Mandatory Prelicensure Legal Internship: An Idea Whose Time Has Come Again

32 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2015

See all articles by Stephen R. Alton

Stephen R. Alton

Texas A&M University School of Law

Date Written: 1992


This Article explores the wisdom of imposing an internship requirement on aspiring lawyers as a prerequisite for licensure. It is my position that such a requirement can be beneficial to the new attorney, to the profession, and to the public and should thus be mandated for all those who seek admission to the practice of law. This Article begins by briefly examining the history in the United States of law-office, apprenticeship as a means of legal education. I then proceed to an examination of modern internship requirements in England and Canada. There follows a discussion of some of the more recent thinking on the issue of imposing such an internship requirement on would-be American lawyers. This Article concludes with a call for the imposition of a mandatory, one-year, postgraduate, prelicensure legal internship on all bar applicants and with some thoughts regarding its implementation. The Appendix to this Article surveys the contemporary American internship requirements in the professions of medicine, certified public accountancy, architecture, and psychology.

Keywords: legal education, apprenticeship

JEL Classification: K19

Suggested Citation

Alton, Stephen R., Mandatory Prelicensure Legal Internship: An Idea Whose Time Has Come Again (1992). Kansas Law Review, Vol. 41, p. 137, 1992, Available at SSRN:

Stephen R. Alton (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University School of Law ( email )

1515 Commerce St.
Fort Worth, TX 76102
United States
817-212-4115 (Phone)

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