Land surveyors who enter the practice of law are few, but often well-known; Abraham Lincoln among others. And a modern inspiration, Walt Robillard of “Brown and Robillard” fame also did so.
In May 2013, BASF member Paul Mabry, a Professional Land Surveyor and Certified Federal Surveyor, graduated from Golden Gate University School of Law, with honors. Then, over the sum-mer, Mabry took the California Bar Exam and in November learned that he had passed one of the most difficult bar exams in the country.
In many jurisdictions, such a newly admitted attorney would be sworn in before a court convened with a sitting judge. In California however, a little known section of the Government Code authorizes a County Surveyor to administer and perform such oaths. Bruce Storrs (pictured above with Mabry), the City and County Surveyor of San Francisco agreed to administer this oath and swear Mabry into the bar.
This may have been the first time ever that an engineering professional has sworn in another engineering professional to practice as an attorney before a state bar.
Mabry intends to use the new credentials to continue promoting and supporting the practice of civil engineering and land surveying. And, Storrs highlights the long and historied accomplishments of county surveyors everywhere with this rather unusual act of sending a surveyor to practice before the bar.