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Can someone explain clerkship at a law firm route leading to a get license to a bar, especially in States like NY, NJ, CT etc...

New York, NY |

I am currently a UK qualified Chartered Management Accountant, soon moving to USA, financial situation doesn't allow me to spare $30000-50000 per year for a law school as I have a family and child. I heard about a route to become a lawyer in USA which involves taking up clerkship role in a law firm under direct supervision of an attorney. Can someone please explain, does this apply to almost every state or certain? Money is a problem, so will I be required to attend the university/college and pay hefty amount? How many years do I have to work under an attorney to be eligible to apply for bar exam? Do lawyers hire students/clerks with this motive? If every state has very different approach to it, I would prefer NY. NJ and other Eastern Coast states. Your guidance will be highly appreciated.

If any of you lawyers do such contracts/hiring, please leave a brief text with requirements below and I will contact you. Otherwise simply guidance is fine too. Thanks once again in advance.

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Attorney answers 3


Lots of good questions--too many to effectively answer in this forum. Some states (mine for example) offer routes to entering the law that circumvent law school--a throw back to the old days. That said, as a practical matter, the odds of finding someone willing to donate the required amount of time is slim. you'd need to locate a retired attorney/judge who is willing to donate huge tracts of time to your development. For an initial idea about how it works, check out

NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. His answers to any Avvo question are rooted in general legal principles--NOT your specific state laws. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this matter.


I don't know of any states that still have that.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


Most states will not allow you to do this period. But a handful of states will allow you to clerk and/or sit for the bar exam.

No attorney client relationship is created by virtue of this answer. Further, answers are for information only and should not be relied upon unless there has been a formal consultation. Many cases are fact specific and there is simply no way an attorney could possibly provide complete advice without all the relevant facts.

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