The Rules Regulating Admissions to The Practice of Law in the United States are established in each state by bar examiners or committees. The options for admissions are detailed through the links below to statistics published by The National Conference Of Bar Examiners and links to state by state bar admissions requirements.
Currently, All law schools that are 100% online are listed as non-approved by the American Bar Association; however, when combined with Clinical Apprenticeship/Attorney Supervised Study for bar admissions, both the practical training and degree studies may be accomplished. Attorney Supervised/Clinical Training is completed in law office and courtroom settings and can provide legal training and experience in a law practice.
Several states allow all or part bar admission eligibility to be met by Attorney Supervised Study/Apprenticeship (law office study). Further, several states may allow admission for non-ABA graduates if they complete an LLM from an ABA school.
If you intend to seek bar admission upon completion of your Legal Education and Attorney Supervised Study, you should explore all admissions options for all states for which you may seek to qualify under, both general admissions and attorney admissions.
Attorney admissions may apply when an individual is admitted to the bar in one state and may become eligible to be admitted to another state under attorney admissions requirements.
To determine bar admissions options for general admission, attorney's admission, admission by motions, and all permitted means of legal study by state use the links below.
Review Admissions Requirements – All 50 States & the District of Columbia
Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admissions Requirements
A Guide to ABA Approved Distance Education
Domestic Legal Education
(chart 3 from the Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admissions Requirements)
American Bar Association (ABA) Information
Specialized Federal/Professional Practice NOT REQUIRING State Bar Admission
Many students will attend a traditional, fixed-facility or brick & mortar law school as part of their journey to be admitted to take the California State Bar, however; you can also be admitted to the state bar using the law office or judge's chamber program. Below is an excerpt from The Rules of the State Bar of California-Title 4. At the very bottom are 3 additional links to the State Bar of California website outlining all your education options.
LAW OFFICE OR JUDGE'S CHAMBER
QUALIFYING FOR ADMISSION TO PRACTICE LAW IN CALIFORNIA THROUGH STUDY IN A LAW OFFICE OR JUDGE'S CHAMBER
The requirements for admission to practice law in California are contained in the Rules of the State Bar of California, Title 4 - Admissions and Educational Standards. The following is a summary of the requirements for qualifying for admission to practice law in California through study in a law office or judge’s chambers. For the specific requirements, refer to Title 4, Division 1, Chapter 3, Rule 4.29
Applicants intending to pursue their legal education through the law office/judge’s chambers program must file an initial report on the designated form within 30 days of the date the law office study commenced. Subsequent reports on the designated form and examinations must be submitted within 90 days after completion of each six-month study period.
To be admitted to practice law in California an applicant must meet all admission requirements, which include:
- completion of the requisite pre-legal and legal education;
- registration as a law student;
- passage or exemption from the First-Year Law Students’ Examination;
- a positive moral character determination;
- passage of the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination; and
- passage of the California Bar Examination. Additionally, an applicant must not be certified by the State Department of Social Services as being in non-compliance with a court ordered child or family support obligation.
Read More About The Practical Training of Law Students Program from the State Bar of CA… which certifies law students to provide legal services under an attorney's supervision
Read More About The Law Office or Judge's Chamber Education Options from the State Bar of CA…
Read More About All Your Education Options from the State Bar of CA…
Please note that Novus University Law School has not applied for registration with the California Bar Association for admission of Novus graduates to sit directly for the California Bar Examination. Students seeking bar admission for California are required to adhere to the California Bar Requirements set by the California Bar Association and outlined in the California Bar Admissions Guide. Bar Admissions Guide does have an Apprentice option which Novus can assist students with research materials, text selection, and curriculum for Law Offices/Judgeship Clerking/or Combination of methods approved by the State of California.
