The Tennessee government won’t let me earn a living.
I worked hard to obtain a legal education, and I’m proud of my competency as an attorney.
But due to a tangled mess of red tape, the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners is refusing to grant foreign-educated attorneys like myself admission to the state bar — no matter our qualifications.
That’s why I’m challenging this arbitrary bureaucratic approach in the Tennessee Supreme Court — so that qualified professionals can do their jobs.
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I was educated in Canada and the US
Most lawyers in the US follow a typical path to practice law: bachelor’s degree, juris doctorate (JD) degree, then the bar exam. But some American law professionals, like myself, are educated abroad.
In 2019, pursuant to my undergraduate studies at an English college in the Canadian province of Quebec, I earned a bachelor of civil law degree and a JD from the University of Ottawa’s dual degree program.
I then enrolled in a masters of law, or LL.M, program at Pace University’s Elisabeth Haub School of Law in New York, graduated summa cum laude in 2020, then scored in the upper 90th percentile of the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE), which is also used in Tennessee.
The New York Board of Law Examiners determined that my education was substantively and durationally equivalent to that of the traditional US law graduate, and granted me a license to practice in the state.
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The board exacted discretion before
But entering the workforce in 2020, especially amid the pandemic, was daunting, and I soon joined my significant other, a