Job Tips: Multiple Admissions

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The topic of reciprocity has come up on the blog several times over the years and, to date, Nevada is still one of the states that doesn’t make it easy for out of state attorneys to take up practicing here. That usually means that national/regional firms need to hire a local attorney to be their point person and local counsel for pro hac vice admissions of other members of the firm. What are your thoughts on this practice? Another consequence is that those firms seem to be looking for attorneys that are barred in Nevada and one or more of our neighboring states. Do you have multiple admissions? Has it been a benefit or a detriment to your career? Do you recommend it? What pitfalls are there to having multiple admissions beside fees and CLE requirements? 

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Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 19, 2021 4:56 pm

For attorneys looking to get licensed in another state, you can apply to the DC bar after practicing for 5 years. Then once you have DC bar membership, you can use that to get reciprocity admission into pretty much any other state.

Or just go take the bar in a MBE state.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 19, 2021 5:16 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

So no tests?

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 19, 2021 5:59 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

In my experience this isn't exactly true. I'm admitted in DC, but when I looked for reciprocity in Utah and Colorado, I recall that I also had to LIVE in a jurisdiction that offered reciprocity. I don't live in DC, so the DC bar was worthless. (I looked into this like 5 years ago, so maybe this isn't 100% accurate, but I definitely recall that my DC license didn't get me in anywhere I wanted to get in).

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 19, 2021 6:02 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Utah is the only other jurisdiction I'd want to be admitted in. I think they have a thing about Nevada and California lawyers.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 20, 2021 6:29 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Plus the Utah bar exam is comparatively easy. and you can use Utah to springboard into other jurisdictions. that said, taking another bar exam 10 years after law school is awful.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 19, 2021 5:48 pm

I don't think you can get reciprocity admission into California.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 19, 2021 6:17 pm

Reciprocity using the UBE depends on each jurisdiction recognizing the other. Reciprocity is not as easy as it sounds. Florida and California do not allow it. A applicant must take the exam. The UBE and reciprocity will be the end of Nevada legal practice as we know it. Dean Hamilton was pushing for diploma priveleges for Boyd, the UBE and reciprocity. None of them are good ides for actual practicing lawyers. Glad he is is leaving. Even Boyd graduates agree that reciprocity is a bad thing. You have to look at the requirements in each state. Let's not jump to conclusions and throw the baby out with the bath water about reciprocity. Do your homework first.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 19, 2021 6:24 pm

Why would we consider reciprocity?
Last report, Nevada's bar exam is the 6th hardest. Why admit someone through the back door who can't pass our exam?

BTW – I am admitted in 3 states, each required sitting for the bar exam in that state. I don't think multiple admissions have contributed very much to my earnings.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 19, 2021 6:47 pm

I have no problem with Reciprocity so long as it as a high bar. Michigan and North Dakota both require a 150 or higher on the MBE, and I'd be fine with that standard (and ONLY that standard) of Reciprocity here. Doing so would allow Nevada attorneys to waive in to other states after a certain number of years of practice. Right now they cannot do that because there is no Reciprocity.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 19, 2021 11:31 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Michigan does not require a 150 on the MBE, rather if you get a 150 on the MBE they just look to see if you made a good faith effort at answering the essays. If you did you pass.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 20, 2021 12:55 am
Reply to  Anonymous

I took the NV bar almost 15 years ago, but I thought our minimum MBE score was a 155?

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 20, 2021 3:54 am
Reply to  Anonymous

I don't remember what I got on the MBE. Did not give a shit because I passed. As I remember though, there isn't a minimum because the MBE score is combined with the essays. So the worse you do on the MBE, the better you have to do on the essays. At least that's what I remember. But I've been wrong many times in life.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 19, 2021 8:25 pm

I have no personal stake in this as my position in the legal community, and my income derived form it, are (hopefully) somewhat secure(in other words, I'm an older dude.)

But if I were a much younger attorney, hustling and trying to get established, I would have a real concern about allowing reciprocity without the bar exam.

