Monday, August 06, 2007


Practicing Law Without a Degree: Vermont

Rules of Admission to the Bar of the Vermont Supreme Court, Rule § 6 (Requirements for admission - Applicants not presently admitted to the practice of law in another jurisdiction of the United States), excerpts:
(f) An applicant must be a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully present in the United States, at least eighteen years of age, of good moral character and fitness, and who has successfully completed three-quarters of the work accepted for a bachelor's degree in a college approved by the Court before commencing the study of law hereinafter prescribed.

(g) An applicant shall have pursued the study of law with special reference to the general practice of law:
(1) for a period of not less than four years within this state under the supervision of an attorney in practice in this state who has been admitted to practice before this Court not less than three years prior to the commencement of that study, or

(2) in any jurisdiction of the United States or common law jurisdiction in a law school approved by this Court which maintains a three-year course leading to a law degree.

(k) Within the meaning of these rules, study in the office of a judge or attorney shall be measured as follows: a week of study shall consist of (1) not less than twenty-five hours of study in that office during a period of seven consecutive days; or (2) not less than thirty hours of study in that office during a period of fourteen consecutive days; a month of study shall consist of four weeks of study; and a year of study shall consist of twelve calendar months during which not less than forty-four weeks of study shall have been pursued.


(m) For the purposes of the educational requirements of these rules, the supervising judges or attorneys and registrants or applicants are advised that the purpose of law office study clerkship is to prepare applicants to engage in the general practice of law. Toward that end: (1) a supervising attorney can and is encouraged to enlist the assistance of other attorneys to provide the greatest breadth of experience in the completion of the course of study, and (2) a registrant or applicant should carefully arrange with the supervising attorney a systematic course of study which will prepare him or her for the general practice of law and including, but not limited to, the subjects of examination set forth in § 10(a).
Vermont Supreme Court Justice Marilyn Skoglund studied in the law office study program, not in a law school.

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