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Dr. of Law.

The Bar just declared that "lawyers who want to use their law degrees in advertising are limited to using the language on their diplomas, with no translations." ("Bar board settles Dr. of Law debate," August 15, News.) Bar Ethics Counsel Elizabeth Tarbert explained this new bright line rule means that "lawyers would not be able to translate their degree into another language."

Really? Board member Ben Kuehne is right when he notes "this may need a little more study." My degree, at least what of it I can decipher without looking at the translation that came with it, indicates that on XXIII MAII ANNO DOMINI MMIV, the Scholare Juris of Collegii Georgiopolitam gave me a Juris Doctorem. I am not trying to advertise myself with this letter questioning the wisdom of this new policy, but loosely translated, this means that I attended Georgetown University Law Center and earned a Juris Doctor in 2004.

Also, how can Bar members with American LL.M.s but foreign law degrees advertise themselves? Must their foreign degrees be indicated in the language issued? What if that degree is written in Japanese characters? That would make Yellow Pages advertising difficult for foreign attorneys and possibly raise some constitutional concerns for the Bar.

Must all similarly situated lawyers now consult with Bar counsel before deviating from using the exact, if confusing, language from a diploma when advertising educational achievement?

Aaron M. Clemens

West Palm Beach
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Title Annotation:Letters
Author:Clemens, Aaron M.
Publication:Florida Bar News
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Sep 1, 2006
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