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Become a lawyer without law school?
I'm graduating high school this June. I am going to become a constitutional lawyer, I live in New York and Im reading about programs, one of which is the regular 4 years and earn a bachelors, and 3 years of law school to take the bar. Now this is extremely expensive and i've found a second option, in New York you can become a Lawyer without law school, is this a smart choice? What degree do you have at the end of this? Will my job choices be the same? Will it effect my salary? Can you explain the process to me? Thank you so much in advance, its much appreciated!
- michrLv 77 years agoFavorite Answer
here is the information you requested taken directly from The New York State Board of Law Examiners website:
New York is one of only a few jurisdictions that permits an applicant to qualify to take the bar examination on the basis of some law school study combined with law office study or clerkship. Section 520.4 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals sets forth the eligibility requirements for law office study. Interested applicants are urged to carefully review the requirements of Section 520.3 To qualify to take the bar examination on the basis of law office study under Section 520.4, the applicant must demonstrate:
1. that applicant commenced the study of law after applicant's 18th birthday; and
2.the applicant successfully completed the prescribed requirements of the first year of full-time study in a first degree in law program at an ABA approved law school, whether attending full-time or part-time, earning a minimum of 28 credit hours (the threshold period);
3.that applicant thereafter studied law in a law office or offices located within New York State under the supervision of one or more attorneys admitted to practice law in New York State, for such a period of time as, together with the credit allowed pursuant to this section for attendance in an approved law school, shall aggregate four years.
After carefully reviewing rule, the applicant should submit a written request for an evaluation of eligibility to the Board office. In addition to making this written request, an applicant must have his or her law school or schools submit the following directly to the board:
1.an original and official transcript; and
2.a written statement from an authorized official which includes verification that the applicant was in good standing, not on academic probation and was eligible to continue in its degree program at the conclusion of the threshold period and also at the conclusion of all subsequent semesters.
Upon receipt of the request for an evaluation together with the required supporting documentation, the Board will determine whether the applicant meets the threshold criteria under Section 520.4 and issue a written determination in due course.
If an applicant meets the threshold criteria, the Board will then determine how much credit toward the four year requirement the applicant should receive for their law school study, and notify the applicant how many weeks of law office study must be completed before the applicant may apply for the bar examination. Next, the applicant must obtain a position as a law clerk/student in a law office, and have the attorney with whom he or she is working complete and file a Certificate of Commencement of Law Office Study with the Court of Appeals.
The Court's Address:
Court of Appeals
20 Eagle Street
Albany, NY 12207
Please note: NO credit is given for any law office work that was engaged in PRIOR to the applicant's completion of the threshold period at law school OR the filing of the Certificate of Commencement.
The applicant must study law in the law office under the supervision of an attorney who is admitted to practice law in New York for a period of four years. (Credit toward this four year requirement is given for successfully completed semesters in an ABA approved law school.) Once the required period of law office study is completed, the applicant is eligible to apply for the New York State bar examination. When applying for the bar examination, the applicant and the attorney or attorneys responsible for the law office study both must complete affidavits.
- PalLv 77 years ago
There are still some states where you can do what is called "reading the law" which is training with a particular firm or practitioner but I know nothing of what that entails nor if NY state has such a program and regardless the applicant would have to pass the bar before they would be licensed to practice in any state. You don't have any degree because this is not an accredited education program. You might contact the New York Bar Association and ask a few questions.
- Marie TLv 57 years ago
I don't think anyone will hire you without a degree from a law school. Studying the law is difficult - there's a lot of reading and understanding involved. People want to know that you know as much as possible before they're willing to give you a job as a lawyer.
You can become a paralegal with less studying but it won't pay as well. :-)
Talk to your school counselor for more information.
It is a poor choice. You need the education and knowledge provided by law school in order to pass the state Bar Exam and practice law. Currently less than65% of recent law school graduates pass the Bar Exam on the first try. You can not practice law with out a license and you must pass the state licencing exam to get one.
- A HunchLv 77 years ago
There are some states that allow individuals to join the bar who have not graduated from law school. It does not look like NY is one of them. Here is the list of requirements to sit for the bar:
California is a state that allows this but is virtually impossible to gain. There are about 244,000 members of the CA bar association. Under 100 of them don't have law school degrees.
One of the first thing they tell you in law school is not to take short cuts. You'll never get job as an attorney. Hell, they may not even give you a job as a paralegal. Look..law school is tough for a reason. The profession prides itself on including those who worked for it. Constitutional lawyer? no such thing. Every field of the law has in it constitutional statues, rules and laws. Seems like you're not getting it.
- xpatinasiaLv 77 years ago
You cannot do so.
you will have no job, no prospects, nothing