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Weigh the Benefits, Disadvantages of Attending a Non-ABA Law School

A school without American Bar Association accreditation might be a good fit for some students.

Students in accelerated law programs, unlike traditional students, have only one summer for internships and clerkships.

Students in accelerated law programs, unlike traditional students, have only one summer for internships and clerkships.

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Jeffrey Bramer, an attorney in Birmingham, Ala., has similarly run a successful practice after graduating from a non-ABA school, the Birmingham School of Law. "I have worked hard as a solo for 23 years, and not a single client has asked where I went to law school," he says.

Bramer worked full time as a law student, which ABA-approved schools don't allow during students' first year. "That allows rich kids to go to law school or poor students who had someone else pay their way," he says. "I know plenty of people who went to [an] ABA approved school and are waiting tables with debt they may never be able to repay. I graduated with zero debt."

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