LETTER: Juris Doctorate Law degree holders should not have to attend Caribbean Law Schools to practice in the region


Juris Doctorate Law degree (US) V. Bachelor of Law degree (Antigua and Barbuda)

I have recently learned that to practice law in Antigua and Barbuda a person is required to have a Bachelor of Law (LLB) and a 1-year certificate course, after. While in the US, the person must have a Juris Doctorate (JD), which can only be acquired after getting a bachelor’s degree in any area (most persons hold a bachelor’s degree in some social science subject in the US before going to law school). I did mine in Criminal Justice and Criminology.

After acquiring these degrees (BA and JD) in the US, most States require an applicant to take and pass a Bar exam. There are some states that now provide other options for licensing besides taking the bar exam. There is a trend towards alternatives to the Bar exam in the US.

However, I am here to explain one, or maybe a few other points, on why it would make sense to allow those who complete law studies in the US to immediately be eligible to apply and be granted the right to practice law in Antigua and Barbuda and even in the Caribbean.

Under US laws, an advanced degree is any U.S. academic or professional degree or a foreign equivalent degree ABOVE that of baccalaureate. Please see 8 CFR 204.5(k)(2) and 8 CFR 204.5(l)(2).

That means a new attorney in Antigua and Barbuda with only a bachelor’s degree in law (LLB) cannot qualify with just such a degree. While Juris Doctorate  (JD) Degree holders immediately qualifies.

For the LLB holder in Antigua and Barbuda to qualify they must have, after achieving the bachelor’s in law, at least 5 years of PROGRESSIVE experience in law, after achieving the Bachelors. Experience before will not count; it must be after, and the experience in the field or related to the bachelor’s degree. Then under NIW, 8 CFR 204.5(k)(2) and 8 CFR 204.5(l)(2), the Antiguan and Barbudan attorney would have been determined under law to have achieved advance degree in law, which is considered to be the equivalent of a master’s degree in law.

If a doctoral degree is customarily required by the specialty, the beneficiary must have a U.S. doctorate or a foreign equivalent degree. JD degree holders do not need to prove progressive experience as they already over qualify (it does not matter from what country, as longs as it is evaluated to be the equivalent for the US advance degree).

A beneficiary can satisfy the advanced degree requirement by holding either a:

U.S. master’s degree or higher or a foreign degree evaluated to be the equivalent of a U.S. master’s degree or higher; or

U.S. bachelor’s degree, or a foreign degree evaluated to be the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree, plus 5 years of progressive, post-degree work experience.

Please see 8 CFR 204.5(k)(2) and 8 CFR 204.5(l)(2). For information on the specific educational requirements for professional and advanced degree professionals, see Part F, Employment-Based Classifications, Chapter 5, Advanced Degree or Exceptional Ability [6 USCIS-PM F.5], Chapter 6, Physician [6 USCIS-PM F.6], and Chapter 7, Skilled Worker, Professional, or Other Worker [6 USCIS-PM F.7]. See Matter of Caron International (PDF), 19 I&N Dec. 791 (Comm. 1988). See Matter of Sea, Inc. (PDF), 19 I&N Dec. 817 (Comm. 1988). See Matter of Ho (PDF), 19 I&N Dec. 582 (BIA 1988).

The  US Juris Doctorate actually already includes all those advance courses, training, experience beyond those given to the Bachelors of Law degree holders in Antigua and Barbuda, and basically all that is left for a foreign JD holder is to learn procedural law of the jurisdiction which can easily be learned by applicant on their own or by simply having applicants (us) follow a local attorney for 3 months or less. It is honestly now that complicated.

The truth is not meant to degrade your system, it is meant to encourage folks in authority in Antigua and Barbuda to avoid causing people like me undue hardship and delays. Just make decisions that make sense. Allowing this can also be lucrative locally, as we can bring more work and more investment with us.

Separately, I also must state to some folks, whatever the University in the US post as the cost for attending, you must double and sometimes triple that to really understand the true expenses of attending college in the US.

