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How much time and effort does it take to become a lawyer?

I am willing to do whatever it takes to get a degree in the law field, as a lawyer. However, I know there isn’t lots of things I must do to achieve this goal. What types of programs and classes should I take to become a lawyer. #lawyer #law #lawyers #attorney #law-school

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Scott’s Answer

Hi Jasmine!

Great question. Becoming a lawyer takes a good bit of commitment and dedication. First, you must obtain a four year degree from an accredited college or University. It doesn't matter what you major in, however, there are some majors that may benefit you better in law school such as Political Science, Criminal Justice, English, Psychology, or Business.

Second, you must practice for the LSAT exam which is the law school admissions test. I would recommend taking a paid course or tutor to best prepare you for the test. The higher the score, the better the chance of you getting into the law school of your choice.

(Also keep your character fitness always in mind while in undergrad and throughout the rest of your life as your behavior in society follows you as an attorney and aspiring one)

Third, Law School full time is three years typically. Some schools have parttime programs which extend this time to four years. Upon completing law school you must prepare to sit for the bar exam in the state in which you wish to practice. Be sure to thoroughly study the law for the state you are sitting for and use all prepratory guides available for said state bar. ( Finishing a program at a well ranked law school increases your chances of passing the bar as those schools typically tout high bar passage rates.)

Once you have completed these things you will be ready for law practice. This should take you around 7 years including four years of full time undergrad and 3 years of full time law shool. Best of luck to you!

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Mariana’s Answer

Hello Jasmine,

The short answer is around 5 to 7 years.

During this time, aspiring lawyers must fulfill specific educational and licensure requirements. But let me tell you some things you should consider for becoming a lawyer:

1. The challenging years of law school
The process of becoming a lawyer isn’t for the faint of heart. This breaks down to four years for a Bachelor’s degree, law schools are highly competitive to gain acceptance, and aspiring lawyers will need to pass the daunting LSAT to prove their worth—a process that can take a full year of study and preparation, depending on the country you live in.

Once a student is accepted into law school, those three years are devoted to rigorous full-time schooling and on-the-job training programs like clerkships or internships. After students finally reach graduation day, they still face long nights hitting the books as they study to pass their state’s bar exam. Needless to say, becoming a lawyer isn’t a get-rich-quick scenario.

2. The cost of education
A lawyer’s high earning potential is tough to ignore, you need to check the school you like and calculate the total cost of studying there.

3. The potentially shaky job prospects
It’s not so easy to find a job as a lawyer, right? growth may not be enough to provide jobs for all the graduating law school students.

This can create a very difficult situation for those who take on substantial student loan debt to pursue their law career. New lawyers may get stuck in an area of practice they don’t enjoy simply because they need to earn money, which can in turn lead to reduced job satisfaction.

4. A sometimes stressful work environment

Lawyers often have demanding schedules and heavy workloads, which may contribute to increased stress levels. High stress is a big factor in job satisfaction, not to mention that chronic stress places workers at risk for heart disease, anxiety and depression.

Hope this could help you.

Mariana
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Richard’s Answer

First, you have to finish college. I would focus on classes with a lot of reading and writing, but technically, you can major in anything to get into law school. After college, you must take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). During your last year of college, apply to law school. You could also volunteer in the summer at some companies or fields related to law that might hire interns.

Law school is typically three years, with the first year being the most difficult. You have to get accustomed to reading cases and taking tests that cover a lot of material.

When you finish law school, you will find you still have a lot to learn. Unlike medical school where a long internship and residency follow, a legal profession requires a lot of learning on your own and learning from mentors. It also depends which area of law you decide to go into.

I hope this helps. Best of luck to you!
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SHREYA’s Answer

Its effortless if your are determined to become a lawyer for right reasons, but it is can be burdensome if you try to take shortcut for glory. Why do you want to be a lawyer? why is time so important than the knowledge itself? Do you want to litigated or practice another form of legal practice? those are just some of the questions I would like you to ask yourself.

SHREYA recommends the following next steps:

After high school, take undergraduate 4 year of pre-law degree (you can finish this in 3yrs if you do not taker summer of or take 21 credits per semesters), then apply for LSATs, then take law school of 3 years, can be done quicker if you don't take summer off.
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Jeanette’s Answer

Law school is usually a three year program going full time after you get your undergraduate degree.  It has been quite a while since I was in law school and at that time mainly only non-accredited night law schools had part time programs.  It takes a great deal of effort to become a lawyer.  You will need to make high grades in your undergraduate classes which will require the commitment of a lot of time for study.  Law school is much more difficult than undergraduate studies.  In order to do well in law school you will must make study a priority.  It takes many hours to prepare for classes and exams.  Law is a very rewarding profession and worth all of the effort that I takes to become a lawyer. 

Jeanette recommends the following next steps:

I recommend that you read the book The Bramble Bush: On Our Law and Its Study by Karl N. Llewellyn. It was written many years ago but it gives a very realistic view of what it is like to study law. I read it before I went to Law School and found it to be helpful to prepare me for what I would face in law school. Also, even though I have not read this book its sounds interesting so I think it would be worthwhile to read: Don't Go to Law School (Unless): A Law Professor's Guide to Maximizing Opportunity and Minimizing Risk by Paul Campos
Watch the movie Paper Chase if you can locate it on Netflix or elsewhere. The movie was made in 1973 but many aspects (but not all aspects) accurately portray what it is like to be a law student.
Do research on the internet. I used the search "what it is like to go to law school" and came up with quite a few sites that looked interesting such as : https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-verdict-should-you-go-to-law-school' https://www.princetonreview.com/law-school-advice/should-i-go-to-law-school-quiz'
Here are additional sites to look at:https://abovethelaw.com/2013/10/deciding-to-go-to-law-school-in-one-epic-flowchart/ https://www.quora.com/How-does-it-feel-to-go-to-law-school There are many other that you can explore.
Actually visit a law school and speak to someone in the admissions office to get information about the program of study. A school representative may be able to arrange for you to speak with some current students who can talk to you about their experiences as law students.
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