×

The unorthodox path of "reading the law", become "law readers" and enter the field of Law

( 383 votes, average: 4.7 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
The alternative path I am referring to bypasses the typical law school route and allows individuals to privately study for the bar through apprenticeship positions and then take the bar to become attorneys. This is most commonly referred to as "reading the law," and people who choose this nontraditional path are known as "law readers."

Currently, the seven states that offer this option are California, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, New York, Maine, and Wyoming. In California, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, individuals are admitted to take the bar exam if they have performed three or four years of apprentice work that has been registered with the state. In New York, Maine, and Wyoming, one is allowed to take the bar if he or she has spent some time in law school and some time working in an office-study situation.

While reading the law may seem strange to most, back in the early days of legal practice, apprenticeships were pretty much how it was done. At that time, learning to become a lawyer through apprenticeships was referred to as "Inns of Court."

Well-known attorneys such as Abraham Lincoln and Clarence Darrow achieved extraordinary success as lawyers without obtaining J.D. degrees. Other famous lawyers who never received J.D. degrees include John Marshall, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; Benjamin N. Cardozo, Justice of the Supreme Court; Patrick Henry, Governor of Virginia; Daniel Webster, Secretary of State; and Strom Thurmond, U.S. Senator and South Carolina Governor. It wasn't until 1878 that the American Bar Association (ABA) began to establish itself as a force in the legal field and law schools began to become mainstream.

Want to continue reading ?

Become a subscriber to LawCrossing's Job Seeker articles.

Once you become a subscriber you will have unlimited access to all of LawCrossing Job Seeker's articles.

There is absolutely no cost!



Featured Testimonials

The site features are pretty comprehensive.
Dustin


Facts

LawCrossing Fact #243: You can update your profile with multiple resumes and separate job searches.

 
Let's Do It!
Email:

Only LawCrossing consolidates every job it can find in the legal industry and puts all of the job listings it locates in one place.

  • We have more than 25 times as many legal jobs as any other job board.
  • We list jobs you will not find elsewhere that are hidden in small regional publications and employer websites.
  • We collect jobs from more than 250,000 websites and post them on our site.
  • Increase your chances of being seen! Employers on public job boards get flooded with applications. Our private job boards ensure that only members can apply to our job postings.

Success Stories

LawCrossing has the most listings of any job board I have used. It's actually a great site. The website had a lot of detail. It’s nice that you don't have to go through a recruiter if you don't want to. You can actually contact the law firm directly for the positions listed. LawCrossing had a ton of great features.
  • Brian McMillan San Francisco, CA