diversity in the profession

Reemergence of a Missing Legal Apprentice

It’s been three years since my last blog post, but I have reemerged momentarily to share some good news…I passed the July 2017 California bar exam!!! Passing the CA bar was a milestone for me personally, but equally so for the legal apprenticeship experiment we’re running here at the Sustainable Economies Law Center. Of the four legal apprentices we have on staff, I was the first to [...]

National Lawyers Guild is Now Accepting Applicants for Tuition Free Law Study and Mentorship in the San Francisco Bay Area

By Steven DeCaprio, Association of Legal Apprentices // The National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter (NLGSF) has expanded their mentorship program to include opportunities for marginalized people to study law under the Law Office Study Program (LOSP), a tuition free alternative to law school. If you are located in the San Francisco Bay Area and are interested in studying law under [...]

Becoming an Attorney Without Law School with the National Lawyers Guild

By Steven DeCaprio, Association of Legal Apprentices The Association of Legal Apprentices (ALA) has been working to create a Legal Apprentice Committee within the National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter (NLGSF). This year I was granted the Haywood Burns Memorial Fellowship by the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) in order to focus on this work. Since we first approached the NLGSF about [...]

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 [...]

The People Who Don’t Go to Law School, Part 3: Growing the Farm Workers’ Movement

How do you create the country’s most historically successful farm workers union? A quick study of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers of America turns up a couple essential tools – bullhorns and an in-house legal team. Cesar Chavez helped catalyze one of the most successful non-violent social movements in US history, winning civil rights for farm workers and challenging the political [...]

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 [...]

Increasing Diversity in the Legal Profession through Legal Apprenticeships

Attorney Sushil Jacob advises clients at SELC’s Resilient Communities Legal Cafe, along with Thea Chhun, a legal apprentice at the Homeless Action Center. 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 [...]

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 rates quotes the Dean of [...]