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Legal Ethics

Undocumented immigrants can practice in Calif. under new law, top state court says

Posted Jan 2, 2014 4:15 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Giving its seal of approval to a new state statute that allows undocumented immigrants to practice law in California if they were brought to the state as children, the state's top court on Thursday granted permission for the California State Bar to admit Sergio C. Garcia.

"In light of the recently enacted state legislation, we conclude that the committee’s motion to admit Garcia to the State Bar should be granted," ruled the California Supreme Court in its written opinion (PDF)

The case, which involves a 36-year-old law graduate who already passed the California bar, is one of several in multiple states concerning undocumented immigrants whose bar admission applications were put on hold on character and fitness grounds due to their immigration status.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: "Top Calif. court skeptical about undocumented law grad’s right to be licensed to practice"

ABA Journal: "The Dream Bar: Some Children Illegally Living in the United States Grow Up to Want to Be Attorneys"

Los Angeles Times (sub. req.): "Immigrant without green card can be a lawyer, California court rules"

New York Times (reg. req.): "Immigrant in U.S. Illegally May Practice Law, California Court Rules"

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