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Did you keep your law license?
Old 02-08-2007, 08:15 AM   #1
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Did you keep your law license?

All Attorneys in a former life,

Did you keep your law license once you retired? I need to renew mine and haven't used it in the year I have been retired. Is there any point? I can't see that I will practice law again, but I worked pretty hard to get it initially.
Just wondering. Thanks.

setab
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Re: Did you keep your law license?
Old 02-08-2007, 08:20 AM   #2
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Re: Did you keep your law license?

I am not a lawyer, but you might want to check with your state licensing board. Several of our state boards allow professionals to renew at a reduced "retirement" or "inactive" fee. That way, should they need it, they can reinstate easily as long as they maintain CEs. It also helps with the notion that you worked hard and would still like to be able to say you are a lawyer when/if the situation merits it.
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Re: Did you keep your law license?
Old 02-08-2007, 08:59 AM   #3
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Re: Did you keep your law license?

I retired at year end. I got my firm to agree to keep up my license for three years and pay for continuing education credits up to a certain amount for this year. I was licensed in two states and did drop one state.

I figured I wanted the insurance but I didn't want to pay for it.

After three years I will go to retired status. In Minnesota, to come out of retired status you have to take bucket loads of education credits, for all the years you missed.
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Re: Did you keep your law license?
Old 02-08-2007, 09:02 AM   #4
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Re: Did you keep your law license?

I kept mine. I manage to find enough cheap/free CLE that it doesn't cost much, although I do pay for some online CLE hours because they are so convenient. My old firm puts on a free seminar every year and my alma mater has one or two "free" sessions each year if you join the alumni association ($60). It's cheap insurance for you and your family if you end up having legal problems, since you can legitimately tell someone that it's going to cost them a lot more than it's going to cost you by the time you're done with discovery/depositions. Also, while the CLE is dull, it's nice to keep in touch with some of my old colleagues as well. Finally, if you ever did have an "emergency" and have to return to practice, it's nice to know you wouldn't have administrative hassles to do so.

It probably depends some on your age though. I'm very young and it makes sense for me for these reasons.

FWIW, I'm in OH and here your choices are active (24 hours of CLE every two years) or retired (can reinstate if necessary, but can't practice). So, the number of hours you have to attend would also be a factor. If it was much more than 12 hours per year I'd really have to think about it more.
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Re: Did you keep your law license?
Old 02-08-2007, 04:56 PM   #5
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Re: Did you keep your law license?

I'm "inactive" - I'm not sure what all I would have to do to go back active. I haven't regretted it yet.
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Re: Did you keep your law license?
Old 02-09-2007, 09:20 AM   #6
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Re: Did you keep your law license?


In NY, I'm taking the third option available (besides active or retired), which is retired except for pro bono work. I asked many questions and was told I could change that status at any time, even though both retirement options have the word "permanent" in the description. You can always change your mind about the permanency. Typical NY procedures. :
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Re: Did you keep your law license?
Old 02-09-2007, 03:32 PM   #7
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Re: Did you keep your law license?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kate
In NY, I'm taking the third option available (besides active or retired), which is retired except for pro bono work. I asked many questions and was told I could change that status at any time, even though both retirement options have the word "permanent" in the description. You can always change your mind about the permanency. Typical NY procedures. :
I agree that keeping your law license active for pro bono work is a great idea. You have decades of legal experience will need to keep your mind sharp during retirement. So why not donate 5-10 hours a week (if even that much) to people or organizations that can't afford a lawyer? This is what I plan on doing in another 30 years or so... In fact, I'll probably volunteer to litigate socially-important cases for free, just for the fun of it. There's nothing like litigating a case because you enjoy it -- being a zealous advocate is the name of the game.
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Re: Did you keep your law license?
Old 02-09-2007, 04:24 PM   #8
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Re: Did you keep your law license?

California's current, recently elected Attorney General, Jerry Brown, had an inactive (but still valid to be reactivated) law license until recently. When he decided to run for Attorney General, he reactivated it.

In fact, this was still being litigated in the courts recently because there was something in the California State Constitution about being eligible to practice for X years continuously before being eligible to be Attorney General, and some were saying he actually was ineligible to practice law while it the license was inactive. I don't know how this turned out or if it has even been resolved.

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Re: Did you keep your law license?
Old 02-10-2007, 01:10 PM   #9
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Re: Did you keep your law license?

DW and I are still attorneys in this life. DW is retiring next month at 55. Even with the NY cost of registration and the need for CLE, I could not see us letting the licenses go. Too hard to get them and too many years invested in them.

And you never know when you might want to use it.
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Re: Did you keep your law license?
Old 02-10-2007, 03:39 PM   #10
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Re: Did you keep your law license?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZMAN
DW and I are still attorneys in this life. DW is retiring next month at 55. Even with the NY cost of registration and the need for CLE, I could not see us letting the licenses go. Too hard to get them and too many years invested in them.
And you never know when you might want to use it.
I gave up my nuclear engineer's license, my qualification for command at sea, my military instructor's certification, and my .45 caliber pistol ribbon.

Don't miss any of them a bit, nor do I ever care to get myself into situations where I'd need a piece of paper to be allowed to use those skills.

You'll have to get back to us in five or ten years on how big a priority the law license has become.
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Re: Did you keep your law license?
Old 02-10-2007, 05:35 PM   #11
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Re: Did you keep your law license?

Interesting question because I've been wondering the same thing. Next year I retire and question is keep it or no? I'm thinking of paying the inactive fee. When I left the medical field and entered the legal field, I kept up my cytotechnologist cetification for a number of years before I decided I would never go back. I will probably do the same thing this time.
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Re: Did you keep your law license?
Old 02-15-2007, 08:51 PM   #12
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Re: Did you keep your law license?

It was soo hard to gain these licenses that I can understand why one would not easily give them up. I kept mine active, but know that eventually I will use the savings in annual bar dues to spend more time at the bar! 8)
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Re: Did you keep your law license?
Old 02-15-2007, 09:16 PM   #13
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Re: Did you keep your law license?

I plan to retire in January 2008, so the question of whether to keep my license has been weighing on my mind. It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to acquire, but the maintence fee (bar dues) is $414 per year in Washington State and I would have to complete 15 hours of CLE per year. The cost of the CLE's plus the bar dues will likely convince me to just let it go and assume inactive status. Besides, I've spent my career as a Gov't attorney and really can't imagine entering private practice at this stage of my life.
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Re: Did you keep your law license?
Old 02-16-2007, 11:55 AM   #14
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Re: Did you keep your law license?

Interesting question for all professionals.

I have not decided what to do about my medical licence after ER. I might want to do some clinical or consulting work for a few years. The fees are significant, especially as I have to pay an extra licence fee to practice as a corporation. I would have to do a breakeven analysis on it. I would probably keep the licence for at least a year.
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