Outside a Los Angeles courthouse on Wednesday, throngs of Britney Spears fans — and nearly an equal number of reporters and photographers — gathered under the afternoon sun as a judge evaluated Ms. Spears’s legal representation and conservatorship.

Supporters crammed onto a narrow sidewalk wearing official and D.I.Y. Britney Spears merchandise as they awaited news from inside the building. One attendee brought homemade #FreeBritney sugar cookies. Another had a portrait of the star tattooed on her arm. There were hand-lettered signs that read “The world is watching” and “End the Conservatorship Now!” #FreeBritney flags also flew among the ralliers as they marched around the courthouse, chanting “Free Britney now!”

The hearing, in which the judge said the singer could hire her own lawyer, came three weeks after Ms. Spears, in an impassioned courtroom speech, had denounced as abusive the conservatorship that has long controlled her personal life and her finances. Mathew S. Rosengart, a prominent Hollywood lawyer and a former federal prosecutor, will represent Ms. Spears in the future. He is expected to push for the conservatorship to end.

“We made a couple signs — one says, ‘Free Britney’; one says, ‘Let her go,’” said Anna Campbell, 20, who had come to the courthouse with her 8-month-old son, Ocean, from the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles. “We actually were thinking maybe we should stay in the car, just in case. I know a couple things have happened in the past protests, but I decided: You know what? I’ll just bring him, because I think it will be safe.”

Some fans traveled longer distances to show their support

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