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I read the article regarding the difficulties UK-qualified lawyers had qualifying in New York state when they did not have a law degree (The Lawyer, 16 September).
I would like to draw your attention to a similar problem I have encountered with the Law Society here. I have dual French and English nationality, but went to school and university in France. I have a business law degree and a post-graduation qualification called a DESS (standard qualification for in-house lawyers) in international business law.
Last January I moved to London, and made enquiries about qualifying as a solicitor. I was surprised in these times of European integration to find out that, in the eyes of the Law Society, all I had was the equivalent of a non-law degree. I find it a bit rude that after five years of reading law I have to do a further two years at school to become a solicitor.
French-qualified lawyers can qualify in England by passing a special exam. To qualify as an avocat in France, you need a law degree (four years), to attend a professional school for a year and to do two years' training. During these seven years, there is no obligation to do English law, and many avocats have not done so.
As such, I think EU law students should have their law degrees recognised in all member states and be able to take professional exams in England without having to do the CPE.