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What types of degrees do they offer in the Law program?

I've been interested in becoming a lawyer since i could remember. The type of lawyer i dream of being is a corporate lawyer for a big company. I love to help people and see good things turn out for good people and the pay is decent! #business-lawyer

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Sonya’s Answer

In the United States you obtain a Juris Doctorate (J.D) in law. Then you take what is called a bar exam in the state you want to practice in order to become a licensed attorney in that state. The license is what allows you to practice in whatever area of law you are interested in. In Texas, some attorneys also pursue additional certifications in a particular area of law. These certifications are not required but may give a potential client more confidence in your ability. Some law schools also offer LL.M or masters of laws in special areas of law like taxation, international law, healthcare law and intellectual property law. Again, an LL.M not required to practice law. LL.Ms are usually obtain by those wanting to specialize in a niche law market, those interested in teaching law and foreign students who received their first law degree from other countries and need a law degree from the U.S. in order to "sit for the bar' and become licensed. I obtained an LL.M after my J.D. in Intellectual Property Law. Even though I am not practicing in that area currently, I enjoyed the classes and was able to complete a thesis and eventually became published. It will come in handy if I ever decide to teach in this subject area. The last type of the degree is a S.J.D. and is meant for those teaching law.

Even though you want to practice business law, I would suggest taking classes/clinics on how to handle a case in court and how to open and manage your own law practice. This way if you need to practice on your own you can. If you want to work for a big law firm, go to a good law school, get excellent grades your first year and make law review, get a great internship and hopefully get a job based on that internship. This is much easier said than done.

One law school hack I learned after the fact that I can leave you with. Once you have been accepted into law school and before your first year get your hands on the state bar exam study books and study them. Some people, who could afford it, even took the bar course with the graduating law students. The first year courses are covered, Contracts, Torts, Property etc.



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Sharyl’s Answer

This is a terrific question, so let's see if we can point you to where you can find the diverse options available in this career field. Lawyers in the United States follow a path of choosing their undergraduate study, apply and get accepted to law school, then take the bar exam for the state where they wish to be licensed. Corporate law has many specialized attorneys, and this is where you can explore by doing two simple things:

Sharyl recommends the following next steps:

1. Look up corporations that intrigue you and then seek information from that corporation on the specialities they hire into their firm (e.g. 3-M, Google, Berkshire-Hathaway, Walmart, etc.).
2. Check-out the law school(s) that interest you and look up their corporate law course offerings, this may give you an idea of opportunities. If you don't find what you are seeking, call their admissions office and ask your questions. Keep in mind that many lawyers today double-degree out of law school. For example. Juris Doctorate and MBA, Juris Doctorate and Cyber-terrorism, Juris Doctorate and Nano Engineering.