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Thread: Licensed Attorney in Planning

  1. #1
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    Licensed Attorney in Planning

    Just graduated from law school this spring. I'm planning on pursuing a master's in urban & regional planning. Just wondering if there are any other attorneys out there doing likewise (planning) and whether you would recommend taking a bar exam. I've been told it would be wise to be licensed, but since I've no intention of practicing law I feel it might not be worth my time (time than I can spend preparing for this program). Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mriter
    Just graduated from law school this spring. I'm planning on pursuing a master's in urban & regional planning. Just wondering if there are any other attorneys out there doing likewise (planning) and whether you would recommend taking a bar exam. I've been told it would be wise to be licensed, but since I've no intention of practicing law I feel it might not be worth my time (time than I can spend preparing for this program). Any suggestions?
    Take the exam. A law degree and MCP will take you a VERY long ways in this field. Private sector planning would just about kill to have an in-house attorney with planning background working on codes for cities.

    You might do a forum search as well; I think there was someone in the Career Advice forum in a very similar situation to you that can probably offer some insight.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  3. #3
         
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    I agree with the Repairman. Take the exam and pass it. It will give you much more clout and respect because you will dealing with a lot of attorneys in a planning career. I see this JD/MUP combo most often in the private sector. I can think of a few that are principals with major national consulting firms. They work on codes, impact fees studies and large complex real estate deals. Larger cities often have an attorney that focuses mainly on land use and real estate issues if you want to work the public side. These attorneys may have an occasional court date defending a decision but they mostly work to keep the city out of court in the first place.

  4. #4
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    I'll echo both SR and SJ. Being a licensed lawyer may be very beneficial. My wife jsut finished law school and will be taking the Bar here in IL, but has not intention on practicing. Although, she isn't looking into planning, she intends to use the licensed lawyer label to help her in the HR field, which everyone has told her that being a licensed lawyer in HR is very desireable.

    Good luck with your decision.

    Btw, here is the thread SR mentioned - click here.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

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  5. #5
    Cyburbian The District's avatar
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    If you want to do private sector stuff, licensure would be invaluable to a firm. We hire an outside attorney at the moment, but I'm sure we'd get our legal stuff done in-house if we had a planner/lawyer.

  6. #6
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    Thanks

    ...for the suggestions. I'm signed up to take the bar exam here in Oregon in February. Hoping that I'll start the MURP program at PSU this coming fall. Also hoping that our current administration leaves intact a country for us to continue planning in.

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