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Where is the best place to study to be a lawyer?

One of the careers I'm considering is being a lawyer or attorney.

#college-major #laywer #criminal-justice #attorney #law

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John’s Answer

HARVARD UNIVERSITY, MASSACHUSETTS – Is one of the Top Five Law Schools in the country to earn your Juris Doctor Degree from Madalyn.

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.


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)

Thank You Herman. “Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr. John Frick

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Andrew’s Answer

When it comes to choosing the right law school there are a few things to consider. If you are able to get into a Top 5 Law School then you should pursue those opportunities no matter the location. One of the biggest pieces in choosing where to study is to understand where you ultimately want to work and practice. Law schools teach procedure for the state in which they are located so choosing a school in a city/state in which you want to live for a long time is advantageous.

The other piece to really consider is what type of law you wish to practice. Schools always have a focus or strength that you might want to explore. For example if you are looking to become a trial attorney I would do some research to see which schools might have the best mock trial opportunities as it will help you develop those skills.

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Fiona’s Answer

It really depends where you are wanting to work - are you planning to stay in the US, or explore other places in the world? I studied my degree in New Zealand and I now practice in Hong Kong. NZ and HK are common law jurisdictions and the systems will be similar - we can usually practice in other countries although you may need to sit qualifying exams.

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Amanda’s Answer

Yes, I encourage you to get any kind of job or internship at a law firm, legal department, or government agency, so you can get a feel for the kind of work attorneys do day-to-day and how they feel about the profession. As with many careers, the real deal is usually very different from the glamourized version you may see on tv/movies. I think that's true for many careers, but especially for attorneys. Most attorneys don't go to court, fight for human rights, or make super high salaries, but rather work in a number of other areas of law that may or may not be of interest to you. See if you can talk with some attorneys about their careers- what they like/dislike about it, and if they would recommend it to someone like you.

My first job out of college was at a law firm specializing in intellectual property. I started with a number of other recent college grads, all of whom thought they wanted to go to law school and become attorneys. We studied for the LSATs together, but in the end, only about 1/3 became attorneys. Another 1/3 went on to other types of grad programs, and the other 1/3 got jobs in other fields (like me in HR). It was a great opportunity to get candid with attorneys on the day-to-day, and I found it very difficult to find any who really recommended the field to youngsters, especially considering the high cost of law school and the realities of dealing with difficult clients, finding new business, meeting billing quotas, etc.

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Suddhasattwa’s Answer

Hi Madalyn,

The first step to becoming a lawyer is to get your undergraduate degree. Law schools across the United States that are accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) require that you have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree before applying for enrollment. Additionally, you should choose an undergraduate institution that is accredited by a national or regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Most, if not all, ABA-accredited law schools require that your undergraduate degree be from a regionally or nationally accredited institution.

I am sharing three links to get the complete step by step details.

There are 8 law schools in Massachusetts. Below are the admissions statistics for each of Massachusetts's law schools.
Suffolk University, New England School of Law has high acceptance rate with high number of LSN applications too. Refer my first link to see the rest of the colleges.

Good luck with you Law studies.

Suddhasattwa recommends the following next steps:


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Alvira’s Answer

Hi Madelyn:

What is your motivation for exploring the legal career path. It looks like folks provided you steps on how to, Have you taken any pre law or government courses or shadowed an attorney? I would definitely suggest shadowing an attorney both in the office and at court to get a feel for the job.

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James’s Answer

Hi Madalyn,

Law schools provide a broad legal education, you will be able to take the bar exam in any state as long as you go to an ABA accredited law school. However, the connections that a law school has tend to be more regional. It is generally easier to get internships and jobs in the area where your law school is located. I would definitely take that into consideration when looking at a potential law school.