Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

If you do doc review, can you sit for California attorney exam

It's an easier exam than full California bar. Wondering if d anonlaw12303/09/17
I have both attempted this route and talked to many others w trijocker03/14/17
There's a separate test for people admitted in other states? 3lol03/09/17
Ya http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Por tals/4/documents/gbx/U anonlaw12303/09/17
That's interesting. It must be recent. I knew an old wealthy 3lol03/09/17
your kind? assholes? dingbat03/09/17
Snowbird lawyers competing in an already flooded market. wutwutwut03/09/17
You are both correct. 3lol03/09/17
The Florida bar is actually having discussions of letting at kretan18203/09/17
This deserves a haha! jonthomas03/14/17
Bump in hope somebody knows the answer anonlaw12303/09/17
... anonlaw12303/14/17
Not in CA, but just reading what OP posted seems to indicate onehell03/14/17
thanks. your analysis is actually how i read it, but i thoug anonlaw12303/15/17
California has had a shorter attorney exam for decades. Whi legalace03/14/17
Interesting. A bit of googling reveals that apparently, the onehell03/15/17
anonlaw123 (Mar 9, 2017 - 1:06 pm)

It's an easier exam than full California bar. Wondering if doc review counts towards the 4 years being "active" in other state

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trijocker (Mar 14, 2017 - 7:28 pm)

I have both attempted this route and talked to many others who did this plan. There are some words of warning, first of all you will have to move to another state and then spend some time planning and sitting for their bar exam, there maybe residency requirements. Then while you are in the other state you will have to find something to pay your bills with, for the time before the bar exam, after the test until you are admitted, then for the five years until you can go back and sit for the CA exam again. Some other states are not exactly "warm" to people from CA, unless you graduated from perhaps CAL or Stanford. If you cannot get work easily, you cannot just drop in and do a doc review as my friends say as doc reviews seem concentrated in major metro areas, WDC, NYC, LA, SF, Chicago, not some place in the boonies, so you may have a high cost of living while you while away these six years or so.

Then next I have talked to several people just dropping into take the Attorneys exam in CA, they only come on Tuesday and Thursday (no MBE) so are much fresher without the MBE. However I have met several people who have done this for several years, taking the Attorneys exam over and over, even when they headed up their own firm in their state. You do wonder why they want to come back to CA, unless they are from here, when the CA market is so glutted. It is not a bar that they only did doc review or even bartending in the state they came from as long as they were admitted in the other state, which starts the clock running.
I do hope this is helpful and Good Luck,.

SF Chronicle just ran an article about lowering standards on the CA Bar MBE but who knows.


http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/California-bar-exam-s-passing-score-should-be-10999240.php

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3lol (Mar 9, 2017 - 1:09 pm)

There's a separate test for people admitted in other states?

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anonlaw123 (Mar 9, 2017 - 1:20 pm)

Ya http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/4/documents/gbx/USAttyBul0317_R.pdf

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3lol (Mar 9, 2017 - 1:27 pm)

That's interesting. It must be recent. I knew an old wealthy partner at a largish LI law firm who had been practicing for 30 years and failed the CA bar when he went to take it.

I wish they would do something like that in Florida, but they don't like my kind there.

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dingbat (Mar 9, 2017 - 1:35 pm)

your kind?

assholes?

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wutwutwut (Mar 9, 2017 - 2:06 pm)

Snowbird lawyers competing in an already flooded market.

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3lol (Mar 9, 2017 - 2:52 pm)

You are both correct.

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kretan182 (Mar 9, 2017 - 4:20 pm)

The Florida bar is actually having discussions of letting attorneys waive in. The temptation of more bar dues and CLE revenue is just too much.

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jonthomas (Mar 14, 2017 - 4:19 pm)

This deserves a haha!

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anonlaw123 (Mar 9, 2017 - 5:10 pm)

Bump in hope somebody knows the answer

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anonlaw123 (Mar 14, 2017 - 4:02 pm)

...

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onehell (Mar 14, 2017 - 4:25 pm)

Not in CA, but just reading what OP posted seems to indicate that the answer is yes. It says "Attorney applicants admitted in other states or jurisdictions of the United States who have been admitted in active status in good standing four years immediately preceding the first day of the administration of the California Bar Examination, may elect to take the Attorneys’ Examination."

This is different than the standard usually used by jurisdictions that allow admission on motion. Those jurisdictions usually require that you actually have been engaged in the "active practice of law" for X out of the last Y years.

This document, OTOH, requires only that you have a license in active status and good standing. "Active status" is not the same as "active practice." Most states allow you to voluntarily select "inactive status" so that you can save some $$ on dues if you're not actively using your license but want to preserve the ability to reactivate in the future. You don't have to go on inactive status just because you aren't actively practicing. Heck, a lot of doc review outfits require that you keep your license active so the firm can bill you out at attorney rates and also substantiate the claim that you are FLSA exempt and therefore not entitled to OT.

So while there are certainly arguments that doc review is the practice of law, and certainly the firms claim it is when it benefits them, this language would seem to indicate that you just don't have to get into the gray area that you face in other states that allow full waiver of the bar exam about whether document review is the practice of law. This document doesn't say anything about a substantive analysis of whether you have actually been practicing, you just have to have kept your license in good standing and in active status (which basically just means doing your CLEs and paying your dues).

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anonlaw123 (Mar 15, 2017 - 5:40 pm)

thanks. your analysis is actually how i read it, but i thought I might be reading it in a kinda self-serving way, and hoped someone else might know the answer definitely.

nonetheless its useful to see that someone came to same conclusion I did

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legalace (Mar 14, 2017 - 8:04 pm)

California has had a shorter attorney exam for decades. While the California attorney exam is shorter than the California bar exam, its passage rate is significantly lower than that achieved on the California bar exam by graduates of ABA accredited law schools. I have sometimes wondered at the absurdity of this: Experienced attorneys from other states (virtually all of whom are graduates of ABA accredited law schools), have a lower passage rate (on the attorney exam) than recent graduates of ABA accredited law schools have on the California bar exam.

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onehell (Mar 15, 2017 - 6:07 pm)

Interesting. A bit of googling reveals that apparently, the attorneys' exam is basically just the essays. That means there could be more state-specific emphasis and you don't have the MBE (which is much easier to practice and study for and which doesn't test anything state-specific) to insure against or offset the risk of low essay scores.

It sounds like even if you can take the "shorter" exam, the shorter exam might not actually be the easier one. I wouldn't be surprised if some lawyers opt for the full bar despite being eligible for this shorter one.

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