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How long did you have to train?

for lawyers

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Subject: Career question for you

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Jennifer’s Answer

Law school in the United States is generally a three year commitment. Many law schools offer a night program that could be longer, perhaps four years. After law school in the United States if you want to be able to work as a lawyer, then you have to pass one of the State's bar exams. Each State has its own requirements and some even have particular areas of focus. For example, in Texas part of the bar examine could ask about mineral rights given that area of the law is prevalent in Texas. However, in Virginia, where I am licensed and at least when I took the Virginia Bar exam over 20 years ago, there was no possibility of mineral rights being asked about.

Once you are licensed to practice in a State (or more than one), the real training begins. The real world of implementing the law is different from the theoretical application of the law that is taught in law school. The learning never ends once you are licensed.

My one piece of advice I give to everyone who inquires if law school is the right choice is this: if you cannot imagine doing anything else with your life, then law school is for you. If you have doubts, then consider becoming a paralegal and working for a few years. Being a paralegal will you give you good insight into the practice law.

Best of luck!
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Victoria C.’s Answer

Good question. I gained meaningful training during law school as an intern - so about 3 years of training via internships. Luckily you can get that training while in law school. It's important to get internships in an area of law that you're interested in because that training should help you get your desired job after law school.

Once I started my career as an attorney, I realized that training is constant throughout your legal career. I've been practicing law for a few years and I am still learning new things. Laws are always changing. So, it's important to be a life learner and to be adaptable.
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