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ABA requirements

Discussion in 'Law School & Careers in Law' started by feniks, Sep 6, 2018.

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  1. feniks

    feniks Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    US Federal Law
    This is more of theoretical question. Bear with me as I get through the background and thoughts.

    • Article I of the Constitution has no requirement that member of the Legislative body be lawyers. You do not need a law degree to write the laws of the land.
    • Article II has no requirement of the Executive branch that a President need a Law degree. You do not need to be a Lawyer to Execute the laws written by Congress.
    • Article III has no requirement that a Supreme Court Justice have a law degree. You do not need to be a Lawyer to sit in judgement of the constitutionality of the laws written by Congress and executed by the President.
    • The Sixth Amendment of the Constitution states "....... and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense." Now I know "counsel" and lawyer are sometimes interchangeable in legal settings, but it does not specifically say that "counsel" need be a lawyer or hold a law degree. It also guarantees the right to self representation with no requirement the defendant hold a law degree, only that he be "competent".
    • You do not need to be a lawyer to enforce the laws (police).
    I could go on and on through all levels. Different states have different statutory requirements based on jurisdiction.

    Here are my questions.

    1. Most State laws that require passage of a bar exam to practice law. This would seem to be unconstitutional given all the above constitutional facts. Has this ever been challenged?
    2. What statutory authority has been given to the ABA to be the sole arbiter of the administration of licensing?
    I am not advocating for the elimination of the system, only for the exception.
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    If I were even remotely interested in getting into this trollish discussion all I would do is google the points and find the answers.

    Since I am not interested in wasting my time, I suggest you use google (and google scholar) to do your own research and satisfy yourself as to the legality of the bar exams and licensing of attorneys.
     
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I am a practicing lawyer.
    I have practiced law for over four decades.
    I am licensed to practice law in several states, before the federal bar, US Military Court of Appeals, and have argued before the Supreme Court.

    I say all of that to say that I have never taken one bar exam.

    I graduated from a law school in a state that allowed automatic bar admission upon recommendation of the law school faculty.

    I gained admission to other state bars through reciprocity.

    However, I could practice in any US state or territory simply by requesting admission for a specific case by a pro hac vice (loosely translated from Latin - on this occasion only) motion.

    I have a very good friend who read the law under Wyoming lawyer Gerry Spence (a legal giant).

    He then took the bar exam and has been admitted to practice since 1977.

    He held high school diploma at the time.

    He has now earned a BBA, MBA, and a Ph.D.

    I don't think any state no longer allows one to become a lawyer by reading the law.
     

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