As a follow up to previous two installments of “So You Want to Be a Lawyer,” this final presentation of informational nuggets for those currently pursuing or heavily contemplating obtaining a law degree is offered. You have successfully gained entrance to the law school of your dreams, completed three years of studying and studied and taken the bar exam. So what now?
6) Waiting on Bar Results:
I took both the Texas and New York State Bars within a year and a half of each other, and I had the same exit and post bar exam strategy for both. I made a bee line straight to the door of the examination locations, did not stop to speak with anyone and REFUSED to rehash details of the exams days and months later.
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The most stressful aspect of the three to five month period that you are waiting on your results, is the questioning from your fellow peers and family. “So what did you put down as the elements to Essay #3? Did you mention ‘respondent superior’? ”, or the all-time favorite question from family and friends: “How do you think you did ?” I DON’T FREAKING KNOW!
There is so much riding on these results and the most important issue is whether or not you will have to take this monster of an exam again. Additionally, if you have already been hired, your new firm will more than likely give you one more chance to take it and pass before actually considering firing you. However, if you have plans of practicing as a solo practitioner, the time in which you are not licensed, in fact takes so much time, money and resources away.
I have friends who passed on their very first time taking the bar and I have friends who had to take it four times before passing. Either way, the wait time in finding out your results is not the most pleasant. I actually fell out in the floor of the law firm I was clerking at once I learned I passed the bar! It was dramatic and so unlike me.
ADVICE: Do not torture yourself with looking up the answers to questions that were on the exam and/or going over details of the exam and your answers with peers. It will add unnecessary stress to an already stressful time.
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7) Admission to the State Bar:
You have passed the bar exam, now your family thinks you are rich and they begin to ask you for money and free legal advice, wonderful right? All jokes aside, before you can even begin practicing, you will need to be admitted to the bar of that state and this can be a long, arduous task. It is suggested that you begin to gather all requested documentation prior to taking the bar exam to make this process smoother. Additionally, if you are already admitted in one state, and would like to be admitted in another, this task takes even longer. By the time I sought admission to New York, I was already admitted in Texas and District of Columbia, which in turn required me to submit extensive documentation to support my previous admissions along with New York. It took approximately seven months from the time I passed the New York bar exam to get admitted into its state bar.
ADVICE: Prepare in advance. Contact the state bar for a list of all required documentation and start to gather and prepare them immediately. Some states may require you to submit this prior to taking the bar exam.
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8) Admission to Federal Courts:
Once you have been admitted into a state bar, you may now seek to be admitted into the numerous federal courts of that state. This license is necessary to come before and argue federal issues in that particular state. Once I was admitted into the Texas bar, I immediately filed to be admitted into the Southern District of the State of Texas. I had no case load for the federal courts yet, however, I thought it would make me more marketable.
Some states may require you to be sponsored by an attorney who is already admitted to that federal court, so it is best to get all required information in advance. I was asked to get licensed in all four New York federal courts when I worked with a particular firm in order to handle some bankruptcy matters.
ADVICE: Go ahead and file for admission into all of federal courts located within your practice state(s). Seek a mentor or older attorney to sponsor your request for admission. This will increase your level of assignments and also make you more marketable for other opportunities.
9) New Hires: As previously stated, several of my fellow attorney friends took different routes immediately after graduating law school. A majority of them started working as first year associates with small, medium and large firms. The work/life balance was all contingent upon the firm size and particular firm they worked for. Most new hires for a small firm work less hours and get paid less, yet, they are given more responsibility when it comes to work load.
I have noticed that those working for small firms were more likely to attend court and argue in front of a judge earlier than someone who worked at a large firm. Additionally, the friends I had working at large firms worked LONG and CRAZY hours. No matter the size of the firm you decide to commit to, as a new hire you are expected to do the work assigned with good workmanlike care and quality.
ADVICE: Understand you are going to have to work hard. You should also find a law firm that is conducive to the work/life balance you are seeking.
10) Solo Practitioners:
The solo practitioner. Oh how I could write an epic novel on the trials and tribulations of being a solo practitioner. Some law students enter law school with a clear vision and goal of “Hanging Out your Shingle” and practicing for themselves immediately after being admitted. However, some people are forced into this destiny.
The pros of being a solo practitioner are you can choose the area of law you want to work in, the clients you work with and for, the time you work, where you work, etc. The cons of being a solo practitioner are you never really know where, when and how your next clients are coming, You are responsible for retaining clients and you also have the responsibility of running an actual business. Being a solo practitioner is not for the faint at heart and it requires a lot of heart, time, planning and faith.
ADVICE: If this is your clear vision, be certain to plan prior to being admitted. You must incorporate or become a d/b/a, find office and/or virtual office space, retain clients, order supplies, pay expenses, etc. You are in control of the success and failures of your work. Be smart and get a mentor to help guide you, talk to clerks in the courts because they feel sorry for young attorneys and pray!
Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates. She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC
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1. Blue. #May10 #NYC
2. Daddy & Me
Blue Ivy walks across mommy's at-home photoshoot, but it's the most adorable photobomb ever!
4. One Big Happy Family
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5. Beyoncé, Jay Z & Blue in Beverly Hills — Nov. 11
Beyonce in these heels though?!
6. Beyoncé & Blue in NYC — Nov. 4
Look at Blue in her adorable little bow!
7. Beyoncé & Blue spotted in NYC — Nov. 4
Blue holding on to mommy for dear life.
8. Beyoncé & Blue spotted in NYC — Nov. 4
Momma Bey looking fierce with her mini me in tow.
9. Blue dressed as Michael Jackson.
10. Blue & Ivy
Just look at that face. Seriously, Jay could never deny this child! She knows how to make all his mean mugs!
11. Beyoncé, Jay Z & Blue in Beverly Hills — Nov. 11
Look at that cutie!
12. Beyoncé, Jay Z & Blue in Beverly Hills — Nov. 11
OMG Blue in a top knot? Yasss!
Blue has grown up to be an adorable toddler! We're swooning over this photo of her playing on the beach.
Looks like Blue is taking a walk in mom's shoes...literally.
15. Beyoncé & Blue
There's nothing like being cuddled up in mom's arms.
Blue is looking all kinds of adorable! Look at that left hand go! LOL.
17. Blue On The Big Screen
Bey & Jay look at Blue during a video played at an "On The Run" tour stop. How precious!
18. Pardon Blue's Back
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19. Jump Around
Bey & Blue share an adorable moment on the trampoline. Hello summer!
20. Rocking Some Cute Ponytails
Blue Ivy was spotted with a new 'do! Bey & Jay's mini-me was holding on to her father during a little day stroll.
21. Strolling With Mom & Dad
Blue, Jay and Bey all spotted in East Hampton.
22. Blue Has A Manicure Day With Mama Bey
"Me and my Blue, and my Blue Blue, riding🐝"
23. Hanging Out With Mom
Baby Blue is walking to the door, and it looks like Bey is trying to keep up!
24. Trying On Some Heels
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25. Holding On To Mom
Blue looks like she has something to say to Bey.
26. Playing A Game Of Tennis
Blue walks on the tennis court.
27. Cuddling With Mom
Blue & Beyonce have some much-needed cuddle time.
28. Blue Ivy
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29. Bey & Blue Take A Stroll
Doesn't Blue look adorable with her colorful dress and cute hair ribbon?
30. The Carter Lounge Together
The family was seen out and about.
31. Jay Z Carries Blue While Bey Looks On
Jay carries Blue in his arms.
32. Leading The Way
Blue Ivy looks too cute with her bowler hat and Mama Bey watching from behind. She's really growing up!
33. Out On The Town
Blue Ivy & Momma Bey enjoy some much deserved time off in Spain.
34. Traveling With Mom and Dad
Blue is used to traveling with Mama Bey and Poppa Jay, but she also looked a little flustered at some moments. It's ok, baby Blue!
35. A Day At The Park
Poppa Jay Z lets Blue Ivy have her way with the bouncy horse.
36. It's A Family Affair
Beyonce, Jay and Blue jetsetting in Dublin.
Blue dressed up like a hipster and plays a quick game of peekaboo! How adorable!
38. OMG It's Blue's Beautiful Face!
FINALLY! We get to see how beautiful Blue is! Look at the adorable headband! "Blue 💙"
39. Blue Ivy
Life's a beach!
40. Brooklyn Stand Up!
"Beyonce & Blue"
41. Blue Ivy's Got Her Own iPhone
"Momma, what's your password?"
42. Beyonce's Lazy Day With Blue
"Momma, I asked you for your password!"
43. When Blue Ivy Takes Your Phone, Beyonce Be Like...
"Fine, I'll go ask Daddy!"
44. Blue Ivy On Tour
"Bey & Blue"
45. It's Playtime
Beyonce & Blue take some time out to play.
46. A Chilly Day In NYC
"Beyoncé, Jay Z and Blue Ivy in NYC - Jan. 19"
47. All Bundled Up
The royal family makes their way to their fancy car.
48. Kisses From Dad
Blue's all bundled up, getting love from Daddy.
49. Blue At The White House
Blue Ivy's taking after mommy and writing a letter.
50. Blue Loves Bo
The White House pup, Bo is showing Blue Ivy some love.
51. The Carters At The White House
Check out the royal family checking out the scene at the White House.
52. It's Christmas Time Again
Blue and Bey checking out the White House Christmas tree.
