A Conversation for How Best to Prepare Yourself to Become President of the USA

Two Quibbles

Post 1

Fragilis - h2g2 Cured My Tabular Obsession

Practicing law without a degree will get you arrested, not in the President's office. The reason you see presidents without a degree is that there was no formal requirement for practicing law in the early years. These days you can't practice legally without first passing the BAR exam. And they won't let you take the exam without a degree.

Also, Colin Powell isn't going to raise the number of former military men who have become presidents. He has stated that he doesn't want to run, and I believe him. His total disinterest in political campaigning combined with a healthy dislike for the probable racist backlash is enough incentive to keep him in appointed positions.

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Post 2

Not Shakespeare

I knew that you couldn't pratice law without pass the bar, but is it a requirement that you get a degree first, or is it that it is highly unlikely you'll pass without one?

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Post 3


Another quibble:

A citizen born in the United States
Born in a region that has since signed the constitution

Both of these? How many regions in the US regularly sign the consitiution regularly?
(note: if you tell me it's a thing that all the states do on a yearly basis I apoligise, but it doesn't seem likely - I'm English so I wouldn't know, lots of weird stuff does go on)

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Post 4

Smiley Ben

You can have multiple requirements for things even if the groups they pick out are (contingently) the same. The point is that even at times when these two groups are different, you have to fulfil both these requirements.

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Post 5


Huh? I thought it was just a missing 'and/or', whereas the other requirements were 'and'.

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Post 6


In Wisconsin if you attend and graduate from the law school at The University of Wisconsin, Madison or Milwaukee you are automatically admited to the State Bar of Wisconsin

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Post 7

An Ambling Rambler

I'm guessing the signing of the Constitution applies to territories that wish to become states, so if you (potential Presidential candidate) were born in Puerto Rico, for example, and Puerto Rico was then admitted to the US, it would have to sign the Constitution to become a state, and you would then be eligible to run for President because you were born in a region that has since signed the Constitution.

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Post 8

Fragilis - h2g2 Cured My Tabular Obsession

Thanks, EggsER. Policy does seem to vary from state to state. In my state, a valid graduation certificate has to be presented before you're allowed to take the bar exam. That's true in most others too.

I can't vouch for the policy in every state. A quick search uncovered that a few states also allow you to take the bar exam after a proscribed number of years working at a law firm.

That's a chicken-and-egg scenario, though. The typical law firm looks for graduates from the best schools possible. If they hire people to work for them without law degrees, they're hired for research duty or paperwork preparation. Even after taking the bar exam, they probably wouldn't be promoted until they were fully educated.

I suppose you *could* work a few years at a law firm at one of these states, take the exam, and then start your own practice. I dunno how well that would serve you come election time, though. Your credentials would probably be questioned by the opposition.

We just live in a different world these days. The original hope was that lawyers would simply be literate, interested citizens. The purposefully complicated language and long history of precedents makes it pretty tough for average people to practice law nowadays.

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Post 9

Demon Drawer

A person from Alaska or Hawaii might have been born before they signed up to the constitution still. States have been added since the constitution was added that it why an American in Peer review made me add that proviso.

And I know you can no longer practise law without any formal education. But as a true historian you have to include it and things could change in the future especially if a asteroid could cause world destruction in 18 years time and we may end up with fast tracked lawyers again. Have to cover all possibilities even if they don't apply now. smiley - tongueout

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Post 10

Two Bit Trigger Pumping Moron

As I recall, there are only one or two states that don't require a law degree to sit for the bar exam. For some reason, I think they may be Monatana and/or Wyoming.

Incidently, lawmen enforce the law, they don't poke holes in it.

smiley - handcuffs
Two Bit Trigger Pumping Lawman

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Post 11


A recent lecturer kept making lawyer jokes at us. Weird since we're all scientists. The obvious one about using lawyers instead of lab rats, because researchers were starting to get attached to the rats, and also cos there's some things rats won't do.

Two Quibbles

Post 12


In fact, according to my copy of the constitution, I carry it around in case my rights get trampled, one needs to be a natural born citizen of the U.S. People often think that this means being born in the U.S. or in a territory that has since become a state, but not so.

I could be born on a U.S. base in Germany and run for president. I would have been born an American and that's all that is required vis a vis nationality.

The Puerto Rico issue is a stickier one. As a matter of fact, they are are for all intents and purposes citizens in that they pay taxes, can be in the U.S. Army, are subject to our Federal laws and have U.S. passports. However, they DON'T vote for president and have no representation in Congress. They also can not, at this time, run for President. And it seems unlikely that PR will become a state any time soon.

My two cents,

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Post 13

Two Bit Trigger Pumping Moron

Puerto Ricans are citizens of the United States, and as such a natural born Peurto Rican would be able to run for president, even if he wouldn't have any say in voting for president.

The same would be true of any citizen who was bron in a territotry or possession of the United States. Someone from Guam or the US Virgin Islands could hold the office as well.

smiley - handcuffs

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