4 answers

What's required to become a lawyer?

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I'm asking this question because I would love to become a lawyer when I grow up. Although, I don't know how or where to start. #lawyer #business-lawyer

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4 answers

Jim’s Answer

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Hi Mariela,


My wife is an attorney. She says that first, it's important to do well in high school in order to go to college. While in high school/college, participate in mock trial or debate/forensics if your high school and college offer them. These are competitions that allow you to see what being an attorney is like in practice - in a courtroom situation in mock trial or thinking on your feet and making linear arguments against opponents in debate.


It might also make sense to talk to attorneys about their work. Since you live in San Diego, here's a link to the San Diego County Bar Association, the professional organization for attorneys which also administers continuing education (classes that attorneys must attend in order to remain practicing attorneys), in addition to career development.

https://www.sdcba.org/index.cfm?pg=events&evAction=listMonth


You can also email people from the directory to get in touch with them. Many professionals enjoy speaking about their careers with young people and can offer insights into how they got where they are, what types of law you might want to or not want to practice, and other helpful guidance.


One important tip from my wife is that the state of California's Bar Exam is very difficult to pass, so it's important to go to a good law school, and probably located in California (so they teach the CA Bar curriculum) in order to be prepared to pass the exam. California's exam is so difficult that it is nationally infamous and a movie was even made about it: This is something you will encounter when talking to San Diego area attorneys.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Lawyer_Walks_into_a_Bar


In general, get out there and talk to people and do the best you can to get good grades in school. Get back to me with any further questions -


Best wishes -

Thank you for replying, this has been very helpful. Mariela G.
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Leslie’s Answer

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To be a lawyer, you first need to go to college. You can major in anything and don't necessarily have to take particular law classes in college - it's not like being "pre-med" where you have to take a bunch of science classes before you can go to medical school. Then you need to go to law school, which is typically three years. After that, you have to take "the Bar" in the state you want to practice law. The bar is a test. Each state has its own and you have to pass it in order to be able to practice law in that state. Once you pass it, though, you are good to go! So, to reiterate: you have to 1) go to college 2) go to law school 3) take the bar. A good idea is to try to work as an intern or a paralegal in a law firm during college or after college and before law school in order to get a sense of what kind of law you want to do and what its like being in a law firm. Good luck!

Thank you for replying, this has been very helpful. Mariela G.
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Chase’s Answer

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Hi Mariela,

Thanks for your question. I am a lawyer and would be happy to give you advice in becoming a lawyer. To be a lawyer, you should first obtain a college degree from an accredited university. Law schools are not picky about the specific degree or major, but whatever field of study that you decide to pursue, you must get good grades! I advise potential law students that they should try to maintain above a 3.5 GPA while in college so that they will have a solid GPA when applying to law schools. Next, you will need to take the LSAT. I recommend preparing a year in advance for this test, and either use an LSAT prep course or you can also buy the LSAT prep materials directly from the Law School Admission Council. Your grades and LSAT score will be weighed very heavily when a law school is evaluating your application and potential scholarship opportunities so it is important to get good grades and a solid LSAT score.

In regards to the LSAT, the score range is from 120 (lowest score) to 180 (highest score). The higher your LSAT score, the more likely you will get into your law school of choice. Additionally, I would encourage potential law school students to research where they would like to attend law school so that they can be aware of the admission procedures and the average LSAT/GPA of the admitted students in a particular law school.

I highly encourage potential law school students to attend the LSAC Forum in one of the major U.S. cities. The link can be found here: https://www.lsac.org/lawschoolforums. I went to this forum twice while I was in college (junior and senior year) because this forum is free and gives you the opportunity to speak with admissions recruiters and counselors for practically most law schools around the U.S. Additionally, several law schools offer free application waivers (can save yourself $75 or $80 application fee per application) by attending the forum and signing up at a particular law school's booth for application fee waivers. Thus, I highly encourage any potential law school student to check out this forum!

Next, you must complete three years of law school. Law school is very different from undergraduate as your grade for each course is based off one exam at the end of the semester. It's important to thoroughly prepare throughout the semester for these exams as your grades will likely determine where you get your first job out of law school. Thus, it is imperative to get good grades in law school.

After law school, you will need to take the bar exam in the state of your choice. I highly recommend using a commercial bar prep course as you prepare for the exam. After successfully passing the bar exam, you will officially be licensed to practice law!

I wish you the best on your journey of becoming a lawyer!

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Teresa’s Answer

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Dear Mariela,


I am a lawyer. I'd like to share with you how I became a lawyer. Law school requires critical thinking, analysis, and reading comprehension skills so I took courses in college that I believed would help me improve these skills. There are also some colleges that provide pre-law courses that can help you improve these skills. Law school admissions will look at primarily your LSAT scores, your undergraduate grades, and your extracurricular activities. I studied hard in college, served in leadership positions in various extracurricular activities, and prepared for the LSAT by enrolling in an LSAT prep course. When I was preparing my undergraduate and law school applications, I had several peers and mentors review and critique my applications.


Once you get into law school, you will find that it is different from undergraduate. Law schools generally have one exam per course which you will take at the end of the semester and the exam score will generally be your final grade for the entire course. So the exam is the most important aspect of each course. The law school exams are also different from undergraduate exams. For the typical law school exam, you will be expected to analyze several legal issues.


After law school, I prepared for the bar exam. I took a bar exam prep course and studied hard to prepare for it. The bar exam is slightly different from the typical law school exam so the bar prep course helped me properly prepare for it. Once you graduate from law school and pass the bar exam, you will get a bar license that will allow you to practice law.


Being a lawyer has been a rewarding experience for me and I love being able to help people. I hope this information is helpful to you! Good luck and study hard!

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