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CALawyer
CALawyer, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Graduated Magna Cum Laude (Law School), Graduated Undergraduate at 19 Years of Age.
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I am a 49year old male with my own business living in the state

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I am a 49year old male with my own business living in the state of Virginia. Law has always been interesting to me. My business basically runs itself along with my management team which gives me a lot of free time. My question is do I have to go to law school and get a degree or can I work for an attorney say as an intern for so long and then take the bar exam and become an attorney
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CALawyer replied 5 years ago.
That is a very good question. It used to be that in many states, you could train under an attorney for a certain period of time, then take the bar exam and get admitted to practice law. The admissions requirements, however, have changed dramatically over the years.

Interestingly enough, Virginia is one of 7 states that still do allow law office study and don't require law school. However, you would have to have a bachelors and study lawy in an attorneys office for at least 18 hours per week, 40 weeks per year for three years. Here is the statutory text:

§ 54.1-3926. Preliminary proof of education required of applicant.

Before an applicant will be permitted to take any examination under this article the applicant shall furnish to the Board satisfactory evidence that he has:

1. Completed all degree requirements from a law school approved by the American Bar Association or the Board; or

2. Received a bachelor's degree from a four-year accredited college or university and studied law for three years, consisting of not less than eighteen hours per week for at least forty weeks per year in the office of an attorney practicing in this Commonwealth, whose full time is devoted to the practice of law; or

3. Studied law for at least three years partly in a law school approved by the American Bar Association or the Board and partly, for not less than eighteen hours per week for at least forty weeks per year, in the office of an attorney practicing in this Commonwealth whose full time is devoted to the practice of law; or

4. Received a bachelor's degree from a four-year accredited college or university and studied law for three years, consisting of not less than eighteen hours per week for at least forty weeks per year, with a retired circuit court judge who served the Commonwealth as a circuit court judge for a minimum of ten years and who at the time of commencement of the three-year study period was retired for not more than five years.

The attorney in whose office or the judge with whom the applicant intends to study shall be approved by the Board, which shall prescribe reasonable conditions as to the course of study.

(Code 1950, § 54-62; 1952, c. 553; 1960, c. 379; 1980, c. 533; 1988, c. 765; 1995, c. 336; 1998, cc. 119, 796.)



For more information on all of the state admissions requirements, I would look at the National Conference of Bar Examiner's Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements. CLICK HERE FOR .PDF COPY.




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CALawyer, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1655
Experience: Graduated Magna Cum Laude (Law School), Graduated Undergraduate at 19 Years of Age.
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