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Law school graduate who passed Florida bar exam wants to practice

In communities throughout the nation, including Miami, Florida, individuals who are living in the United States without proper documentation are interested in finding ways to change their immigration status to remain in the country. These individuals are here for a variety of reasons, and are engaged in a variety of activities. Some are becoming educated, attaining college degrees and beyond. For at least one Florida man in this situation, the focus has been to obtain a law degree by attending law school.

The man, who moved to the U.S. as a child, finished law school and received a waiver from the Florida Board of Bar Examiners to take the bar exam, last year. Last fall, he learned that he had passed. The question now is whether he will be admitted to practice. That question has been posed to the Florida Supreme Court by the Florida Bar. The California Supreme Court must determine a similar case as well.

Neither court is likely to rule in favor of the law school graduates. This is mostly due to the fact that under federal law, it is illegal for employers to hire anyone they know is not in the country legally.

Regardless of how the state supreme courts rule, there may be a workaround for both men. A law professor from Cornell Law School has pointed out that individuals without proof of being in the U.S. may be hired as independent contractors. This is because in the context of independent contractors, it is not necessary to obtain information of immigration status when hiring them.

In past posts we have discussed the current administration's desire to try to keep individuals in the U.S. who are from other countries but while in the country legally, obtained advanced degrees.. Do you think people who have lived here for most of their lives should be sent back to the nation of their birth after they attain an advanced degree?

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "California, Florida Consider Law Licenses for Illegal Immigrants," Joe Palazzolo, June 11, 2012

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