Contrary to popular belief, a bachelor’s degree is not required in order to attend law school in California. Under the State Bar of California’s admission requirements, individuals who have two years of college study (equivalent to 60 semester units that could transfer to a CSU or UC school) can be considered for admission to law school, given that they meet all other admission requirements for the school(s) they apply to. For individuals who do not have 60 transferable units, there is an alternate route that consists of a series of tests through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). While many law schools prefer applicants who have a bachelor’s degree, many state-accredited schools, such as Trinity Law School in Santa Ana, provide an opportunity to start law school and a legal career earlier, saving both time and money.
Law school curriculum is different from undergraduate curriculum in that it does not rely upon knowledge acquired from prior education. Instead of writing essays that showcase creative thinking, law students write essays that state the facts of a given case and apply their knowledge of the law to craft an argument. Instead of lecturing, professors use the Socratic Method to discuss the subject material and keep students engaged in class. “Homework” consists of reading cases and writing briefs that won’t be seen by the professor, but will be the foundation of class discussions and exams. Success in law school relies upon a strong work ethic and a clear sense of personal responsibility. Because of this, those who do not have a bachelor’s degree are not at a disadvantage.
What’s the catch? For students who have at least 60 units, there isn’t one. They are considered regular students who take the same classes as those who have bachelor’s or master’s degrees, and they sit for the California Bar Exam following graduation just like everyone else. There is one caveat for those who enter law school using the CLEP method, and that is the requirement to pass the First Year Law Students Exam (also known as the “Baby Bar”) after their first year of law school. After the student passes the Baby Bar, s/he is able to continue with his/her legal studies and take the California Bar Exam upon graduation.
Once students pass the California Bar Exam, they are sworn in as attorneys and are licensed to practice in California. If the new attorney wants to practice in another state, s/he usually must first practice in California for a certain number of years before being allowed to take another state’s bar exam. This requirement only applies to those who graduate from state-accredited or unaccredited law schools and is not applicable to those who graduate from schools that are accredited by the American Bar Association.
Trinity Law School is accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California. The legal education provided by Trinity Law School meets all requirements under the rules and regulations pertaining to admission to the practice of law in California.
Trinity Law School and Trinity International University are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (phone: 800.621.7440; https://www.hlcommission.org/). Trinity Law School’s degree-granting authority is in connection with its students qualifying to take the California Bar Examination and obtain admission to the practice of law in California is based on accreditation by the Committee of Bar Examiners of The State Bar of California.
Trinity Law School is a member of the American Association of Law Libraries, the Southern Association of Law Libraries, the Special Libraries Association, and the Association of California Accredited Law Schools.
For the aspiring law student, the opportunity to start law school without a bachelor’s degree saves time and money without compromising the potential for success. Please visit the Trinity website today and begin planning your future in the exciting field of law! ♦