I remember when doing my bachelor’s degree, the school posted the cost is $40,000 for the year. I promise you that my expenses, mandatory insurance (the school force you to buy theirs or equivalent to be able to enroll as an international student), which for me was about $7000 per semester, so about $21,000 a year in mandatory health insurance. The schools never include cost for summer semesters because it is not really mandatory. But I sure attended numerous summer semester (I did 20 credits in the first half of summer, which is one month long and 20 more credits in the second half the summer which is also 1 month long).

Housing for summer is not included either in any school’s published expenses in the US, as you would typically not be on campus in the summer, but we all know international students do not often return home overseas (they need a place to stay during the summers). Too expensive to go to Antigua and come back to the US for school every holiday season, at least it was for.

Little jab at UPP: they said at that time there were too many law degree holders, so they were not giving me any grant or scholarships or loans. It honestly hurt so much. But it is not just them, who have hurt me but the party who I thought was my ABLP, which is my family’s party and was my favorite, but they said to me that they cannot help me request for my application to be expedited so that I may promptly open my crime victims’ right firm in Antigua and Barbuda or help me in anyway.  So, I am pretty sure they will not pass any laws either to allow JD holders like me to be able to be granted such waiver of the one-year course in Jamaica to practice in Antigua.

I was never requesting any kind of financial help. Just wanted access to land to buy to build an office and if that cannot be granted, just my fire-arms license, based on the abnormally and inherently dangerous work I would have to do pertaining to terrorism, rape, robbery, felonious assault, battery, kidnapping, human trafficking, domestic abuse, murder, manslaughter, slave trade, etcetera. It is an underserved area of US law internationally for US benefits.

But my ABLP said they cannot help, just like the UPP said to me in 2009 they cannot help me either. So, my motivation is to work so hard to be wealthier than all of them add together and make my money outside of politics while they make theirs in politics. Who is truly the successful person?

Anyway, for all my levels of colleges, I also had to buy books, I live in an on-campus apartment. I need food, transportation to class, etcetera. My expenses for undergraduate were easily over $100,000USD a year. I ate ramen noodles a lot (I am now a master ramen noodles chef) and lived at the dollar store for nearly everything. Have you guys ever used a dollar store cologne ha ha ha ha? I was the man. How about dollar store meats? ha ha ha ha ha.  I am cracking up laughing.

Doing my master’s degree was worse and then Juris Doctorate was much worse. In fact, it is one of the main reasons I harbor resentment for some of my family members, those that I believe had a moral obligation to help me become something, instead of leaving me suffering so much to achieve something so honorable, without their help at all and in some cases, inadequate help (substantially lower than what they could have done without severe hardship to themself).

So, those of you looking at a website to determine cost of colleges in the US, it shows you have no clue of reality, in studying in the US, especially as an international student at the time without a green card (also prices listed are not what international students pays, we pay about $20,000USD more as international students on top of what the school list as cost). We do not qualify for any government grants or government loans from the US, pertaining to FAFSA. You cannot qualify for it on F-1 status (international student status).

There is no Antiguan who will leave Antigua to study in the US starting from Bachelors, to masters, to doctorate and not owe or spend close to or more than $1 million USD (without the help of grants and scholarships). I want to thank my uncle J for co-signing for all those private student loans for me.

Finally, any attorney that concentrate on Business/Corporate Law and Immigration law in the US would know the requirements for NIW, which means they would know how substantially different a Bachelor of Law degree and a Juris Doctorate Degree is legally and factually. As this has everything to do with corporate and immigration law. It is a vital part of corporate and immigration law.

A new Attorney in Antigua and Barbuda having only the Bachelor of Law and the 1-year certificate would not be able to meet 8 CFR 204.5(k)(2) and 8 CFR 204.5(l)(2) requirement, while a Masters and Juris Doctorate in Law from the US or the same Antigua and Barbuda (Caribbean) would be able to meet the advance degree requirement for NIW—but not with just the LLB.

