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Seeking an Author for the California Legal Education Opportunities Act

For more information, contact Janelle Orsi, Executive Director, Sustainable Economies Law Center, janelle@theselc.org or 510 649 9956. To learn more about legal apprenticeships, visit www.LikeLincoln.org


Californian’s access to affordable legal services is severely threatened by the rising cost of law school. New lawyers are burdened with debts that prevent them from offering affordable services to low and moderateincome clients. Rising tuition costs also reduce access to law school for aspiring lawyers from low income communities, undermining efforts to diversify the legal profession.

In response to this crisis, there is a growing demand for affordable and practicebased legal education through the State Bar’s Law Office Study Program (LOSP). Through the LOSP, aspiring lawyers may become eligible to take the bar exam after studying for four years under the supervision of an attorney or judge. Unfortunately, restrictive provisions of the Business & Professions Code prevent an enormous number of lawyers from supervising a LOSP student. As a result, a rapidly growing number of aspiring lawyers are struggling to find lawyers eligible to supervise their LOSP study.

This bill would:

Remove the requirement that supervising attorneys have engaged in five years of continuous law practice immediately prior to beginning supervision, recognizing that new lawyers are well positioned to teach basic law curricula, and recognizing that the “continuous” practice requirement is very difficult to meet, given the realities of the legal job market and various life circumstances that interrupt law practice.

Enable attorneys to supervise up to four students at once, raising the current limit of two.

Remove the requirement that all study must physically take place in an office, given that this limits learning opportunities and puts a particular burden on lawyers with home offices.

Remove the requirement that study take place inside the borders of California, recognizing an increasingly mobile society and the growth of virtual law practices.

Fix the problematic formula by which students lose study credit if they do not pass the firstyear law student bar exam within three exam administrations, since the current formula disparately impacts students depending on the month of the year in which they begin study.


Section 6060(e)(2)(B) of Article 4 of Chapter 4 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

In a law office in this state and u Under the personal supervision of a member of the State Bar of California who is, and for at least the last five years continuously has been, engaged in the active practice of law. It is the duty of the supervising attorney to render any periodic reports to the examining committee as the committee may require. The supervising attorney may supervise up to four students at one time.

Section 6060(h)(1) of Article 4 of Chapter 4 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

Have passed a law students’ examination administered by the examining committee after completion of his or her first year of law study. Those who pass the examination within its first three administrations upon becoming eligible to take the examination shall receive credit for all law studies completed to the time the examination is passed. Those who do not pass the examination within its first three administrations upon becoming eligible to take the examination, but who subsequently pass the examination, shall receive credit for one year of legal study only shall lose one year of credit for legal study, and may not accumulate additional credit until he or she passes the examination.