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How To Become A Lawyer?

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Edited By Izabela Krasnicka and Magdalena Perkowska

The present publication collects the contributions of the colloquium «How to Become a Lawyer in Europe», which took place on June 4, 2010 in Andorra la Vella – within the frame-work of the 15th annual meeting of the representatives of the Network of European Universities in Legal Studies.
We gathered articles concerning not only many European countries but also the United States and a special contribution is made to the system in California (USA). Each part is a unique guide through internal regulations leading to different legal professions. The articles present the academic education system in the field of law and also special requirements and professional exams giving the right/permission to perform legal professions. The reader will see the differences and similarities especially in the European systems of the presented countries.

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FRANK ROMANO - SO YOU WANT TO BE A LAWYER IN CALIFORNIA (USA) 155

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So you want to be a lawyer in California (USA) Frank ROMANO Introduction A dichotomy exists during the path taken by the prospective Califor- nia lawyer. On the one hand, the California Bar exam, a passing score necessary to practice law in California is one of the most difficult to pass in the US. On the other hand, California offers more options for becoming a California lawyer than most states. I. Preliminary requirements Pre-law school education Most US states require a BA or BS degree in any subject which is normally a 4 year program and is equivalent to a license in France. However, a few states, such as California, allow a candidate to take the bar who has a minimum of two years of college credits or has worked at least four years under the personal supervision of a judge or a California attorney in his law firm, the latter having practiced law in California for at least five years. The requirement of a BA degree in any subject in the US is strik- ingly different than what French students are faced with. They must decide whether or not to study law the first year of university. Thus there is no grace period. As such, while French students are register- ing for school after high school they must declare whether they wish to enter law school and take courses in that specialty as early as the first day of class. 156 Frank ROMANO In fact, in the US system,...

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