I received a comment on a prior post about Head IV Exemptions from NN, asking:
Hi, I am also coming from a civil law jurisdiction and I found some problems in passing Head IV. Next year I will try to apply for the exemption. Can I ask to you and JG to be kind enough to publish a template of the exemption letter and of the letters of reference? it might be a very valuable precedent!
thanks in advance and best regards.
I dug out my old exemption letter and unfortunately it isn’t the best precedent. Basically I reiterated my general experience and then referred to some proof in either my letters of recommendation or some CLE (Continuing Legal Education) course certificates, which I also attached.
Another reader named JG had commented on his experience seeking exemptions and he wrote:
I drafted my exemption letter like a pleading — first, I’m a common law lawyer, second I’ve got more than 5 years experience and request Head II and V exemptions, etc., with citation to the various supporting documents.
I agree ethics isn’t a high threshold for most US attorneys. I referred to my (one) law school legal ethics course, my MPRE pass, my state bar’s legal ethics rules, and the continuing education requirement including specific courses taken. I also cited some personal experience from law school which involved ethics issues.
I think this “pleading” style writing (numbered paragraphs, headers, etc.) is very useful advice. You just want to spell things out as clearly as you can and then cite to support, where possible, which you can attach in an exhibit.
My applications for exemptions may have been more effective had I done so. Remember, I did not get all the exemptions – of the two I needed to make a special application on, I only got out of the Head IV exam. And while I loathed having to study for Head III, I am grateful for having taken it, because I learned a lot of useful principles that I apply to my job today. Not only that, but I think some of my preparations for the Companies Head led me to learn useful things that came in handy in my interview for my present job, which I do believe got me through the door – so no regrets there. (Now if I hadn’t passed, that would be another story!).
Hope this advice helps, NN! Good luck and keep us posted!