There are seven states that offer some form of apprenticeship program to pursue practicing law. While all states require passing the state bar examination to practice law, these seven states let people pursue some combination of apprenticeship and/or independent study instead of the traditional three-year law school route.At a time when financial publications such as Forbes add their sentiments to the debate on the future of law school with headlines like, “Why Attending Law School Is The Worst Career Decision You’ll Ever Make,” exploring the possibility of the apprenticeship route to practicing law can be a constructive, empowering tool for a certain type of aspiring lawyer.Innov8Social recently interviewed Christina Oatfield who is a policy director at a legal non-profit and is pursuing independent study to practice law through program through the State Bar of California. California Lawyer, in their article “The Path Rarely Taken”, also profiled seven lawyers who pursued the apprenticeship route to practicing law.

7 States that Allow Apprenticeship Route to Practicing Law

  • California
  • Maine
  • New York
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wymoning

You can find each state’s requirements in the Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements (2012) [PDF]  published by the National Conference of Bar Examiners and the American Bar Association, Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

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