Question of the Week

How Does Your Firm Handle Unlicensed Law Grads? What Happens If They Fail the Bar Exam?

Last week, Maricopa County, Ariz., currently in a billing dispute with Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak and Stewart, filed a would-be class action claiming fraud and breach of contract stating that there were 36 instances in which Ogletree Deakins classified nonattorney law grads as associates for billing purposes. The firm previously admitted making one such “coding mistake” and refunded $51,000 to the county and offered to reimburse the county for any other such errors it found. Ogletree’s counsel John Doran of Sherman & Howard in Phoenix, said that while it isn’t Ogletree Deakins’ practice to bill out unlicensed law grads as new associates, he has worked at other large law firms that do.

So this week, we’d like to ask you: How does your firm handle unlicensed law grads? Do they do the same tasks as associates who have passed the bar? Are they billed out at associate rates? Is passing the bar a condition of employment? And do you agree with your workplaces’ policies on these matters?

Answer in the comments.

Read the answers to last week’s question: Ever Had Job-Related Weight Gain? If So, How Did You Battle It? Or How Have You Always Prevented It?

Featured answer:

Posted by fnlawyer: “Back in 2003, I discovered the surest way to lose weight (whether needed or not) is to have the U.S. Supreme Court grant cert. Dropped 15 pounds!!!”

This week’s question was suggested by B. McLeod. Do you have an idea for a future question of the week? If so, contact us.

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