Some law schools have free assistance programs for certain types of problems. Detailed information can be obtained from the educational institution itself or from the local Bar Association.
Dispute Resolution Programs
Many cities have “dispute resolution” programs. They can act as mediators in the pre-trial resolution of problems, which makes it possible to do without the services of a lawyer.
You can sign up for legal insurance plans through your employer, union, or credit union. Typically, most entry-level plans provide phone consultations. They may also include short-term visits to the office, review of simple legal documents, drafting a will, discounts on lawyer services, access to a database of legal documents and forms, brief negotiations with an opposing lawyer.
Legal insurance plans are different. If you decide to subscribe to such a plan, pay attention to what exactly is included in it. If you don’t expect to use the plan in the next year, reconsider whether you need one. Keep in mind that insurance plan attorneys will likely try to sell you additional services. In some cases, purchasing these services will make sense, but it can negate any savings.
In addition, it may turn out that you do not like the lawyer provided by the insurance, but the terms of the contract do not allow you to change it. Before purchasing an insurance plan, you should familiarize yourself with the local lawyers involved in it.
If you are purchasing a legal health plan from an independent representative rather than directly from the sponsoring corporation (or through an employer, labor union, or credit union), read the terms of the contract carefully and compare them with what the representative promises you.
You may be eligible for legal insurance from your employer, trade union, or credit union. If not, look for plans approved or sponsored by a reputable organization, such as the list maintained by the American Prepaid Legal Services Institute of the Bar Association. You can also contact your local office of the Better Business Bureau for information about specific insurance plans.
What is a School of Law in the USA
Classical legal education in the United States is significantly different from Russian or European. Teaching is conducted in law schools, which can only be entered by holders of a bachelor’s degree in one of the other fields of activity. It is simply not possible to apply for the first course.
Legal education in the United States is considered a separate professional-academic field. It provides training only for master’s programs. The previously obtained bachelor’s degree may relate to another scientific field, but it is optimal if it is economics, sociology, political science, business.
American law schools themselves are part of universities and can be either public or private. Students apply for the degree “Doctor of Laws” – Juris Doctor. At the end of the course, a qualifying exam is taken. The program is designed for 3 years in full-time and 4 – in the correspondence department.
How to become a lawyer in the USA
Based on the established hierarchy of educational degrees, law education in the United States takes place in 5 stages:
- obtaining a bachelor’s degree in any field;
- passing a special test in law LSAT (requires special training);
- mastering the course of legal sciences full-time / in absentia under the Juris Doctor program;
- passing a qualifying exam that gives the status of a lawyer – Bar Exam;
- receiving the final certificate.
The most difficult period is the first year of law school, as students have to study many specialized subjects. In this course, they master the Socratic method, which is the method practiced by the law schools of all universities in the United States.
The Socratic method is that the teacher does not give lectures to students. They receive real cases for study and, using their example, they analyze the nuances of conducting a trial, the use of evidence, references to laws. The teacher guides the process by asking students questions in sequence. They help to focus on important aspects of the case and develop their own logic of proof.