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Old 01-21-2015, 08:50 AM
 
26 posts, read 34,568 times
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Let me explain the situation and why I am in a rut at the moment. We are a South African family of European decent. My husband is a South African attorney. He came over to study alongside an attorney in Phoenix to lean more about American law and that course has been completed. He has written to various bar associations across the country to ask permission to write the bar to convert his degree and upon doing that we will be able to change our visa. The only states who offered for him to write was Washington, Connecticut and Vermont. He is still waiting to hear back from New Hampshire, Florida and North Carolina. We left Phoenix due to the fact that they would not allow him to write the bar and also because I am a severe asthmatic. Phoenix dust storms affected my health negatively. The cold does not seem to effect me at all. We took the kids out of school and drove up to Washington but it was suggested to us that the East coast might be a better deal. We drove to Connecticut, stayed in New Brittian in a hotel but the area was extremely run down! I am now looking at Darrien and as mentioned before, can only rely on what people tel us or google. People have suggested Connecticut and have told us that we will be very lonely in Vermont. Friends have invited us to stay with them in Pennsylvania where we are now while we make a decision on a move. We need to get the kids back in school. Our funds are limited so we can not afford enormous rents so probably looking for a medium income neighborhood. I have elementary age children as well as two teens.
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Old 01-21-2015, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Vermont
10,308 posts, read 11,223,308 times
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I moved to Vermont in 1983 and I think it's a great place to live.

It's physically beautiful. In just about every part of the state you can find accepting and supportive communities. There are lots of places that have excellent schools. I'm partial to my home town of Montpelier, where I've lived almost the entire time we've been here, but other people have pointed to Burlington, Brattleboro, and other places as good places to live.

I have a lawyer working for me who went to law school and was first licensed in England (solicitor, not barrister) and he's been successful here in Vermont. I don't know what he had to go through to get licensed here beyond taking the Quiz.

I would caution you that it's a bit risky to move here without a job, although that's true pretty much everywhere. Also, if you're not prepared for it the cold and snow can be pretty hard to deal with.
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:09 PM
 
26 posts, read 34,568 times
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Thank you for that information. We are sitting on the computer searching constantly. We do not want to make a move and then have to move again. Besides Vermont we have CT to consider but then again, as soon as we find a reasonable rental the area does not seem too great and the school rating is way down...I have kids that need to get back to school! Feeling very frustrated!
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:31 PM
 
26 posts, read 34,568 times
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His visa will not allow him to work unless he is an admitted attorney and has applied for work with another attorney
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:17 PM
 
150 posts, read 177,487 times
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Since you're in CT, why not take a drive up to VT (at least the southern part) and look around? You could easily visit Bennington and Brattleboro, VT's two largest southern towns, in a day.

To reiterate what others have written: VT, except for Burlington, is rural to very rural. The lack of population makes it, for many, a difficult place in which to live. Economically, we're not thriving, and it doesn't seem we will be for the foreseeable future. It is though a physically beautiful place where you can live a peaceful yet productive and satisfying life, and raise children in relative safety.

One other thing: I, too, have asthma (although mine is mild) and am told that the northeast, and VT in particular, is a tough place for asthma sufferers.
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:22 PM
 
809 posts, read 677,948 times
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We have had a South African living our our community for over 30 years. We still mistake her for a Brit because of her accent.

You won't be lonely in any community you move into if you immediately join up and offer to help out-- food co-ops, schools, Audubon or nature society, garden club, library support group. Ask for information about groups that could use the talents and skills you have. Appreciate the gripers, but ignore their gripes.

Make it a point to embrace the crummy weather-- snowshoeing will get you from January to April, and you'll have a chance to see daylight extend from nine hours to over twelve during those months. Learn to layer to stay dry in walks in the rain and/or cold.
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:25 PM
 
26 posts, read 34,568 times
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Thank you for all your replies and advice...I greatly appreciate it!
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Old 01-21-2015, 05:04 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA & Sharon, VT
168 posts, read 187,657 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannabie View Post
Let me explain the situation and why I am in a rut at the moment. We are a South African family of European decent. My husband is a South African attorney. He came over to study alongside an attorney in Phoenix to lean more about American law and that course has been completed. He has written to various bar associations across the country to ask permission to write the bar to convert his degree and upon doing that we will be able to change our visa. The only states who offered for him to write was Washington, Connecticut and Vermont. He is still waiting to hear back from New Hampshire, Florida and North Carolina.
I think he should look at the Bar rules in various jurisdictions again - I had a friend who'd practiced in the U.K. for a couple decades, and then moved to California. I don't think she had to sit for the bar exam, I think she just had to do some kind of application to get admitted to the California Bar. (But don't quote me on that.)

Regardless, as an attorney who's changed states a couple times myself, I think the best way to do this is to first find an employer interested in your husband. I don't think you should invest the time and dollars to move to a state and sit for the bar exam, only to find that he can't subsequently find a job there. (And I think that's particularly true in Vermont; being a small state with a fairly small legal market, there's not a ton of demand for attorneys and attorney pay is lower than in some other jurisdictions, such as Washington or Connecticut.)

Most law firms will hire out-of-state people (assuming they have adequate experience and skills), with a requirement that they become admitted to that state's Bar within the next year (or something like that).
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Old 01-21-2015, 06:59 PM
 
26 posts, read 34,568 times
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my husband is not admitted yet, so it will be difficult to secure a job before he is admitted. He sat the California bar last year but did not have much time to prepare because a friend paid the fees for him at the last minute..He bought the barbri books but unfortunately he did not pass. He was told during the three day exam that it is the most difficult bar and many do not pass the first or even the second time. Time is not on our side at the moment...in a very difficult situation!
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Old 01-22-2015, 12:38 PM
 
56 posts, read 64,544 times
Reputation: 56
I cannot comment on the schools in Vermont, but you should stay away from NC for that reason alone. It is a desperate time for schools there.
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