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what educational requirements do I need in order to apply to be a lawyer?

Hello, i am Josh I am a 10th grader that attends spectrum Highschool and I am very interested in this career path. I love the idea of helping people when know one else can. If you could give me some information on this career that would be greatly appreciated thank you.

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Subject: Career question for you

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Matthew’s Answer

Hey there Josh,

Just to build on what everyone else has been saying, your location can also play a big role in the process of becoming a lawyer. Usually, most places will ask for an undergraduate degree and a JD. But there are a few places where you can become a lawyer through an apprenticeship program. It might be a good idea to take a look at your state's Bar Association website for more specific details.

Also, don't forget there's usually a moral or character aspect to being accepted into the bar. After all, it's hard to uphold the law if you're not following it yourself, right?

Wishing you all the best on your journey!
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Naeemah’s Answer

Hello Josh,

To embark on your journey to becoming a lawyer, the first step is to secure a Bachelor's degree in a field of your choice. However, I would suggest considering subjects like English, History, or Political Science, as they can provide a strong foundation for your legal studies.

Once you've earned your degree, your next move is to prepare for and take the LSAT, also known as the Law School Administration Test. This is a crucial stepping stone towards your law career.

Next, carefully select a reputable law school that aligns with your career goals. Make sure to successfully complete all the necessary courses offered.

The final hurdle is passing the bar exam to obtain your license to practice law.

Remember, every step is significant in shaping your future as a lawyer. I wish you the best of luck on this exciting journey.

Naeemah recommends the following next steps:

Figure out what field of law you would like to pursue
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Martha’s Answer

Good for you for asking this type of question while still in high school, Josh. Naeemah has given you an excellent road map. To reiterate and amplify:
- The reasoning behind taking English courses is to keep improving your critical reading and thinking skills, as well as making your writing precise. This is also true for History and Political Science; in addition, they can help you understand how US law developed and about the institutions that create and interpret the law
- As long as you develop your reading, reasoning, and writing skills, you could major in whatever you want in college. If you are interested in climate change, for example, you could major in environmental science. That would be a powerful combination with law.
- Many colleges/universities have pre-law advisors. I would consult them for course selection, internship opportunities, and on-campus resources for preparing for the LSAT
- You do not have to know before going to law school what type of law you would like to pursue. Your coursework and experience will help you decide.
- Bear in mind that there are different types of law (see link below) and different venues, such as law firms, companies, and non-profits. Some lawyers don't officially practice law but use their knowledge other ways
- See BLS article below about job prospects
Good luck!

Martha recommends the following next steps:

Read the Bureau of Labor Statistics article - https://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/lawyers.htm#:~:text=Lawyers%20typically%20do%20the%20following,and%20analysis%20of%20legal%20issues
Read about types of law - https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/areas-of-law
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Rafael’s Answer

To become a lawyer, you typically need to earn a bachelor's degree, attend law school for three years, graduate with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree, pass the bar exam in your jurisdiction, and fulfill any additional requirements. In terms of helping people, being a lawyer can indeed provide opportunities to assist others in various legal matters. Lawyers can work in different areas such as criminal law, civil law, corporate law, family law, and more. It's a challenging and rewarding career path that requires strong analytical and communication skills.
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Pamela’s Answer

Hello Josh! That's great to hear that you're interested in pursuing a in law. To become a lawyer, you typically need to complete a bachelor's degree, followed by attending law school and obtaining a Juris Doctor (JD) degree. Additionally, you will need to pass the bar exam in the state where you wish to practice law. It's also beneficial to gain experience through internships or clerkships at law firms or legal organizations. Keep up the good work in high school and continue to pursue your passion for helping others. Good luck on your journey to becoming a lawyer!

Great Success! Josh
_Pamela Knight
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Patrick’s Answer

Josh, I appreciate your initiative in reaching out and seeking advice about your interest in becoming a lawyer. I trust that the following information will offer some clarity and assistance.

It's wonderful to know about your dedication to assisting others and your eagerness to explore the legal profession at a young age. As a career counselor, my role is to provide you with detailed information about the educational prerequisites and career trajectory for a lawyer.

In the United States, becoming a lawyer involves several academic and professional milestones:

• Initially, you should obtain a bachelor's degree from a recognized college or university. There's no specific major required for law school, but many prospective lawyers opt for degrees in political science, history, English, or pre-law. It's crucial to maintain high academic performance during your undergraduate studies, as law schools take your GPA into account when reviewing applications.

• Prior to applying for law school, you must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). This standardized test evaluates your reading comprehension, logical reasoning, and analytical reasoning abilities, all of which are vital for law school success. Your LSAT score, along with your undergraduate GPA, will significantly influence the law school admissions process.

• After earning your bachelor's degree and taking the LSAT, you should attend an accredited law school to obtain a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. Law school generally lasts three years, during which you'll study various legal subjects, including contracts, torts, constitutional law, criminal law, and legal writing. It's important to thoroughly research law schools and consider factors like location, faculty expertise, specialty programs, and career placement services when deciding where to apply.

• After graduating from law school, you must pass the bar examination in the state where you plan to practice law. The bar exam tests your understanding of legal principles and your ability to apply them effectively. Some states also require applicants to pass an ethics exam or undergo a character and fitness evaluation before being admitted to the bar.

• Once you've passed the bar exam and fulfilled all other state requirements, you'll be qualified for a law license in your state. With your law license, you can start practicing law in various environments, such as law firms, government agencies, corporate legal departments, or as an independent practitioner.

As you contemplate a career in law, it's crucial to gain firsthand experience in the legal field through internships, volunteering, or job shadowing. These experiences can deepen your understanding of the legal profession, clarify your career objectives, and enhance your law school application.

Moreover, it's important to develop strong analytical, communication, and critical thinking skills, as these are key attributes for success in the legal field. Also, upholding a commitment to ethics, professionalism, and social justice resonates with your desire to help others and can steer your path as a future lawyer.
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