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what are the basics of being a lawyer

Hi,
I am in 6th grade and I want to know what the basics of lawyers are #law #lawyer

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Patrick A.’s Answer

Hi Alex:


As others have stated, there are many different paths to becoming a lawyer but nearly all paths, at least in the US, have some commonality. Below is a general outline of what you must do to become a lawyer:
-Obtain high school diploma or equivalent (GED)
-Obtain an undergraduate degree of some kind (4 years). I would recommend a business degree, political science or an English degree
-While you're working on your undergraduate degree, you'll need to study for and take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT)
-Begin applying to law school after you receive your LSAT scores
-Get accepted to law school
-Complete 3 years of law school (during this time you can also work towards getting your masters degree)
-Study for and take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE)
-Study for and take the bar exam in the state you intend to practice law
-Get sworn in by the court in the jurisdiction where you'll practice law


There are a number of other steps, securing loans, scholarships, clerking, going to class, studying, studying and more studying! The practice of law is still a noble profession and one that I would recommend to anyone. Good luck in the future, regardless of what you decide to do in life!

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Camille’s Answer

1) Graduate from College
First, you have to graduate from college. There is no requirement as to which major you have. You just need an undergraduate degree to get into law school. (and good grades but I'll get to that later)
I would recommend a major that could potentially lead to a job even without going to law school. For example, accounting or one of the STEM majors (science , technology, engineering, and math). Getting good grades is very important, because law schools look at your grades when deciding if they want to accept you.
What's my major quiz: http://www.luc.edu/undergrad/academiclife/whatsmymajorquiz/
Here's a quiz if you have any interest in STEM: http://www.purdue.edu/STEM/
Info about accounting: http://www.aiuniv.edu/blog/september-2015/is-accounting-a-good-major
Info about STEM jobs: http://money.usnews.com/careers/slideshows/the-25-best-stem-jobs-of-2016
Be aware that you need to get good grades to go to law school!


2) Deciding if you want to go to law school
Law school takes 3 years and is very expensive (hundreds of thousands of dollars - your loans could be from $100,000 to $275,000)
A good article to consider if you want to go to law school: http://www.vox.com/2015/6/5/8724555/should-i-go-to-law-school
After you have graduated from college, you may want to work for a year or two. This is good because it gives life experience, and you can think about if you really want to be a lawyer. Law is a big commitment - law school is for 3 years and very expensive. You can look into internships or jobs at a law firm or a court to see if you like law as a career path.


3) Applying to law school
Here are a couple of recommended timelines about applying to law school: https://www.powerscore.com/lsat/help/timeline_student.cfm https://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/articles/2015/03/12/timeline-a-law-school-application-guide-for-2015


Applying to law school is a lot of work because you need the following:
1) LSAT scores - The law school admissions test.This is a standardized test that you need to study for. Your score is also very important. Along with your undergraduate GPA, it's 1 of the 2 main factors that law schools look at. You probably want to take the exam in June of the year you are applying/want to start. You can also take an earlier exam. Best practice is to take it once and get your highest possible score. So take at least a few months (4 preferably) to study https://www.powerscore.com/lsat/help/about/ 2) Recommendation letters - Letters from professors/employers recommending you for law school 3) Undergraduate transcripts 4) Essay - You have to write an admissions essay about why you want to go to law school

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K. Steven’s Answer

Hey Alex:


Patrick and Ken have given you some excellent advice! One important thing to remember is that you've got a long time ahead of you before you have to make some of the serious decisions about your education that may lead to law school. In my experience, the most important thing to remember about your time in middle school, high school and college is to use those years to follow your dreams and explore every interest you have. Experience a variety of subjects and courses, travel to new places, and meet people who are different from you, because you never know where it might lead. If you take the classes you like and have an interest in, you will probably get better grades and then have more options for law school or some other profession in the future.


In my case, I loved math and science when I was your age. All the way through high school, I thought I was going to become an engineer or maybe a physicist. And in college I changed direction and studied finance. I also traveled extensively and learned a lot about myself in the process. It really wasn't until my senior year that I decided to go to law school. And I made my decision to become a lawyer after having explored a ton of other options first. Looking back, I know I made the best possible decision for me. I love being a lawyer! So take your time, experience life and your career direction will take shape in front of you.


Best of luck!


P.S. - if you want to find out all about the first year of law school, read the book "One L" by lawyer and famous author Scott Turow.

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Sharon’s Answer

The above guidance is all very good regarding paths to graduate from law school and become a licensed lawyer in at least one state (each state has its own bar that you must be admitted through, requiring an exam generally).


What I'd add to all that is that there are many different types of law (i.e., subject matters, such as IP, trusts and estates, family law, real estate, tax, criminal) and types of lawyers (e.g., law firm lawyers such as litigators who defend or prosecute court cases, commercial attorneys who work on business contracts, patent lawyers who write and file patents, banking, employment and other lawyers; in house counsel who work within a company's legal department; lawyers who work for cities or states doing civil or criminal work; nonprofit lawyers; legislative counsels). When people say they want to be a lawyer, they are often thinking about litigation because that's usually what you see on TV. I know that's what I thought it meant to be a lawyer, and that's what I did for several years until I went in house for many more satisfying years. But lawyers come in all shapes and sizes, and a person's personality/interests may be a better fit for certain areas of the law than others. Litigation is full of conflict much of the time, and that may not be how you want to spend your days. Tax lawyers are usually people who are extremely detail-oriented and good with numbers. Good contract/commercial lawyers aren't all the same-- there are a multitude of styles that are effective. It's good to understand the many options so you go into it all with an open mind, and also so you understand you can change areas if the one you started with isn't the best fit for you.

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