When Christine Hernandez saw an ad for something called the “Radical Real Estate Law School” in Oakland, she was intrigued.
“I thought, radical? That’s me,” she said. “Real estate? I’m interested. Law school? Never thought of it.”
The program is offered through the Sustainable Economies Law Center in downtown Oakland, one of the handful of organizations taking advantage of a little-known rule in California and a few other states allowing people to take the bar exam without first obtaining a traditional law school degree. Instead, apprentices study and work directly with practicing lawyers for four years, saving money and boosting their host organization’s workforce.
For Hernandez, becoming a lawyer through an unconventional method made sense. She’d come in direct contact with housing law herself, through unconventional living situations.