Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Where to take the bar? (C&F issues and possible MBE transfer)

Here is my story - Failed the CT bar by a few points in Jul stickysituation06/09/17
Any thought at all? I really need to figure this out and I' stickysituation06/10/17
People I know who have passed with credit issues got their c downwardslope06/10/17
Sure. Should that possibility factor into my choices above? stickysituation06/10/17
TITCR. I think you're wildly underestimating your debt issue mrtor06/12/17
Not what I wanted to hear but very good to know, thanks. stickysituation06/12/17
NY maybe even stricter than Conn. I read an article that NY newyorkcity06/10/17
Take New Joizey. Ez bar ez life. And if you take it in A isthisit06/10/17
You will need to clear up your debt issues (maybe by filing guyingorillasuit06/12/17
You need to consult with an ethics attorney right now. Perio lawyer206/12/17
People do not have no clue. While I have not done bar C&F, I downwardslope06/12/17
You need to show a pattern of making payments to address you thestruggleisreal06/12/17
of the 4 states I've dealt with, NY has by far the easiest C dingbat06/14/17
Trust account issues are typically number one though, aren't downwardslope06/14/17
stickysituation (Jun 9, 2017 - 1:34 pm)

Here is my story
- Failed the CT bar by a few points in July 2014 because I had a lot going on.
- Easily passed CT in Feb 2015 with a 160+ MBE score (CT doesn't give essay scores to passing candidates but I know I destroyed these too).
- Never got admitted because C&F questions about my finances (terrible credit) scared me and in combination with other things that were going on at the time, caused me to let my application lapse. I didn't get far in the process, I had just been referred to the committee and they wanted a financial statement. I freaked out and ignored it and just let the application die, as other events made me doubt whether I even wanted to practice anymore.
- I was unemployed for a year.
- I started working recently in NY in a job that does not require the bar, but where I would get a significant raise if I actually became an attorney. Because this practice is strictly federal, I don't necessarily have to be admitted in NY, though that would obviously be best.
- With the income from this new job, I am confident I can get a decent handle on my C&F issues by consolidating my debts and establishing several months of on-time payments before filing my Feb bar application in November.


So here are the options I am considering:

(1) Take the NY bar in Feb 2018 (UBE).

(2) Take the CT bar in Feb 2018 (UBE) and use the portable UBE score to gain admission in NY too. Two reasons for this: First, I am guessing the curve is lower in CT due to the less capable applicant pool which makes it easier to pass. Second, the C&F process will probably be faster in a small state like CT than NY.

(3) Take CT and MA (essays on different dates) to double the chances of passing C&F, with the hope that MA is more lenient. I just need to be a lawyer *somewhere*, ASAP.

(4) Transfer my high MBE score to one of the few jurisdictions that will accept it this late (Idaho, Kentucky, or Wisconsin) and just take the essay portion there. The benefit is that I don't have to study for the freaking MBE again while I am working full time. The downsides are that I will have to fly out to take the bar with all the risks that entails, such as a winter storm messing up my flight. Also, I will be in NY but admitted to some random far away state. Finally, if C&F issues end up requiring a hearing, that would be impractical to address from here. All that to avoid studying for the MBE again...


(1) is really the obvious course of action, but I just wanted to see if these other crazy options in my head were viable at all.

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stickysituation (Jun 10, 2017 - 7:56 am)

Any thought at all? I really need to figure this out and I'm not comfortable discussing this stuff with colleagues in real life.

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downwardslope (Jun 10, 2017 - 9:21 am)

People I know who have passed with credit issues got their credit under control before they passed. It usually took a few years. It is not a matter of making 2-3 payments and calling it a day. They usually want to see a pattern of improvement over time.

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stickysituation (Jun 10, 2017 - 9:50 am)

Sure. Should that possibility factor into my choices above?

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mrtor (Jun 12, 2017 - 10:42 am)

TITCR. I think you're wildly underestimating your debt issues. You have not provided us with all of the facts, but I agree that straightening things out and making a few payments is not going to satisfy the bar examiners. You are probably a couple of years away from successfully passing through C&F and even then your credit history will need to be absolutely spotless during that time.

For now, focus on doing you job and getting your credit issues straightened out. You can start looking at taking the bar exam again in a year or two. I think it would be better to go into the C&F process in a few years with a demonstrated history of improvement, rather than entering it sooner and trying to demonstrate that improvement while you are going through the hearing process.

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stickysituation (Jun 12, 2017 - 1:58 pm)

Not what I wanted to hear but very good to know, thanks.

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newyorkcity (Jun 10, 2017 - 12:19 pm)

NY maybe even stricter than Conn.
I read an article that NY Congressman Michael Grimms pleaded guilty to a financial felony, and NY suspended his license for 4 years, but Conn. suspended him for only 2 years. You really need to consult with an attorney who specializes in C&F issues. Spend the money if you are serious. Don't take free advice from random unemployed fools commenting non-sense on a blog. Good luck.

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isthisit (Jun 10, 2017 - 12:35 pm)

Take New Joizey.

Ez bar ez life. And if you take it in AC you can go party afterwards.

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guyingorillasuit (Jun 12, 2017 - 12:22 pm)

You will need to clear up your debt issues (maybe by filing bankruptcy), and give it a year or so of being completely and demonstratively responsible in paying all your bills and living within your means. That would be my advice.

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lawyer2 (Jun 12, 2017 - 3:06 pm)

You need to consult with an ethics attorney right now. Period. Point. Blank.

Stop soliciting advice on Internet forums. People mean well, but have no clue. This is coming from someone who had a BK going into C&F for reference

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downwardslope (Jun 12, 2017 - 6:09 pm)

People do not have no clue. While I have not done bar C&F, I have done agency prosecution for other C&F and showing that you are rehabilitated over a long period of time is key. 3 months is not going to cut it. Many states won't even consider you unless it has been a couple of years. You already had a bankruptcy. This person has done nothing.

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thestruggleisreal (Jun 12, 2017 - 5:28 pm)

You need to show a pattern of making payments to address your debts. It's not just about saying your debts will be paid in the future. By the time you get into C&F you should have already established a pattern of paying your debts on time. A lot of people have had debt issues in the past we were still admitted to the bar but you have to show that are at least trying to pay your debts. If you have been ignoring your debts (ie not paying your debts on time), you will have a hard time passing the C&F.

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dingbat (Jun 14, 2017 - 11:21 am)

of the 4 states I've dealt with, NY has by far the easiest C&F. For one thing, they probably won't care that you bombed your CT application. Plenty of other states will ding you just for not following through - Not responding to clients is the #2 reason for bar complaints / suspensions, and you're throwing up a serious red flag that that's a concern.

Also, C&F in NY is surprisingly quick (probably because of how light it is).

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downwardslope (Jun 14, 2017 - 12:24 pm)

Trust account issues are typically number one though, aren't they? That is usually why credit issues are a red flag since states see people with credit problems as more likely to be "creative" with their accounting.

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