Nija Jackson, MSW, LCSW
As you've expressed interest in law, there are certain educational requirements to meet. Depending on where you are in your career journey, you might want to identify your preferred area of law, given the numerous specializations available.
If you're serious about becoming a lawyer, consider interviewing professionals in the field to gain insights into what the profession entails. Volunteering or interning at a law firm can provide hands-on experience and allow you to interact closely with lawyers. Building a network of legal professionals can also offer valuable support.
Becoming a lawyer involves meeting several educational requirements. The specifics can differ across states, but typically, you would need seven years of post-high school education. This comprises four years of undergraduate studies and three years of law school. Additionally, passing the bar exam is crucial, which could extend the timeline if not cleared in the first attempt.
Some aspiring lawyers also choose to take the LSAT more than once to boost their scores and improve their chances of law school admission, potentially adding more time. Therefore, your journey will include obtaining an undergraduate degree, taking the LSAT exam, applying to and completing law school, and preparing for and passing the bar exam.
The path to becoming a lawyer can be fulfilling. Many lawyers find joy in their work and develop a deep passion for practicing law. It's crucial to plan and prepare for each step of the journey. Maintain a positive attitude and persist through challenges, as this will greatly benefit your legal career.
Best of luck with your educational and career pursuits. I wish you all the best on your journey.
Nija recommends the following next steps:
Take the pre-entrance LSAT exam. The Law School Aptitude Test, better known as the LSAT, is a super important part of your law school admissions package. The LSAT is multiple choice, with five sections that you have 35 minutes each to complete. It tests your reading comprehension, your logic, and your ability to strategize under time restraints — all skills you need as a lawyer. There are free test prep materials as well as classes or programs you can sign up for.
Attend an ABA approved law school. Law school is three years. There are certain required courses such as contracts, property, legal writing, constitutional law, and so on that you generally take your first year.
After graduating from law school, you will sit for the Bar Exam. The Bar Exam is similar to the LSAT in that it is an aptitude test but it will test you on legal topics that you learned in law school. There are number of other requirements such as a character and fitness application, getting fingerprinted and a background check, and taking a professional responsibility exam, but your law school will guide you through these steps as you get closer.
I graduated from law school and took the bar last year and am just finishing my first of practicing law. It’s a challenging career but very fun and rewarding! I encourage you to continue asking questions on forums like these. Best of luck!