Friday, July 16, 2010

A partial defense of licensing requirements

Thanks for getting us started on the internet Bart. Had I been the one to post first, it would have been about whether the Twins' other starting pitchers should follow Carl Pavano's lead and grow lucky mustaches. However, your thoughts on the potential roadblocks to becoming an attorney in illinois (like Lincoln!) are a better start.

As for the issue of allowing out-of-state lawyers to practice in-state, the cynical will suggest these rules are simply anti-competitive practices designed to protect homegrown attorneys. The undoubting will see them as a bulwark necessary to protect an unspecting public from the machinations of unscrupulous lawyers from other jurisdictions.

I don't know why a federal clerkship wouldn't count towards 5 years of practice. It is certainly legal work and probably more substantive work than some associates do in their first year or two of practice. The only explanation I can think of is that what the state really wants is 5 years of competence as measured by not being sued for malpractice or discipline by the lawyer's board. Since law clerks are not going to be sued or disciplined, the state doesn't think the time should count. The problem with this explanation is that, apparently, the second year of the clerkship can count while second-year clerks are still not subject to suit or discipline.

Rule 705(h) requires that the "plan" meet the "satisfaction of the Board." Is there any guidance as to what factors the Board considers in order to be satisfied that the applicant has a plan? In the board's defense, I can see where it might think it needs more concrete information than a plan to move and pay the licensing fee. Most would not say that moving to Hollywood and getting a Screen Actors' Guild card was a "plan" to be a movie actor.

My only thought as to the confusion caused by the commentary to Rule 5.5 is that the people drafting the commentary must have been different than those who drafted the Rule.

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