One can simply read law textbooks and judgements of legal cases, but what else?

  • Self-learn with what goal in mind? The best way is in fact "go to law school," that's why there's law school.
    – cpast
    Commented May 27, 2015 at 4:51
  • @cpast If you have an answer to contribute, please post it below. Thanks. Commented May 27, 2015 at 14:43
  • @cpast: "go to law school" is NOT the best way if one doesn't have the funds or 4 years to spend. Commented Nov 8, 2017 at 18:18
  • Ignore the other answers--they are emblematic of what's wrong with the law today. If you want to understand the law, you must understand what the law is for: it's not to create lawyers. Learn what the American Revolutionaries fought for. Read the Declaration of Independence and get in touch with the Spirit of the Law. The Pledge of Allegiance also has it. Because of the common values in mankind, there are only two pillars of which the entirety of law rests: Liberty and Justice. Understand those, master dialectic and you won't need a degree. Commented Nov 8, 2017 at 18:21
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    @MarkRosenblitt-Janssen For what it is worth, law school usually takes three years if you are attending full time. I personally, finished it in two and a half years.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Apr 5 at 21:32

2 Answers 2


If you simply want to acquire knowledge in law, reading is the most effective way.

Even law courses (at least where I am from) consists of tons and tons of reading. Read, read, read. Usually the items are:

  1. Legislation (i.e. the actual law). If you are attending an Intellectual Property class, you will be assigned to read Copyright laws. In a Criminal Law class you will read the laws about prosecution, and legal definitions of various crimes.
  2. Textbook / lecture slides. They will provide a laymen explanation of the concepts and terms you come across in the legislation, along with simple examples.
  3. Legal cases. These are especially important in a country where Common Law is in practice.

Here is a fact: you cannot learn every aspect of law. There is simply too much. That is why there are lawyers who specialize in contract, accident compensation, land dispute, etc.


In the states of California, Maine, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, an applicant who has not attended law school may take the bar exam after reading law under a judge or practicing attorney for an extended period of time.
In 2013, 60 people became lawyers this way out of 84,000 via law schools.

from Wikipedia®

  • As far as I can tell this answer has three downvotes, but nobody has commented on what’s wrong with it.
    – jqning
    Commented May 4, 2018 at 0:36
  • 2
    It's directly copy-pasted with no additional insight or independent commentary. You may as well have just commented with the link to the actual page, at least then the context and exact source of the statements are available.
    – user4657
    Commented May 6, 2018 at 2:59
  • @Nij stack doesn’t like you to link to pages because the content of pages goes away or changes. This is the correct way to do it.
    – jqning
    Commented May 6, 2018 at 5:30
  • 4
    This is absolutely not the correct way. You should give a link to as precise the source as possible, then quote the text as relevant, then explain why it is relevant. As it stands you could have written anything at all and put "from Wikipedia" under it - we have no way to check that and you haven't shown why this information even matters.
    – user4657
    Commented May 6, 2018 at 5:31
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    This doesn't answer the question. The question isn't about getting certified as a lawyer, it's asking how to learn the material so you can pass the bar exam.
    – Barmar
    Commented Apr 5 at 23:13

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