Announcing: The Association of Legal Apprentices

We’ve heard – and experienced – the need for more support for active and aspiring legal apprentices. So a handful of current and recently graduated apprentices are creating the Association of Legal Apprentices, an organization to advance access to the law through education, advocacy, and community-building for legal apprentices and alumni.

We’re still in the forming stage, so stay tuned for more info and our own website in the near future. In the meanwhile, we’re seeking input and potential contributions from all you aspiring, active, and alumni legal apprentices out there!

Take our survey and sign up for updates here!

How to Pass the Bar by Steven DeCaprio

The following is a guest post by Steven DeCaprio, CEO and Founder of Land Action, who recently passed the California Bar Exam after completing the Law Office Study Program. The views and opinions are his and do no necessarily reflect the opinions of other contributors to this site. I thought I would share some of… Continue Reading

Amend the California Legal Apprentice Law

‘Tis the season to introduce legislation, so now is the time to plant a suggestion with California lawmakers to do a tune-up on the California Law Office Study Program (LOSP). A key goal of a tune-up is to enable a larger number of attorneys to mentor LOSP apprentices, to meet a growing demand for affordable… Continue Reading

5 Ways to Make Learning a Festive Affair

5 Ways to Make Learning a Festive Affair

One of the things I love about having apprentices is that it encourages us to cultivate a lively learning environment in everything we do. We’ve made short videos about a couple of the fun + educational things we do at the Sustainable Economies Law Center. One of those is our monthly Research Explosion Day (RED),… Continue Reading

How to Find a Mentor and Make the Pitch

How to Find a Mentor and Make the Pitch

By Omonigho Oiyemhonlan and Yassi Eskandari-Qajar About three years into SELC’s legal apprenticeship experiment, we’ve heard from dozens of local and online followers that the one thing standing in the way of their apprenticeship is finding a mentoring attorney. We hear you. The seven legal apprentices in our cohort have navigated similar difficulties, and we can… Continue Reading

Legal Apprenticeships & Social Change

Legal Apprenticeships & Social Change

An interview with Gary Blasi If you visit Echo Park today, you’ll find a radically different community than the one Gary Blasi lived in when he started his journey as a legal apprentice. The hipsters, mod cafes, and steady progress of displacement through gentrification hadn’t arrived. Rents were still affordable and families could live on… Continue Reading

Here Come 43 State Campaigns for Legal Apprenticeship

Here Come 43 State Campaigns for Legal Apprenticeship

Most states still do not allow people to become lawyers via apprenticeship, and citizen advocacy can change this. A surge of interest in legal apprenticeships will likely drive this change, fueled by growing discontent with and within the legal profession and legal education. Whether you are a citizen who is concerned about access to legal… Continue Reading

The People Who Don’t Go To Law School, Part 2

The People Who Don’t Go To Law School, Part 2

The American Bar Association should do a study of people who don’t go to law school, so that we may learn about the ways in which our profession is missing out. What are the talents, ideas, life experiences, and perspectives that never make it down the narrow pathway through law school and into the profession?… Continue Reading

The Joys and Benefits of Mentoring Apprentices, Part 1

The Joys and Benefits of Mentoring Apprentices, Part 1

I am collecting a list of reasons that mentoring apprentices can be a wonderful thing for an attorney to do. The reasons reveal themselves to me over time, so I’m guessing that this will be the first post of many. Here are some of the joys and benefits: Being Part of a Community: Attorneys who mentor apprentices… Continue Reading

Lock Your Car or Someone Might Give You a Law Textbook

Lock Your Car or Someone Might Give You a Law Textbook

Future apprentices, take note: There is no shortage of law students and recent graduates who would be pleased to give you their textbooks and study guides. I asked some law student to forward my email requesting book donations, and SELC’s apprentices now have enough to fill the trunk and backseat of a medium sedan. We got some… Continue Reading

