The Future of Legal Education and the Profession — In 10 Minutes!

What is the future of our economy, legal education, and the legal profession? And what is the role of legal apprenticeship in this transformation? Here it is, summed up in a 10-minute cartoon-packed talk at Stanford Law School:

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 legalContinue 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 apprenticesContinue 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 someContinue 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 aroundContinue Reading

Report Back from First Year Law Students Exam

Report Back from First Year Law Students Exam

So I took the First Year Law Students Exam (FYLSE) in June and now, six months later, I’ve finally had enough time to recover from the trauma to write about it! Several attorneys had told me not to worry about the exam. They told me that if I made it to and through UC Berkeley,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 lawyersContinue 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, oneContinue Reading

Increasing Diversity in the Legal Profession through Legal Apprenticeships

Increasing Diversity in the Legal Profession through Legal Apprenticeships

I recently had a conversation with a woman named Jimena who described her long-time dream of going to school. In her late 30s, Jimena works for a social justice organization while raising her children. She had been accepted into law schools, but ultimately decided not to attend for a variety of reasons: She likes herContinue Reading

The “Great Lawyers” Mostly Didn’t Go to Law School

The “Great Lawyers” Mostly Didn’t Go to Law School

Who in the world would think it a good idea to make a coloring book of “Great Lawyers?”  In any case, I found this coloring book on the sidewalk recently, and it’s worth mentioning, because among the lawyers who achieved the great honor of being in this coloring book, only a few had a typical lawContinue 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 isContinue 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 inContinue 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 andContinue 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 forContinue 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 applicationContinue Reading

Where am I? How I decided Legal Apprenticeship was the right path for me.

Where am I? How I decided Legal Apprenticeship was the right path for me.

I woke up particularly early this morning, and I was surprisingly reflective (given how very early it was). “It’s sunny,” I thought. “I’m back in the East Bay,” I thought. “I’m doing exactly what I want to do,” I thought. But to be honest, working full time for a nonprofit law center and reading the law outsideContinue Reading

Rising Debt While Studying Law? Not for this Legal Apprentice!

Rising Debt While Studying Law? Not for this Legal Apprentice!

By Christina Oatfield  “What? You can do that!? I’ve never heard of that before…” “Yes, in California you can do that, really, yeah, I know, not that many people know about it. Lots of attorneys don’t even know about it.” This is how many conversations go when I first meet people who ask me whatContinue Reading

Worth the Read: Belva Lockwood’s “My Efforts to Become a Lawyer”

Worth the Read: Belva Lockwood’s “My Efforts to Become a Lawyer”

I discovered a new hero tonight, and it’s not just because Belva Lockwood advocated in the 1860s for the notion that girls should be taught to roller skate. Lockwood was one of this country’s first woman lawyers, and the first woman to be admitted to practice under and argue before the U.S. Supreme Court.  MyContinue Reading

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

This. Is. [NOT.] Jeopardy. 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, “startContinue 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 programContinue 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 toContinue Reading