Sorry, law schools. The jig is up.
In New York, you can sit for the bar exam without a J.D. (And other states have similar systems.) Thanks to Rule 520.4, you only need to finish one year of law school, followed by three years of work-study in a law firm. I did it, and so can you.
I am consistently surprised by the lack of information available about this topic. The conspiracy theorist in me thinks that law schools are behind this…Keeping the work-study rule under wraps for fear of losing their cash cows (law students) who unwittingly pay dearly for years of law school that they don’t need—Worse! Years of law school that are harming them.
Even more frustrating is the rampant misunderstanding that “reading for the bar” is a relic of days passed, no longer available to prospective lawyers today. In reality, the work-study rule is alive and well. (Ok, so it takes an extra year… But what you get instead is better.) And not only is it practical; it is often a better option than finishing law school.
I will continue to update this blog with information and resources about how best to pursue this avenue.
I would love to hear from you if you pursued a similar path, would like more information or advice, or if you disagree with this method: firstname.lastname@example.org