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Longtime Legal Assistant Bypasses Law School, Passes the Bar

Posted Jan 6, 2012 9:19 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Jennifer O’Brien is now a California lawyer, even though she never attended law school.

O’Brien had worked for 15 years as a legal assistant to lawyer Chris Neary in Willits, Calif., before taking the bar exam for the first time this summer, the Willits News reports. In November, O’Brien learned she passed.

O’Brien qualified to take the exam by studying law under Neary’s guidance. She will continue to work in his law office as an attorney. California is one of only a few states that allow people to become lawyers through apprenticeship and legal study.

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