Lawyers must undergo extensive educational training and testing before they're licensed to practice. The exact requirements can vary somewhat by state, but educational requirements for lawyers always include certain degrees and exams. You'll need a four-year undergraduate degree followed by three years of law school and a juris doctorate (JD) degree.
5 STEPS TO BECOMING A LAWYER
STEP 1 • COMPLETE YOUR BACHELOR’S DEGREE – A four-year degree from an accredited college or university is a prerequisite to being acceptance at an American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law school. In fact, the ABA notes that students gain admission to law school from nearly every area of study, ranging from political science to mathematics. Common undergraduate majors for prelaw students include English, political science, economics, business, philosophy, or journalism.
STEP 2 • PASSING THE LAW SCHOOL ADMISSION TEST – Earning a bachelor's degree doesn't ensure that you'll be accepted to a law school. You must also take and pass the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) before you can apply to the law school of your choice. Admissions officers use scores from the LSAT as an objective measure to assess the knowledge and quality of applicants. The examination includes five multiple-choice question sections and an unscored writing sample. The LSAT measures your skills in critical areas of future legal work, including reading comprehension, information management, analysis and critical thinking, reasoning, and argumentation.
STEP 3 • EARN YOUR JURIS DOCTOR DEGREE – The Juris Doctor is the nationally recognized degree for practicing law in the United States and is currently offered by 205 ABA-accredited law schools. There are numerous specialties within the legal practice and you'll to select one that offers the curriculum your interested in. For example, you may choose to concentrate in areas of real estate, property, criminal, environmental, tax, or family law.
STEP 4 • INTERNSHIPS – This is an opportunity to polish your skills that aren't typically taught in law school. For example, a successful lawyer will be keenly argumentative, in a good way. Having a knack for critical thinking is important, as is the ability to negotiate and persuade. Superior writing skills are just as important as speaking skills. These are all the things you can learn while working side by side with an experienced lawyer for a period of time.
STEP 5 • PASS THE BAR EXAMINATION – Most states require lawyers to graduate from an ABA-approved law school and pass the state bar examination prior to qualifying in that state. Although each state sets its own testing guidelines, the bar exam is commonly a two day process: day one is spent completing the Multi-state Bar Examination while day two focuses on writing examinations covering various legal matters.
Hope this was Helpful Madalyn
John recommends the following next steps:
- Columbia University (NY)
- Yale University (CT)