§ 520.4 Study of Law in Law Office
(a) General. An applicant may qualify to take the New York State bar examination by submitting to the New York State Board of Law Examiners satisfactory proof that:
(1) the applicant commenced the study of law after the applicant's 18th birthday;
(2) the applicant successfully completed the prescribed requirements of the first year of full-time study in a first degree in law program at an approved law school as defined in section 520.3(b) of this Part, whether attending full-time or part-time, earning a minimum of 28 credit hours (the threshold period);
(3) at the conclusion of the threshold period the applicant was in good standing, not on academic probation, and was eligible to continue in the law school's degree program;
(4) the threshold period was completed within 36 months of the commencement of law school study; and
(5) the applicant thereafter studied law in a law office or offices located within New York State, under the supervision of one or more attorneys admitted to practice law in New York State, for such a period of time as, together with the credit permitted pursuant to this section for attendance in an approved law school, shall aggregate four years.
Rules for Admission to the Bar of the Vermont Supreme Court
As of 9/2017….page 8
One way to satisfy the educational requirements for admission by examination and admission by transferred UBE score is by completing Vermont’s Law Office Study Program (“LOS Program”). The LOS Program requires you to work under the supervision of an experienced Vermont judge or attorney for four years and to follow a systematic course of study.
To be eligible for the LOS Program, you must have earned a bachelor’s degree from a college or university within the United States that is authorized to grant a bachelor’s degree by the law of the state in which it is located.
Law Reader Rules & Regulations
- Applicants. Every applicant for enrollment in the law reader program shall:
- Furnish satisfactory proof that the applicant is a person of honest demeanor and good moral character and possesses the requisite fitness to practice law;
- Present satisfactory proof of having been granted a bachelor's degree, other than a bachelor of laws, by an accredited college or university offering such a degree on the basis of a four-year course of study;
- Submit, on forms provided by the Board of Bar Examiners (i) an application for admission to the law reader program, (ii) the Supervising Attorney's statement required by section (b)(6) of this rule, (iii) if requested by the Board, the applicant's score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) achieved within one year of the application, and (iv) the prescribed application fee; and
- Appear for an interview, provide any additional information or proof, and cooperate in any investigation, as may be deemed relevant by the Board of Bar Examiners.
- Supervising Attorneys. A lawyer may act as Supervising Attorney for only one law reader at a time…
- Length of Study. A law reader, whose application for enrollment has been accepted by the Board of Bar Examiners, shall study for three (3) calendar years. Each calendar year shall consist of at least 40 weeks, with a minimum of 25 hours of study each week, at least eighteen (18) of which hours of study must be within the confines of the Supervising Attorney's office in Virginia, either (i) during regular office hours between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. weekdays, or (ii) at such other times outside of regular office hours when both the reader and the Supervising Attorney are physically present together in the office. The Supervising Attorney shall give personal supervision to the law reader for at least 3 hours each week. "Personal supervision" is defined as time actually spent one-on-one with the law reader for the exposition and discussion of the law, the recitation of cases, and the critical analysis of the law reader's written assignments.
The Admission to Practice Rule (APR) 6 Law Clerk Program is an alternative to law school, which could qualify you to take the Washington state bar examination pursuant to the requirements of APR 3 (b) Qualifications for Bar Examination. It is a four-year program designed to provide theoretical, scholastic, and clinical experience through a combination of work and study with an experienced lawyer or judge.
To qualify to apply for the program applicants must have good moral character, a bachelor's degree, and regular paid employment in Washington state with a lawyer or judge who has at least 10 years of active experience and will serve as the applicant's primary tutor. Applicants must find their own employment; neither the WSBA nor the Law Clerk Board can assist in finding an employer/tutor. Employment is a requirement to apply for the program and an important component of program participation. Applicants must hold qualifying employment with the tutor when applying. Employment offered contingent upon enrollment in the program is not acceptable.
Since jurisdiction rules and policies change, you are strongly advised to consult the jurisdiction's bar admission agency directly for the most current information. Note that many jurisdictions are making emergency changes to rules, policies, and exam administrations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is recommended that you research all options for the state board of bar examiners in the state(s) in which you are interested in being admitted and your ability to sit for the bar exam.