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“Reading The Law” Beckons As Alternative To Law School In Tough Economy

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August 4, 2014

In some states, prospective law students can pursue an alternative path to becoming a lawyer: an apprenticeship studying under a practicing lawyer. The apprentices – called law readers or law clerks, depending on the state – find a mentor to guide their study of law for at least three years, and then take the bar exam. Proponents say lawyers credentialed through such programs face lower debt, and can therefore take lower-paying jobs for state or local government, environmental causes or underserved populations. Though nationally law readers have a meager 28 percent passage rate for the bar, Washington has put support mechanisms in place through the state bar that have boosted its program’s passage rate to 67 percent.

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