Ready? Get set! STUDY! Our Curriculum for the FYLSE

Ready? Get set! STUDY! Our Curriculum for the FYLSE

By Thea Chhun, Legal Apprentice  I’ve always loved and dreaded deadlines.  For us apprentices, we become eligible to take the First Year Law Student’s Exam (affectionately known as the Baby Bar) a year into the program.  So having that oh so far away FYLSE a year away made for a more…flexible… schedule.   We could play around… Continue Reading

Read this: How to Become a Lawyer Without Going to Law School

Read this: How to Become a Lawyer Without Going to Law School

A new Shareable article by Cat Johnson does a great job explaining how and why to become a legal apprentice. My favorite quote (from our very own Chris Tittle) alludes to the powerful impact legal apprenticeships can have on our legal system: “Laws protect those who write and defend them. So, in a country where over 88 percent of lawyers… Continue Reading

Your Questions and Answers About Legal Apprenticeships

Your Questions and Answers About Legal Apprenticeships

At SELC’s first Legal Apprenticeship Teach-In, over thirty participants discussed how legal apprenticeships will change legal education and the legal profession. Law students, law school graduates, attorneys, and prospective legal apprentices asked the SELC apprentices and company about the nitty gritty details, and made for an enriching conversation. In fact, soon after this discussion, one… Continue Reading

Mix and Match Your Custom Legal Education

Mix and Match Your Custom Legal Education

Today, President Obama made the bold suggestion that, in order to make legal education more affordable, law school could be reduced to two years, possibly followed by a year of apprenticeship or internship.  If they haven’t started discussing the idea already, I imagine that every state bar association and law school in the country is… Continue Reading

Learning the Law in a Changing World

Learning the Law in a Changing World

At SELC, we are dedicated to creating more just and resilient local economies. And increasingly, we are exploring what a more just and resilient practice of law might look like. A critical insight from the wider resilience movement is that we live in a world in transition. Institutions and ways of thinking that developed in… Continue Reading

Legal Service Organizations Meet the Legal Apprenticeship Movement

Legal Service Organizations Meet the Legal Apprenticeship Movement

Throughout the U.S., legal services organizations are struggling to raise funds and meet demand for client services.  Meanwhile, aspiring lawyers are discouraged — by the rising cost of law school and poor job market ­– from pursing their dreams.  Sometimes, two problems can conspire with each other to find a solution. Legal service organizations and… Continue Reading

The Apprentices Have a Torts Exam

The Apprentices Have a Torts Exam

At the moment, three apprentices, one aspiring apprentice, and two law students are taking a 17-question torts multiple choice exam. This is part of the requirement that CA participants in the Law Office Study Program take a monthly exam, administered by the supervising attorney.  The law students and aspiring apprentice are taking the exam for… Continue Reading

The People Who Don’t Go To Law School

The People Who Don’t Go To Law School

It’s striking to learn that only 55,760 people applied to law school this past year, while 83,400 people applied to law school in 2008. It’s also thought provoking, and worth contemplating: Who are the roughly 27,600 people who would have applied to law school this year if application rates had remained steady?  The latest ABA article on application… Continue Reading

This. Is. [NOT.] Jeopardy. Thoughts On How to Write an Apprentice Exam

Thoughts On How to Write an Apprentice Exam

One of the responsibilities of an attorney supervising legal apprentices in California is to administer an exam to apprentices once per month. When I sat down to write the first apprentice exam, it suddenly hit me that I had no idea what I was doing. “Pretend you are a Jeopardy contestant,” I told myself, “start… Continue Reading

One Revolution

One Revolution

Two years ago I was living in a grass thatched, mud hut. My communication with the outside world was done from atop a two-story termite mound. I bathed from a bucket under the shade of trees. And my diet consisted of boiled leaves, caterpillars, and hard porridge. Now, I’m beginning a Law Office study program… Continue Reading

Following in Lincoln’s Footsteps

Following in Lincoln’s Footsteps

Abraham Lincoln never went to law school; yet, he is one of the most celebrated lawyers in U.S. history. Society take note: Going to law school is not the only route to becoming a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer. In fact, becoming a lawyer by apprenticing may be an incredibly effective way to learn how to… Continue Reading