
Una cosa mala nunca muere.
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Re: Proposal requires hands-on training for law students

Postby SteveFoerster » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:38 am

nosborne48 wrote:I was contemplating opening a commercial bankruptcy practice in addition to tax when I retire.

I thought the whole point of retiring was that you get to stop working? :twisted:
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Re: Proposal requires hands-on training for law students

Postby nosborne48 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:18 pm

Funny thing, that...

I will leave State employment with a pretty good pension in the next three years (if I live so long. I should but who knows?) I never contemplated just doing nothing. I loved doing law and the biggest frustration in my professional life over the last several years is that I couldn't. I worked as a captive agency lawyer with no advocacy duties and now as an administrator forbidden to even have a legal opinion. I have a lawyer for that and I must accept her advice rather than take my own. (That part is okay, really, since she's a better lawyer than I am).

Too, my professional life has always been about doing the thing that needs to be done which is how I ended up where I am now. I believe that my community needs the services that I can offer in retirement.

I think retirement will feel something like having a straight jacket removed after a long, long time. It will be nice to breathe freely again. :)
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Re: Proposal requires hands-on training for law students

Postby Rich Douglas » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:33 pm

nosborne48 wrote:Funny thing, that...

I will leave State employment with a pretty good pension in the next three years (if I live so long. I should but who knows?) I never contemplated just doing nothing. I loved doing law and the biggest frustration in my professional life over the last several years is that I couldn't. I worked as a captive agency lawyer with no advocacy duties and now as an administrator forbidden to even have a legal opinion. I have a lawyer for that and I must accept her advice rather than take my own. (That part is okay, really, since she's a better lawyer than I am).

Too, my professional life has always been about doing the thing that needs to be done which is how I ended up where I am now. I believe that my community needs the services that I can offer in retirement.

I think retirement will feel something like having a straight jacket removed after a long, long time. It will be nice to breathe freely again. :)


I retired from active duty in the Air Force 17 years ago (at age 36). My military pension has never been enough to live on, and currently represents about 15% of my income. I'm about to retire from Civil Service later this year. (I'll receive a small pension from that, but it will be deferred until I'm 62.) In neither case did "retirement" mean "not working (and certainly not "not earning"). I'll be returning to the private sector where I will continue to work until....I have no idea. Retirement doesn't seem to involve not working in the future, either. My "straight jacket" has been working for employers. Retirement for me will (I hope) mean working at my practice full-time. I suspect I have one more job in front of me before that. We'll see.
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Re: Proposal requires hands-on training for law students

Postby johann » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:48 pm

nosborne48 wrote:I think retirement will feel something like having a straight jacket removed after a long, long time. It will be nice to breathe freely again. :)

Yes - it WILL feel like that -- at least, it did for me. And I'm still "breathing freely" 20 years on. I was lucky. I qualified legitimately for retirement at 50. Don't think I could have stood another second of work! Thirty years of work one hates can leave permanent scars. Glad I'm out! :)

I "took the money and ran." It was a lump sum - not that much money; of course, if I'd have worked longer, it would have been more -- maybe much more. But I might have been dead! I figured that money would last me 15 years. I miscalculated slightly. Eked out with a little, sporadic (my choice) part-time work, it lasted just under 14 years. So then I worked full-time for a year and a bit until I collected my Canada and old-age pensions. (We have two here - Canada pension, you pay into while working; Old Age, you just show up when you're 65 and start collecting. No prior contribution required.)

And don't listen to people who "can't get a job." Hey, I was almost 64, hadn't worked much in many years, no big qualifications and I got one! Not a great job - not even a good one. But a JOB. To borrow a quote from the late (and famous) Bluesman, Muddy Waters: "Ain't no big money, but we's doin' it."

You'll always have problems -- at least I still do. Though, as health and money are NOT among them, so far, I'm pretty darn lucky. Problems? WHAT problems? :smile:

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Re: Proposal requires hands-on training for law students

Postby johann » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:12 am

johann wrote: Muddy Waters: "Ain't no big money, but we's doin' it."

Muddy was, of course, reminiscing about his early career in Chicago - around 1943-46, IIRC. Later on, the money was (deservedly) WAY better! :)

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Re: Proposal requires hands-on training for law students

Postby nosborne48 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:30 am

Twenty years of sloth and lack of vision as a state lawyer will net me a pretty good pension income for life. Frankly, not everyone could do it...the mental discipline would challenge a Zen master... :roll:
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Re: Proposal requires hands-on training for law students

Postby johann » Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:02 pm

nosborne48 wrote:Twenty years of sloth and lack of vision as a state lawyer will net me a pretty good pension income for life.

I rejoice in your financial success! :) :)

nosborne48 wrote:Frankly, not everyone could do it...the mental discipline would challenge a Zen master... :roll:

I hear you...my own "one-year-times-thirty" in the salt-mines was similar in that aspect. :roll:

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"Free at last, thank God Almighty...free at last!" (Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King)
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