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What should you major as if you want to be a lawyer? Does it depend on what type of lawyer you want to be?

#law #college-major #lawyer

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Doc’s Answer

Keerthana depending on how early in your career path you know you want to be in the legal industry, start by enrolling in a four-year university program to earn a bachelor’s degree. You may consider getting a degree that strengthens your understanding of a particular field of knowledge related to the legal career path you are considering, but this is not required.

STEP 1.) EARN YOUR BACHELOR'S DEGREE
The path to becoming an attorney begins by earning a bachelor's degree Keerthana. Pre-law students aren't required to earn their degree in a specific subject, but common pre-law majors include history, English, political science and criminal justice. Be sure to attend an accredited bachelor's degree program as law schools generally only accept students who have completed an accredited program.

Later in this process, you will need letters of recommendation to apply to most law schools, so it is wise to get to know your professors by actively participating in class and going to office hours. Find a professor doing work in a meaningful field to you; they could be an invaluable resource for career advice. You can also consider doing independent study or research with a professor, which would lay the foundation for a great recommendation as well as bolster your resume.

Moot Court cases are often based on real cases that are pending before an appellate or a supreme court—so you get real world applications and knowledge. The experience typically culminates with a formal oral argument in a courthouse before a panel of real judges and is a great chance to get firsthand experience of what you will do as a lawyer. In these spaces you can practice skills that will be beneficial to you within your legal practice, including:

STEP 2.) ACE YOUR LSAT
In the United States, you are required to submit Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) scores along with your undergraduate transcripts when applying for law schools. The LSATs are usually taken during your junior year of undergraduate study. LSATs test critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and reading skills. Prep courses can help you excel and receive a high score, which helps you appear more desirable to a greater number of law schools, the most prestigious of which are very competitive. It is typical to study for the LSATs for months, so don’t take test prep lightly.

STEP 3.) CHOOSE A LAW SCHOOL RIGHT FOR YOU
Now it’s time to figure out where you want to attend law school. Depending on your grades, extracurricular activities, and LSAT scores, your chances of being accepted will vary. Earning a Juris Doctor (JD) from a more prestigious law school will entice hiring firms and corporations in the future, so it’s important to consider your options carefully. Location is another factor that will dramatically impact your life, so don’t forget to consider things like local weather conditions, cost of living, public transportation options, etc. You will also need those letters of recommendation I mentioned, which should be collected from academic faculty or people who know you well and can speak highly of your academic potential. Submit your applications and cross your fingers! It can take months to hear back, so don't freak out.

STEP 4.) EARN YOUR JD
When accepting applicants, law schools consider a number of admission factors, such as grade point average, standardized test scores and extracurricular activities. When attended full time, law school typically takes three years to complete and the coursework becomes progressively more focused as the program continues. The first year includes a core set of classes, such as civil procedure, constitutional law, property law and torts. In the second and third years, coursework is comprised of upper-level courses and electives that allow students to focus their studies on certain aspects of law. These years also incorporate clinical courses that provide valuable hands-on training working with clients under the direction of a practicing lawyer. Law students also participate in moot court trials, which simulate the trial experience and they may spend their summers interning at law firms or for judges.

STEP 5.) YOUR READY TO TAKE THE BAR EXAM
To be able to practice law in the United States, you must pass the bar exam, a rigorous pass/fail exam typically lasting two or three days. It is only held twice annually, in February and July. You can only practice law in states where you have passed that state’s bar exam, so be sure you know which state(s) you want to practice in before registering. To prep yourself for success, consider enrolling in a bar review course beforehand. You can take the bar more than once, but the hefty amount of prep and the cost of test registration make it a tough pill to swallow twice Keerthana.

Hope this was also Helpful Keerthana
Thank you comment icon Thank You Henry. “If our hopes of building a better and safer world are to become more than wishful thinking, we will need the engagement of volunteers more than ever.” — Kofi Annan Doc Frick
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Henry’s Answer

Hi Keerthana,

From my personal experience, there is really no major that cannot lead in some way to the field of law. I think that's honestly one of the most interest part of the field in that you can have someone i.e from a political science background (typically understood as the "default" law major) work on the same team as someone who started their path in music or dance and someone else from an economics background.

As to whether your major determines what type of lawyer you may end up as or gravitate towards, that really depends on your law school experience and the core reason in pursuing law. The hypothetical team scenario I described above actually existed and I think your major does not, in any way, lock you into a specific type of law. (We ended up with one music entertainment, one tax, and one corporate).

