"Tighten Requirements For Arizona Lawyers"

The December 14, 1937 edition of the Prescott Evening Courier in Prescott, Arizona, ran a story entitled "Tighten Requirements For Arizona Lawyers."  The article reported that beginning in 1940, the Arizona State Bar Association would require that anyone wishing to take the bar examination must be a graduate of an American Bar Association approved law school and hold a college degree.  It's unclear whether there were any standards before that, but they apparently did not include law school graduation or a college degree.

In the almost 70 years since the Arizona State Bar adopted those standards, they have not changed much.  Some would argue that the bar should be raised, and others contend that graduation from an ABA approved law school is nothing more than an artificial barrier-to-entry that keeps many who simply cannot afford that investment from entering the profession. 

It seems reasonable that Arizona could allow individuals who have not attended law school, but who otherwise satisfy the character and fitness requirements of the profession, to sit for the bar examination after completing significant work in the legal field over a number of years. This "apprenticeship" and study path could open up opportunities for in a way that worked in decades past for many who could not afford law school, like Abraham Lincoln, but became great lawyers anyway.