State Bar Considers Requiring All Law Students to Do Free Legal Work

The State Bar of California is considering requiring all law students to do 50 hours of free legal work.

News Story (California)

Stephen Ceasar
Los Angeles Times (LA Times)
March 12, 2015
Link to story

Tags: Law School Clinics


So nearly every Wednesday, Pegues has been riding the bus from her home in the Baldwin Village area of South L.A. to a free legal clinic in skid row. There, a staff of attorneys and law student volunteers provides free legal advice once a week to anyone who seeks it.

“It’s a traumatic, mind-boggling experience trying to get out of this situation when everything is closing in on me,” Pegues said. “If I have a problem, they don’t look down on me here. They just step up and help.”

The State Bar of California is hoping to get more help to people like Pegues by requiring that law students complete 50 hours of legal work for free or substantially reduced rates within one year of obtaining their license to practice law.

The proposal is designed to create an army of thousands of young lawyers to assist the growing number of California residents who need legal advice but cannot afford an attorney.