Call it practical and sensible, or call it petty and selfish, but I find that concern, among younger and less established attorneys, to be very real.

They tell me that it is bad enough that the market has, in more recent years, become flooded with Boyd graduates,(in addition to the steady stream of out-of-staters who sit for our Bar), but if we know have to worry about reciprocity, thigs may really get grim.

And it's not just a few that will trickle in. This is Vegas. A lot of out-of-state attorneys will come roaring in if they know they don't need to devote the better part of a year of their life to that damn exam.

When I got licensed there was no Boyd. Nevada and Alaska were the only states without an accredited law school. But for a while there was some real shit-stain unaccredited school of law called something like Old College(In Reno).

Please forgive me if any Old College graduates are reading this, but it was so inadequate, that the list of expensive improvements which needed to be made to gain accreditation, were as long as my arm(and I'm a real gawky misshapen bastard with some long ass arms).

But, as some older readers may remember, as wretched as Old College was, a number of their graduates got grandfathered in and were permitted to sit for the exam and then practice in Nevada.

These are probably the applicants who enrolled early on, before the accreditation began with Old College, and those students in the early years were probably assured that accreditation was a mere formality and was virtually guaranteed to occur.

Boy, were they ever sold a bill of goods. But I still don't specifically recall why the State Bar allowed certain Old College graduates to practice in Nevada, so the previous paragraph is really just a guess.

Anyone, who was licensed back in the 80's or 90's, remember all this about Old College? Am I remembering the situation correctly?

anonymous
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anonymous
May 19, 2021 9:30 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

I did the bar review in a "classroom" at Old College, right about the time it shut down. It was in a grungy old newspaper printing plant. It produced a few good lawyers during the short time it was in operation, but there is no way they could or should have been accredited given the awful facility and the apparent lack of capitalization.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 20, 2021 12:42 am
Reply to  Anonymous

2:30–everything you said about the place and its scuzziness is true except for your one statement: "It produced a few good lawyers…"

You may have simply assumed that such must be the case based on law of averages, or you may simply not remember accurately.

It absolutely did not produce any solid lawyers. If you disagree, please let me know the sterling attorneys who graduated from such hallowed institution.

But you sure are right about the facilities and the general scuzziness.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 20, 2021 3:06 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Cuthbert Mack graduated from Nevada College of Law and is a fantastic lawyer and human being!

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 20, 2021 4:58 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

I know Bert Mack and he did graduate from that "law school"(quote marks intended, and have significance), and he is a real good human being.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 19, 2021 8:37 pm

1:25–I was licensed back then as well, and do remember that a handful of Old College graduates(from certain years, probably the initial graduation classes) were permitted to be licensed, even though the school was never accredited.

Perhaps, as you said, the initial graduation classes were misled(that accreditation would soon occur), and it never did.

But still, why allow these graduates to be licensed simply because some disreputable unaccredited law school promises them that the school would soon be accredited(but never was)?

The answer, if memory serves, is that some self-promoting loud-mouth politicians(is there any other type?)kept making it one of their issues and projects–that we will have Old College accredited so that Nevada will have a valid accredited law school, etc.

Then when it was not accredited, the politicians wind up with egg on their face and other problems.

So, quietly make the problem go away by saying we will license these graduates, but the school must now be shut down, for failure to be accredited, or, if they continue on, it is with the assurance that no future gradates will be allowed to sit for the exam(as it was by then clear the school never had any future chance at being accredited–they would simply never raise and spend the huge amounts necessary to gain accreditation as the problems were so vast).

Translation: the school really, really sucked.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 19, 2021 10:08 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Worse than Cooley or Thomas Jefferson?