To give a more concrete answer, you could try thinking about what major truly interests you and follow that to its conclusion. If you don't have strong feelings for a major yet, try asking yourself what kind of major would bring something unique to the table when faced with a problem.

Hope that helps, I am free to answer any additional questions you may have!

Henry

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Jose’s Answer

Hi! Do you want to know a formula answer for your question. If so there's standard educational steps to get to law school which was nicely laid out for you in the answers already given to you. Your guidance counselor should be able to assist you with a course of action as well. If you go that route be consistent with getting their help. If you have the initiate and can involve yourself with an organization that helps students prepare to become future lawyers that should help. Lastly, if a law office opens it's doors to your questions I think that would provide great guidance.
I'm not an attorney but did want to be one. When in college I was told what you already have been told. There's no specific major except taking pre-law, studying English, etc. It is my hope that you have a love for words as they paint pictures in people's minds which is a main tool lawyers use. Please learn how to listen carefully. Work on puzzles to develop your thinking skills. Learn to work on the speed of your thinking so that when you come across a liar, an arrogant judge, an slick attorney you can stay at least one step ahead of them. Once you find your answer, I hope become an outstanding lawyer.
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Richard’s Answer

I would choose a major that interests you! My wife is an attorney. She had students in her school from every major imaginable. If you love science, you could do that and then do medical malpractice. If you love accounting, you could become a tax attorney. My wife chose history, and said that all the essay writing in college came in handy for writing in law school.
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HI,Keerthana P,
It could take from four to six years to become a teacher depending on where you complete your Education degree. The following steps will give you a clear picture to proceed further,
1. Earn a bachelor's degree in elementary education.
2. Complete an internship in an elementary school classroom.
3. Take your state's licensing exams for elementary teachers.
4. Apply for a license through your state board of education.
5. Once you have received your license, begin applying for open positions.

Regards,
Hope that helps
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Bri’s Answer

Hi,
Depending on what school you go to they’re different majors you can pick from. I use to want to be a lawyer and my major was Political Science. You can also pick criminal justice, Humanities, sociology, philosophy etc. Becoming a lawyer usually takes 7 years: 4 years undergraduate and 3 years of law school. Hope this helps, good luck.
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Rebecca’s Answer

Hi Keerthana,

I have many friends in law school or practicing as lawyers from college. I learned from them, that you do not need a specific undergraduate major to go to law school. Many people I know majored in business, international relations, and political science along with majors in every field and industry. I would recommend thinking about what you are interested in aside from law and pursuing that, if the college you ultimately decide to go to does not have a law major for undergraduates.

Hope this is helpful!
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James’s Answer

Hi Keerthana!

Law students major in a wide variety of fields, there is no "right" major for a potential law student. You should major in something that interests you and that you will excel in! The only caveat to this is that certain types of IP (Intellectual property) lawyers are expected to have an engineering/technical background.

Best of luck!

James

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Kaylee’s Answer

I think they have different majors that could lead you into being a lawyer but I know political science is a great one
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H’s Answer

Hello Keerthana,

Wanting to be a lawyer, a mentor once told me that regardless of the type of law you want to practice that one should choose business as your major. I ended up choosing business as my major and had a wonderful opportunity to intern with a judge at a local courthouse. I ended up changing career paths but based on what I learned from my internship and college experience, I would recommend choosing a major that relates to the to the type of law you want to practice and having a minor in business.
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Estelle’s Answer

My sister is an attorney. She recommends choosing a major that you truly enjoy so that your grades and letters of recommendation will reflect your enthusiasm and intellectual potential.
Remember that GPA and LSAT scores are critical in your law school applications.
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McKenzie’s Answer

Hi Keerthana!

There are a lot of great answers to this questions already, and I would like to reiterate that there is no "right" major for pre-law. Similar to pre-med, you can major in anything you want as long as you complete the prereqs, either within the coursework of your major or as free electives. My advice would be to choose a major that genuinely interests and excites you, not what you think law schools want to see. If you are studying something you are passionate about, you will likely be more active in classes and extracurriculars, leading to a better GPA and deeper relationships with professors (for a great letter of recommendation). It will also be much easier for you to talk about what you studied and why during interviews. All of this will help you during the admission process.

That being said, if you are particularly interested in patent law, it might be beneficial for you to pursue an engineering or technical degree. Many successful patent lawyers have backgrounds in material science, mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, ect. but this is not required. For example, if you want to become a lawyer working on medical device patents, studying biomedical engineering would give you a much deeper understanding of the industry and technology and could give you a leg up to other law students.
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