Sunday, March 15, 2009

Another Weekend With The Florida Board Of Bar Examiners

This past weekend the Florida Board of Bar Examiners were in session and I had the privilege to represent a few applicants. I won't discuss their individual cases, even without names, because the Board has 7 days to render decisions, and since we're on day 2, I'll just stick to some general observations.

[1] How long ago something happened is less important than what you took from it.

As much as I tell applicants not to talk about the arrest or some other event being "a long time ago," everyone does. For the most part, the Board understands a momentary lapse of judgement that occurred in your teenage years, but make sure you understand the seriousness of what happened. Even if it was "a while ago."

[2] If you're going to sweat in the waiting room, breathe heavy, and be on the verge of freaking out while waiting for your hearing, please, either hire a lawyer or bring someone with you.

I know after spending 3 years in school and coming to the point where 3 people are going to decide whether you become a lawyer, hiring a lawyer to help you is something you may be too stupid to do (I know, you've spend 5 or six figures on your education and a few more thousand dollars will end your life), but if so, at least bring your mom or dad, or good friend. Being on the verge of a heart attack in the waiting room is no way to beg for your law license.

[3] The Board is asking questions to gauge your attitude and truthfulness.

Yes, 99% of the questions they ask, they know the answers. Try to outguess them, and you lose. That little issue related to your arrest you think they dont know about, they do.

[4] If you have a lot of traffic tickets, be prepared to talk about them, even if you have more serious issues and the Board did not indicate their intention to ask you about your traffic record.

Just take that for what it's worth. Apparently more than one or two traffic tickets in your past is an issue of concern as far as your ability to practice law. Check in soon for a reason. Right now I just can't think of one.

[5] Pull the tie up to the collar and wear collar stays.

Look like a lawyer, not someone trying to look like they want to be a lawyer.

Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. Read his free ebook The Truth About Hiring A Criminal Defense Lawyer. Please visit



My Law License said...

To the anonymous person who left a comment trashing someone here, sorry, not on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Brian I love your blog!! Any more incite you have on how to handle these people (Fla. Board of Bar Examiners) is much appreciated!!

Anonymous said...

I appeared before the Board in October 2008. They were really griling me about some issues from my past, and then out of nowhere, they mentioned a person's name and asked me if I had ever heard of him. The name really didn't ring a bell, and they continued to ask me if I had ever worked for that person...and again I told them that I never heard of him. After they asked me four or five more follow up questions, they finally let it go and continued with their previous line of questioning. Does anyone know where they might have been going with that?