This information is being published for informational purposes, and not to rejoice or boast over anything, but to inform you of the facts and US laws. I feel compelled to correct the ignorance being mentioned on this news platform by bloggers purporting to be in specific fields.

Also, this information is to provide advance information to those Antiguans and Barbudans who are planning to study in the US. Also in the US, your CXC is worthless, no schools in the US consider them, in fact one dean embarrassed me by saying, when I gave her such results, “what is this, we do not use this here” and just brush it back to me on the table (I really do not like here personality). I never disliked a professor, but she is close to being disliked by me ha ha ha ha. The other school turned down my CXC information I gave them thinking it would help me much nicer. If you know for sure you are going to the US to study, save your money for college and do not spend a dime on CXC exams.

I also want to inform you that my first language is not Perfect English but near perfect Law, I am more fluent in Law. English is too complicated for me ha ha ha ha ha. To attend Law school in the US, nothing matters more than being able to comprehend and problem solve, your GPA in your undergraduate and your LSAT scores. If they ask you to write an essay, it is to see hardships that you have conquered and your motivation. I was told I made admissions board cry with my letter detailing my hardships and intent to return to Antigua and Barbuda to make a difference.

I also want to use this time to officially thank @Ras Smood (blogger)for your constant online support. You truly have my support. I would love to meet you in Antigua. This is just my way of helping.

To other bloggers, please give these young people reading our blogs/post correct information, you are literally damaging their future by purporting you are something and then giving the obvious and complete wrong information that is common knowledge for all of us who actually experienced it.

Also, these types of students going to the US to study law, and I will include medicine in this statement, upon completion, should be able to immediately apply and be granted license to work when returning home to Antigua and Barbuda, without the unnecessary hurdles of going to some other country for additional courses.

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  1. You seem to be an entitled person. You think you should be entitled to more than everyone else and that your qualifications are better than anyone else’s qualifications and so you should not be made to follow the rules that apply to everyone else. Why should your applications to the government be expedited? Why should you not have to attend the one year course in Jamaica like all other foreign lawyers? What makes you so special? The rules are the rules. Why can you not just follow them instead of complaining on ANR that the government is not giving you special treatment and is not recognizing how special and better your qualifications are in comparison to everyone else. Give me a break!

    • @Ten Special Ed,

      Ha ha ha ha ha. You must be paid handsomely. Ha ha ha. Children, learn to ignore those with no purpose in life but to keep you down and not help you and the country progress.

      For all others, read and contribute significantly to not only this article but to your field and to your country.

      Again, progess and innovation and your success is the enemy to some, actually, to many.

  2. The problem with people like the writer of this letter is his sense of entitlement. As a young ambitious person, ABLP administration decided to give him a path to success and supported his studies through university. Upon completion of studies, the government sought to fast track his development by first placing him in an overseas mission and then by employing him within the foreign ministry.

    He then thinks that he has some special endowment or special talent, and allowed it to get to his head. What he is not humble enough to recognize is that he is no more talented than many, many, many other young people who have been given similar opportunities and who have done well. Even his family recognized this fact and tried to speak sense into his arrogant skull.

    He then goes on these tirades about how special he is and how unfair everyone else is. If this young man, J. Francis, would simply concentrate on earning his keep, he would not be such a prick. But they say plantain sucker follow the root, and I guess that is what is happening since his father also has that sense of entitlement.

    Grow up, you educated dunce!

    • @Wash an Basin,
      ABLP never gave me a thing. I got no scholarship or loans from none of them, no political party.

      The topic is whether it is necessary for persons in my situation to have to fly to other countries to be able to practice law in Antigua and Barbuda when other less intrusive methods can be provided. Like following a local attorney, since Antigua is common law just like most states in the US, except one. So, focus would clearly be om procedural law that can be easily learned by following a local attorney.

