barriers to becoming a lawyer

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 and practice-based legal education. Business & Professions Code Section [...]

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 all agree that it’s all [...]

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 one income. Just to give you some context, Blasi’s [...]

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? I’ve been meeting a remarkable number of people who say that they have seriously [...]

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 aspiring lawyers, you two [...]

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

Belva A. Lockwood 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.  My partner was reading a history book about Lockwood, CA this [...]