How to Be a Lawyer Without Going to Law School

Thick Law book and glasses

The practice of law is one of the most daunting, prestigious, and rewarding careers there is. Few can match this career path in terms of professional and social opportunities, and it is also one of the highest-paying jobs in the market. As such, it can take years and thousands of dollars just to go through law school, take the bar, and start practicing.

Is there a way to become a lawyer without studying for it, you ask? It’s definitely possible. Whether you want to work in a criminal defense law firm in Marysville or be a government prosecutor, this is a viable option in some areas.

Law Without School

You can become a lawyer without going to law school in the following states: California, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington. The process would involve an apprenticeship under a lawyer who has been practicing for at least ten years. You would count as an employee of those mentioned above, but you would have to provide an annual fee of $1,500.

Advantages of Getting an Apprenticeship

It can cost thousands of dollars to go to law school alone. Columbia University charges over $17,000 annually, while New York University does $23,000. And just like most college graduates, law graduates end up taking on a mountain of debt after school. With the apprenticeship program, you can take the bar without having to pay your way through school.

Additionally, as an apprentice, you would hands-on experience in a law office. Being a student is not for everyone. Imagine this: for every hour of class, many recommend three hours of prep work, involving outlining, reading cases and whatnot.

Law school can be a hard sell for those who can’t afford the tuition. Luckily, legal apprenticeships are available for those who want to take the bar exam without going to law school.

About Eleanor Sharp
Eleanor Sharp is the author of AGSE Law. As a paralegal, she has worked with attorneys in many fields to ensure their clients get the best advice and representation. She is passionate about helping people understand the complexities of the legal system so they can make better decisions for themselves. Eleanor loves reading, travel, and spending time with her family. She hopes her articles will help others navigate life’s legal intricacies with confidence.