53. Blue Lovin' Bo
Blue Ivy, dressed like a Princess, showing Bo some love.
54. Like Father, Like Daughter
Blue playing dress up with Daddy's hat.
55. Fun Times With Mommy
Blue Ivy spends some QT with mommy.
56. Mommy & Me
Blue and Bey take a break for some snacks.
57. Silvery Blue
Beyonce carries Blue, while the adorable toddler rocks a metallic jacket that we want and need.
58. The Holy Grail
Blue, Bey & Jay
59. One Big Happy Family
"#miami #newyear #2014"
"Beyoncé & Blue 💙"
61. Blue & Daddy In A Blue Jacket
"Jay and Blue 💙 #NewYear #2014 #Miami"
62. Hold On To Me
"Happy New Year Mommy!"
63. Dora Dora Dora The Explorer
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64. Daddy & Bey
"Look over there Blue, you own that too."
65. Blue's Big B-Day
"Mommy make sure they can only see the back of my head."
66. Painted Faces For Blue's Bday
"Let me get down Mommy, I wanna play!"
67. Kisses From Mommy
Beyonce and Blue prepping for Momma Tina's Masquerade Ball
68. Talk To The Hand!
Beyonce, Jay Z and Blue Ivy were spotted leaving Joey's restaurant in Miami, on January 8th, and Blue had a message for the paps! Talk to the hand!
69. Me & My Daddy
While Beyonce's arm rested, Jay carried Blue from Joey's restaurant, in Miami on January 8th.
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"I'm ready to slay right along with you, Ma!"
71. Imagine The Sound Of This Lullaby
A newborn Blue Ivy gets serenaded by her superstar mother.
72. Don't Mess With Blue!
Every now and again, Blue Ivy reminds you...she is her father's child!
73. All Gold Everything
Blue Ivy takes after her dad's swag. The inseparable duo were spotted in South Beach, Miami illuminating the streets outside their hotel with their yellow luster!
74. All Of The Lights!
"Mommy! All the pretty colors are so blinding! I'm...just..so..overwhelmed! When's my shot coming?! When's my shot coming?!" Blue plays on set with Bey at her 'Blow' video shoot.
75. Hey Blue!
"I can be happy sometimes, see?"
76. Blue Ivy With Daddy
"Why are we clapping, again? I'm not in the shot."
77. Jay Z Tries To Get Blue To Listen To "Magna Carta Holy Grail"
"Daddy, I'm more of a Nas fan."
78. Stepping With Mom
"Wait, Ma. I want the camera to see all angles of this sick dress!"
79. Splashin' & Playin'
"Mom, this water is clean, right? Because I'm not trying to splash in water I can't trust."
80. Beyonce Discusses Important Matters
"Mommy, I completely get it. Yes, I promise to watch the throne."
81. Mommy's Hugs
"Ok, Ma. I love you to pieces, but I like oxygen too." Bey may be the Queen, but this scene from her video "Blue" makes it look as if she can't get enough of being Mom.
82. Blue Ivy Twirls
"Aaaahh, I'm having so much fun not thinking about anything...wiippeee...oh, wait...getting a little sick."
83. Just So You Know...
"I run things. Don't get it twisted."
84. Mommy & Me Loungin'
"Oh, Mommy, I'm so tired of seeing the wigs you snatched last night all on our floor. It's so exhausting. Like, when're they getting picked up? Not now? Oh. Ok."
85. A Kiss For Blue
"Mommy, let me sleep, dang!"
86. Slurpin' On That Milk...Slurpin' Slurpin' On That Milk
"Mommy, gimme that bottle!"
We could watch this adorable GIF of Blue Ivy nonstop forever!
88. Jay Sneaks In Kisses
"Dadddd! Get..Away!..I don't want...No, ugh..No kisses!"
89. Blue Stares Back...
"Hey! Who's that?!"
90. Blue Still Doesn't Get Why Anyone's Here
"No, really, who are you? You're getting to close."
91. Blue and Bey Out For Lunch
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92. Blue Is One Tough Cookie
"Ma, please let me just kick them in the face. Like, please, I can't see through all these lights."
93. Blue Jetsets With Jay
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94. Beyonce Keeps Blue Covered
"Mommy, I think you forgot my feet. I'm cold right now. Are we inside?"
95. Beyonce LOVES Her Blue
Look at that face, how could you not kiss it?!
96. Blue Swings With Mommy
"I like the swing, this is nice, Mom--Oh, I'll let you pose for that shot."
97. Blue Decked Out In Pink
"Are we actually meeting people right now? Oh, I'll get it together, then."
98. A Hot Pink Summer
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99. Working Her Moves
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100. Mean In Green
"I'm going to be just as tall as you soon, Mommy! And, by soon, I mean tomorrow."