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 20, 2021 2:59 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

And we almost did it again. Western States wanted to open up a for-profit Law School in LV and petitioned the NSCT for an unlimited exemption from ABA accreditation. Then UNLV stepped in and proposed Boyd.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 20, 2021 4:45 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

The attorneys stopped Western States, a for profit law school opening up in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada with a 7 year exemption from ABA accreditation. I was one of them. The Review Journal reported on it and the Communique of the Clark County Bar was instrumental in getting attention. The Communique dedicated an issue on the subject back in the late 90s. Had there not been such grass roots opposition, the Nevada Supreme Court Justices would have allowed it to happen. It almost looked like a done deal. One author pretended to be a student and found out that you did not need to take the LSAT or graduate from college to get admitted to Western States. UNLV saw this as an opportunity to step in. Old College of Law failed but was not as bad as Western States because it was not a diploma mill. This is why we can not have reciprocity. So many California Lawyers have attended those non ABA store front law schools.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 19, 2021 8:55 pm

Open borders! Let them all in. Every California attorney should not only get immediate admission, but first year free of bar fees, no CLE requirement, and one free get-out-of-ethics-jail card! The Californian attorneys uniformly bring joy to all my cases. Classy. Every. Last. One.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 19, 2021 9:06 pm

1:55–Nah, keep 'em out.(no,1:55 your sarcasm was not lost on me, but this matter still merits some discussion in my view)

1:25 and 1:37 allude to some of the reasons why we should not be a porous border as to attorney licensing.

But mainly those two posters discuss how horrific that unaccredited law school was(Old College in Reno).

Anyone else remember it? The two posters make it sound comically inept. Was it really THAT bad?

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 19, 2021 10:33 pm

For those who switched from ID to Plaintiff's PI law how has your overall experience been? What are the pros and cons? Thanks.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 19, 2021 11:02 pm

Spent 13 years doing ID before moving to plaintiffs' PI. The first two years after the switch were spent building a client base and getting by on subsistence income. That was okay for me since I had paid off my law school loans and had saved a few bucks to weather the storm before making the switch.

I'm now in my 13th year doing plaintiffs' work. I make a lot more money now and have funded my retirement while cashflowing college for my kids. I have far more free time to spend doing the things I want to do.

But the difference in practice and job satisfaction is the biggest change. Insurance defense was miserable work writing pointless and endless status reports and having tons of responsibility with zero authority. The people who work at insurance companies are unhappy and they want their lawyers to be just as unhappy Now I have almost complete client control and I am only required to write occasional friendly emails to my clients to discuss case status. My clients listen to me and are even grateful for the service I provide, two things I never once experienced doing ID. Now, when a claims adjuster is being stupid and unreasonable, I hang up on her instead of having to mollify her. It's great!

If you think you want to do plaintiffs' work, save up a little war chest, get out of debt, and then tell the people you work for to piss off. You'll be happy you did.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 19, 2021 11:36 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

As the late, great Mort Galane said, "ID attorneys are glorified insurance adjustors." He wasn't wrong. I don't do exclusive ID, but I dislike the cases I have done.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 20, 2021 2:57 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Do we have anybody comparable now? Mort Galane, Neal Galatz, Rex Jemison…

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 24, 2021 4:13 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

@4:02 – given that it has been 13 years since the switch, I am sure there is some inflation to factor in, but, what would you recommend savings-wise to start own PI practice? (FYI – I am 8-year ID attorney. While I enjoy the cases, I couldn't agree more regarding the inherent miserable carrier-dynamic generally. Although, I must be fair that I have good relationships with many of the adjusters/insureds.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 19, 2021 11:05 pm

I did it. You can't work ID files like PI files. Your goal in PI is to do as little work as possible on as many files as possible. That means not to waste time reviewing medical records, digesting depositions, doing in-depth legal research, revising multiple drafts of a motion, crafting detailed written discovery, etc.

Don't make yourself too available to the clients or else they'll take advantage of you and waste your time. If a client emails or calls you, have your assistant email the client to set up a call and to tell the client you have only a 15 minute window on your calendar (so that you can drop off the call after 15 minutes of listening to the client rambling in circles).

