Stars and Stripes stripes.com 30 Dec, 2020 19:00 am

Want to be a lawyer, but don’t want to go to law school? Four states allow it

Want to be a lawyer, but don’t want to go to law school? Four states allow it
The Law Reader Program, run by the Virginia Board of Examiners, allows participants to take the bar exam without ever taking a law school class. Only three other states in the country offer the opportunity to obtain a law license that way.

Many law readers have gone on to be quite successful in their fields.Virginia Beach has several prominent law readers, including retired Circuit Judge Thomas Padrick, Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Judge Deborah Bryan, Commonwealth’s Attorney Colin Stolle, and Stolle’s brother, Sheriff Ken Stolle.While most law readers study on their own, Stolle said he was fortunate to know two others who were in the program at the same time as him and was able to work alongside them.While the acceptance rate is high — about 80 to 90 percent of applicants get in — the law readers’ success rate on the state’s bar exam is low, according to a study done by the board last year.

Only 19 percent of the law readers who took the state’s bar exam between 2001 and 2019 passed it, the study showed.Nationally, only 28 percent of law readers passed the bar in 2013, compared to 73 percent who went to law school, according to the American Bar Journal.

Read full story at stripes.com