Basics to becoming an attorney and ‘self made’ lawyers

An understanding of what or who is an attorney at law will confirm that the pathway to becoming an attorney is easier than imagined. In the United Kingsom, the entry to being a solitor or barrister may not even be a degree, but experience.

Self made attornies-at-law although uncommon worldwide has been possible. All of them have been numbered among the greatest minds on earth. In an interview with The Christian Science Monitor, chairman of the Vermont Board of Bar Examiners Richard Cassidy said “It’s tempting to think about [requiring law-school training], but it’s an economic-diversity issue. Some folks just wouldn’t be able to swing it. And if we didn’t have an alternative, then we’d be missing all those who have become fine practitioners.”

It is interesting that in England, the journey to becoming an attorney-at-law is very accessible to the common man. There are two legal portfolios for attornies – either a solicitor or a barrister. A degree is not necessarily the first step to becoming an attorney. So judging by the English Legal System where the practices and precedents of Jamaica are heavily established, Jamaica has a lot to address in its own system.

Perhaps with an address of the loopholes in the local system starting with the laws often misinterpreted and too may times bullish and aggressive, corruption by the self trained and not trained will be minimised or erased.

How to become a lawyer in the Uk by SQE school is very informative and useful.

Here’s a list of well-known lawyers who did not go to law school or who did not finish … HARDER work paid off!!!

Patrick Henry (1736-1799) governor of Virginia, USA

John Jay (1745-1829) first chief justice of the Supreme Court, USA

John Marshall (1755-1835) chief justice of the Supreme Court, USA

Daniel Webster (1782-1852) secretary of State, USA

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) USA president


Abraham Lincoln was a self trained lawywer, actually admitted to the Bar. However while he like others were firm in their determination to make the legal profession an accessible option for those intimidated by the fees for law school, he never put the profession at risk to be in disrepute! History does not record him as a hustler, nor one to fight against nor compete with attornies for clients even to the detriment of the clientsRead more

Stephen A. Douglas (1813-1861) representative, senator from Illinois, USA

Clarence Darrow (1857-1938) defense attorney in Scopes trial of 1925, USA

Benjamin N. Cardozo (1870-1938) justice of the Supreme Court, USA

Strom Thurmond (1902- ) US senator, governor of South Carolina, USA

Source: David Wallechinksky, “The Book of Lists

NOW DAYS 21st century and beyond:

Pamela Stonier, USA
Read more on Pamela Stonier as a self taught lawyer

Ronda Kennedy, self made lawyer for USA Congress
Ronda Kennedy is a 21st century self made lawyer and activist and is headed for the Whitehouse.
As a Republican Activist and Self-Made Attorney, Descendent of Slaves, will Challenge Adam Schiff for Congress.

The self made lawyers
How to become a lawyer in the Uk
Step by step to being an attorney

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