California allows illegal immigrants to be admitted to the bar

In September of 2013 I wrote on the question of whether an illegal immigrant to the U.S. is eligible for admission to the bar. This post is a continuation and update on how the question has been settled in California.

Interview with Mr. Garcia

Those seeking to attend law school and  become a lawyer will find this case fascinating.

Facts:  An illegal immigrant to the U.S. who attended law school and passed the California bar exam was eventually allowed admission to the bar. The story is summarized in the San Jose Mercury News as follows:

Citing a new state law allowing persons living in the country illegally to get their law licenses, the California Supreme Court on Thursday paved the way for a Chico man to fulfill his dream of becoming an attorney despite his not being a U.S. citizen.

In a unanimous ruling, the state Supreme Court determined there is no reason to block Sergio Garcia’s bid for a California law license, now that a new law permits the state’s high court to give such licenses to immigrants who are not yet citizens. State legislators, backed by Gov. Jerry Brown, pushed the legislation last fall as Garcia’s case was unfolding in the Supreme Court, which has a final say on licensing California attorneys.

The case was argued  in September of 2013. The San Jose  Mercury News reports:

During arguments in the fall, the justices appeared unlikely to back Garcia because federal immigration law precludes giving a law license to people living in this country illegally. But the court invited the Legislature to fix the problem if it wanted to solve the conflict with federal laws. In Thursday’s ruling, the Supreme Court concluded that there is no longer reason to deny a law license to Garcia, or other immigrants in his position.

Future Law Students – Watch the court hearing on YouTube. This is fascinating!