      I do genuinely feel entitled to a government that is innovative, pragmatic and helpful. I am not sure why no one else feels such entitlement. Is it that they are accustomed to nothing and want nothing great in this life?

      • @my way of helping…. Young Francis, were you not a recipient of the PM Scholarship to Estonia?

        You do not feel entitled to good government; you feel entitled to getting whatever you want, without following the prescribed procedures. It’s folks like you who end up in 1735 because of your entitled attitude.

        • @ wash an Basin

          Nope. I never in my life heard of such place or such scholarship but would have surely accepted it, if offered back in those desperate days of mine to attend college.

          • @my way of helping…🤣🤣😎man, all this #shade being thrown at you, you must be “white as snow in salmon by now.
            Ironically, what you’re been accused, of being #privileged, entitled, sense of entitlement are all hallmarks, the official stamp on the sheepskin, of those who’re in the legal profession. Whether it comes from the halls of Ivy Leagues Universities, the sidewalks of The University of the Street or any other Institution, lawyers are bred to be arrogant, entitled and privileged. I think, this is because they’ve and still are being moulded, by the moulders of society aka the Matrix, to be the gatekeepers to all business dealings. The good, the bad, the ugly, similar to #cerberus. Therefore, you are running with the same #pac, even though, you have not achieved ALPHA STATUS as yet. You’re eating good off the spoils apparently, even though, some of your #Pac_Mates are claiming it fluffy and filled with hot air. Again, another trait of being a liar(damn big as finger, type the correct letters, please, it’s lawyer similar phonetically, but ethically they’ll roast my ass for typing #liar!

            The Legal Profession is like the “lawful child” born to a married couple, as per the Law Of Religion, and all others, even though born to the same mother but different fathers are bastardised all the way to Hades Gate.All crooked deals are facilitated, by straight lawyers. And, only crooked lawyers.



            Jumbee_Picknee aka Ras Smood
            De ‘ole Dutty Peg🦶🏿Garret_Bastard

            Vere C. Edwards

        • I am just seeing the last comment. People like me? Not folks who steals or corrupt or keep their people down but those who push government and agencies like that first Antiguan and Barbudan to appear before the Supreme Court of the US, who is pushing the US and its agency to be just, to respect the APA due process, and be in the interest of its citizens will end up in prison in Antigua?

          I see why you guys do not want me in Antigua and Barbuda. No betterment or innovation or progress for the people I see.

  3. The author clearly does not know what they are talking about.

    Attorneys trained in the Caribbean go through rigorous training at the regional law schools for a period of two years where court procedure is taught and oral skills are developed. The program is not a one year fly by night as the author is suggesting.

    Additionally several attorneys trained in the Caribbean have gone on to obtain their licenses to practice in the US having successfully completed US bar exams (all done with the foundation provided by the LLB from UWI and the LEC from the regional law schools). Attorneys trained in the Caribbean are eligible to write the New York State Bar without the need to attend an American Law School. To suggest that lawyers trained in the region are somehow inferior to their US trained counterparts is an insult and is inaccurate.

    Instead of whining the author needs to conform to the rules and shut up or remain in the US with his/her superior training.

    The entitlement in this post is sickening to behold. The requirement for a foreign trained attorney who wishes to practice in the Caribbean to attend the regional law schools before being admitted to practice is done to ensure that all attorneys who appear before the court are familiar with the court’s rules and procedures. A lawyer trained in the Caribbean who wants to practice elsewhere would have to be properly trained in the court system of the jurisdiction he/she wishes to practice in. Nothing unusual is happening.

    If the author spent more time studying and less time complaining he/she would likely have met the requirements to practice in Antigua by now.

    • Again, I am not the only one who said law studies in the US is superior to that of the Caribbean pertaining your LLB and your 1 or 2 year course but US laws says so, see 8 CFR 204.5(k)(2) and 8 CFR 204.5(l)(2), as just one area of US law who makes that very clear.

