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mrrich724's avatar

Do you have to go to law school to become a lawyer?

Asked by mrrich724 (8527 points ) July 23rd, 2012

I was watching something about John W. Hardin, who went to jail and “studied for the BAR” while in prison, and became a lawyer when he was released.

Can someone become a lawyer by passing the bar without going to law school?!

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10 Answers

Sunny2's avatar

Yes. I believe you just have to pass the Bar exam.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

That’s odd. I thought you had to have so many hours logged in class time. I couldn’t have become a massage therapist just by passing the state board; I had to also have a set amount of classroom hours.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

I think you just have to pass the Bar, but I dont know if you have to go to law school to take the Bar.

PhiNotPi's avatar

As far as I know, you only have to pass the Bar exam. However, I have heard that the Bar exam is an extremely hard test. The Louisiana Bar exam (for example) takes a total of over 21 hours to complete.

Also, bar exam review guides can sell for thousands of dollars. The most expensive app in the app store is a review guide for the California bar exam, priced at $999.99.

iphigeneia's avatar

The system in Australia is very different to America, but here if you want to be admitted to practice you do have to finish your law degree (which is available as an undergraduate course), and then complete a 6 month Practical Legal Training course.

Ponderer983's avatar

No, but it depends on the state in which you are taking the exam. Some you can just take it, others you can’t. Also, unless you are starting your own firm, I think it would be hard to get a job without having the educational background.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

One of our more successful litigation lawyers worked in his father’s practice for a while, took the bar, passed, and sues all kinds of people.

laurenkem's avatar

Like @Ponderer983 said, it does depend on the state in which you live. Some states require you to log those classroom hours prior to even taking the bar, some states allow pretty much anyone to just take the bar and be a lawyer, as per @Adirondackwannabe ‘s post.

Buttonstc's avatar

You can’t take the plots of summer TV series as gospel truth in this regard.

The kid on Suits managed to get himself hired at a major law firm by simply claiming he graduated from Harvard Law. (and both dramatic tension and hilarity ensue)

But that’s a TV show. I don’t think it’s nearly so much fun or easy in real life :)

Jenniehowell's avatar

It depends on which state you are in – some states won’t let folks take the exam without various proofs of various educational levels acheived.

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