There are two ways to practice law with little to no expense. One is online, through sites like LegalZoom. The other is to get a real-life friend or neighbor who might be thinking of going into the field of law and ask them if they’d be willing to share their knowledge, experience, or give you some helpful advice. Now that you know those options exist, it’s time for you to make your decision! Law can be a difficult field of study. Pitt law symplicity is a difficult program that can be very time consuming and costly. Following are a few ways in which you can minimize the cost and time it will take for you to become a licensed attorney.
Just getting started? Check out our list of basic legal terminology.
1. Conduct a Free Case Review
One of the best ways to start practicing law at no cost is by participating in a case review. This is where you will get the opportunity to observe and evaluate actual case files in order to determine what steps should be taken next by the client. You would be working under the supervision of an attorney and may have a chance to try out different roles within the legal field, such as that of the paralegal. These reviews can be conducted for real cases or for hypothetical situations, depending upon your interests and goals.
2. Volunteer Before You Graduate
If you have the opportunity to volunteer at a legal clinic or nonprofit legal organization, take it! This will give you valuable experience by allowing you to learn about different areas of law and provide useful services for people in need. Any time you spend helping other people is always beneficial because it will help you become a better person and a better lawyer. At the same time, volunteering is an excellent way to acquire the professional skills more commonly associated with being a lawyer, such as problem solving, critical thinking, public speaking and writing.
3. Go to Law School for Free
If you are thinking of attending law school, you should know that you do not have to pay for all of your required tuition, fees and expenses. The American Bar Association offers financial assistance to those in need through its Bar Foundation Scholarship. The scholarship covers full tuition and fees for the first two years of legal education at an ABA-approved school.
4. Practice While You Learn
Although this may not be the best plan when one is just starting out in practice, it can be a great option for those who want to make money while they learn.. Paid internships are generally only available to law students who are in the midst of their studies and have completed at least the first year or two.
However, if you have started working as an intern then you may be able to stay on with an employer after graduation. Sometimes associate positions can be found through networking. Another way to find a position is by looking through ads posted by firms on job boards and social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn.
5. Get Licensed In Another State
If you want to take a risk and start practicing law before you graduate from law school, a good option would be to get licensed in another state that does not require graduates from other states to take the bar exam. For example, Pennsylvania and New Jersey both offer licenses to law school graduates who have attended an ABA-approved school and completed the L.L.M. program within that school. States like Florida, California and Texas all have laws that allow for reciprocity with other states.
6. Do Not Go Into Debt
By law, a person cannot be licensed to practice law until their student loans are fully paid off. Student loans are one of the only debts that cannot be written off or dismissed through bankruptcy. This is the main reason why you should avoid taking on too much student loan debt, even if you’re certain that you will be able to pay it off after receiving your license. You can always take out a loan if needed. It’s better to have a little bit of debt rather than a huge amount!
7. Apply for Scholarships
There are several scholarships available for students who wish to pursue an education in law, and there are also scholarships available for current students and teachers who wish to pursue careers in law. It’s a good idea to apply for several of them to increase your chances of getting some kind of financial assistance. Some scholarships, such as the SBA Diversity Scholarship, are only available to those who are members of a certain group.
To apply for legal scholarships, use the General Applications link on FindLaw’s Scholarship Search. Schools and organizations that award law school scholarships may also hold contests or require you to complete an application separate from their general application process.