      Also, it would be wise, to allow such kind of JD individuals to bring US work and billionaire clients to Antigua and Barbuda from the work such type of US worker does.

      Just like it would be wise for a government to facilitate any business that has national and international importance and benefits to the court and it major GDP contributor.

      I understand a lot of people will not get this, there are only a few that thinks big. While other’s purpose is ideology and protect their political God.

      My focus is only on the nation and the benefit of all. Most will not comprehend this kind of reasoning.

      All jurisdictions in the US allows for the other state’s JD holder to take the Bar exam with any mandatory classes with the state the JD holder is applying. As an adult, it is assumed you are intelligent enough to research and study any difference that will be applied in that state.

  4. @My Way of Helping…have you considered the fact, that Laws of the Caribbean, and of every Sovereign Nation within the region have different ‘laws,’ on their books which are different, than American laws, and MUST be understood to better serve clients, regardless, of what level of certification you’ve acquired, as a liar(typo I mean laywer. These big fingers on a cell phone key pad, and an AI voice translator which nah undahstan #garrat).
    Now, correct me if I’m wrong, The B’more #Fentanyl_Flop haven’t infected me as yet), so, I still gotta learn; so, aren’t lawyers in America regardless, of what type of law they practice or how they got their ‘license to practice’. MUST pass the Bar Exam for the State(s) they wish to practice law in?
    In addition, are all lawyers in the US required to take additional courses over time, to keep their ‘license to practice’ current?

    To be honest with you, since, you feel so passionate about this issue, do what lawyers do. They file charges, and I’m sure with the kind(s) of funding behind you, most law firms would take your case all the way to the Privy Council, cause #WIN, #LOSE or #DRAW lawyers love to get paid!

    Jumbee_Picknee aka Ras Smood
    De ‘ole Dutty🦶🏿Garrat_Bastard

    Vere C. Edwards

    • @Ras Smood,
      A lot of laws in cities within a state is different. Laws between state by state is also different.

      But the point is, the Bar Examiners do not demand you do a course prior to applying to take the Bar. You apply, and when you pass, you pass.

      Because they understand the applicant will be reasonable enough to do their own private studies to know the differences of their state and the new state in which they are attempting to practice.

      It is unnecessary to make it mandatory for this course in Antigua, prior to being able to apply for and be approved for the license.

      I must inform you now there is a major trend from the pandemic for alternate method to be licensed to practice law in a lot of US states.

  5. First off, its not Antigua and Barbuda, but the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court who sets the rules as to who qualifies ro be entered onto the rolls in the region to practice as an attorney.

    Secondly, If you have achieved your JD in the US, all that is required is for you to enter the law school in Trinidad or Jamaica as a 6 month student whereby you mostly are trained in the procedures to practice in region. You are not required to sit and go through theory as the students who are required to earn the LLB over a 2 year period.

    Take up the matter, if you so desire, with the Chief Justice in Saint Lucia. Who knows maybe you’ll be able to persuade her

  6. If entitled was a person it would.be the writer of this fluff piece. Wish I could get back the Ren minutes of.my life reading this piece of grabge.

  7. @Black Hypocrisy

    Ha ha ha ha. I love your response, reminds me of the YouTube comments. But I do think citizens should be entitled to a government and system that makes processes reasonable, fair, easy, and timely for its citizens.

    I truly believe in that.

  8. Dear Writer,

    What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever read. At no point in your rambling, incoherent letter were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this page is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

    • @Entitled Much,

      I understand you can not learn and think like me. Maybe if you are lucky you will learn to understand me. If you do millions of things with my way of thinking ha ha ha ha. Millions of things.

  9. I am willing to bet 2 or 3 of the post with different names is coming from one writer. Ready to bet this. Analysis concluded.

  10. I was leaning to in agreement with the writer then I realized that the writer is an inconsiderate educated bully. These people think there ways are the best. When they see things that are better they ignore it and only attack the weak points.

    Please have this writer read and respond to “Wadadli Man” if he intends to be taken seriously.

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