Never forget that the most important thing is not working up your cases — it's getting new cases. No matter how busy you are, you have to set aside time each week for marketing. Never eat lunch alone and make every lunch a marketing opportunity. At least one night each week, go to dinner or attend a social event where you can possibly get cases. Hustling, marketing, and self-promotion are so much more important in PI than in ID.

Finally, make sure you confirm in writing every time a client gives you authority to settle a case or else you'll inevitably have some clients change their minds after you accept the settlement.

Good luck.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 19, 2021 11:18 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Thank you for your honesty. I really enjoy your commercials.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 19, 2021 11:28 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

4:05 which billboard is yours?

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 20, 2021 12:02 am
Reply to  Anonymous

The one who looks constipated?

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 20, 2021 12:38 am
Reply to  Anonymous

4:05–But that model means you pretty much have to take the first offer the insurance company makes(or, at best, you may be able to get a fairly quick second offer but only if it is just for slightly more than the first offer).

So, you either need to accept the first offer, or a slightly higher(but not by much) second offer, or you will be too clogged up, not be able to make overhead, will be too consumed with the open cases to fully address your attentions to make rain and keep new cases rolling in, etc.

To actually build a successful practice on your model, it is certainly clear that vey few matters should be permitted to proceed toward the litigation process.

You mention about that you should not spend too much time with motions , written discovery, depositions, etc.

Actually, under your model, you should spend no time with those things as they should not exist as you should never let something linger to the point where you need to file a complaint in order to protect the SOL.

The model you describe is even more aggressively adhered to with firms that have a large advertising budget, which is why, generally speaking, anything that needs to proceed to litigation in order for true case value to be realized, should never be sent to a firm that has a huge advertising budget.

For such firms,everything has to settle as fast as humanly possible(which, of course means for far less than their true value) in order to keep constant cash flow to pay the huge overhead, which of course includes a massive advertising budget.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 20, 2021 1:30 am
Reply to  Anonymous

I detect a dearth of sarcasm detection.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 20, 2021 3:10 am
Reply to  Anonymous

Do not hire a bill board lawyer

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 20, 2021 4:56 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

6:30–Whether or not 5:38 experiences difficulty picking up on sarcasm should not be the focus, as 5:38 does pretty much describe the operating model of large scale PI firms–particularly the ones who advertise heavily.

That's why if someone has a solid PI case that requires some real time and attention to maximize value, and may even need to proceed somewhat to the litigation stage before it settles, the worst thing someone can do is bring the case to a P.I. Mill and/or a P.I. firm with a huge advertising budget which must continually be fed by most cases settling, and settling very, very rapidly.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 19, 2021 11:33 pm

Quick question, NRCP 4 says:(3) By Whom.  The summons and complaint may be served by the sheriff, or a deputy sheriff, of the county where the defendant is found or by any person who is at least 18 years old and not a party to the action.

Is a runner at my firm a "party to the action"? I would think not. I have some difficult service situations coming up and I would much rather have someone that I know will be there than rely on junes or legal wings to actually show up.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 19, 2021 11:50 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

McGowen v. Second Judicial Dist. Court of Nev., 432 P.3d 220

"Petitioner Jim McGowen was served with a summons and complaint by the attorney or an employee of the plaintiff's counsel. In this writ proceeding, we must determine whether a plaintiffs attorney or the employee of a plaintiffs attorney may serve a summons and complaint on a defendant. Based on the plain language of NRCP 4(c) and federal decisions interpreting the federal analog to Nevada's rule, we conclude that a plaintiffs attorney or an employee of the attorney may serve a summons and complaint."

I'll send you a bill for the .1 🙂

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 19, 2021 11:58 pm

To 4:50 p.m.: Obviously, you are not an Insurance Defense attorney. If you were, you'd bill 4:33 at least 1.3.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
May 20, 2021 12:01 am

Off topic and frivolous, but has anyone else noticed that Justice Herndon's signature looks like a little guy with a huge penis?