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Undocumented law school graduate seeking license makes headway

Over the course of the past few months, many people throughout the nation, likely including some in South Florida, have been paying attention to the plight of a California law school graduate who is seeking a license to practice law in that state. Though he passed the state's bar exam and was initially provided a law license, it was later taken away.

Though currently undocumented, the man has taken steps to change his status. He was brought to the U.S. when he was young and at some point filed the appropriate papers to secure a green card. Though he received approval for that, he has nonetheless been on a waiting list to actually receive it for almost 19 years.

That man recently came one step closer to his goal of practicing law. A bill that makes it possible for undocumented immigrants who have taken and passed the bar exam in that state passed with overwhelming support. In addition, the governor recently signed it. The legislation was introduced as a result of what came out of the oral arguments that took place in the state's Supreme Court. The issue being focused on was whether federal law prohibited a state from granting a law license. All parties involved in the proceeding agreed that a state court could issue a license to practice law in the state if the state legislature took action.

Of course this immigration issue is not limited to the state of California. Other states throughout the nation, including Florida, are trying to determine how to handle this matter and it is possible this state's approach could be looked to by other states. While the matter of this man's law license still needs to be approved by the state supreme court, it is expected to go through.

Source: NPR, "Calif. Law Allows Undocumented Immigrants To Practice Law," Emily Green, Oct. 8, 2013

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