There is no denying that to become a lawyer you must undertake some steps. These steps to become a lawyer include studying and completing your undergraduate program, getting graduate degrees, taking some licensing exams and earning work experience as a lawyer. Before you embark on the journey to becoming a successful lawyer, you need to be ready to dedicate a few years to studying law. You must also work on building the skills and qualities you will need in order to prove yourself a good lawyer.
Lawyer Career Basics
The scope of the work a lawyer does is very broad. It is not a profession with a single spectrum of options. Lawyers can pursue a profession at a government, private, international, or corporate level. Generally, lawyers are well-trained professionals who provide their support in legal, civil, and criminal matters.
Lawyers are mostly advisors who represent their clients in legal disputes. Lawyers conduct case researches, participate in formal hearings, and handle drafting and filing legal documents to represent their clients in the courtroom.
Step 1: Earn a bachelor’s degree in law
The first of the steps to become a lawyer is to get admission in a reputable law school. You will need to spend 3 years in the program. At this level, there is no field of study requirement by the American Bar Association (ABA). In fact, students from every area of study get admission into law school. So you may have studied science in school but you can become a lawyer. However, keep in mind that the majors of prelaw usually include subjects like economics, political science, journalism, philosophy, and English.
Step 2: Complete and pass the Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
After the bachelor’s degree, you should pass the law school admission test (LSAT). This is a very important exam for lawyers who want to get their knowledge assessed. The exam comprises five multiple-choice questions and a writing test. This may be the toughest of the steps to become a lawyer. The objective of this test is to measure the candidate’s skills in areas like comprehension, analysis, reading, argument, and critical thinking.
Step 3: Go Forward – Complete Law Schools
After graduation and acquiring the bachelor’s degree in law, some people choose to proceed with a professional life, instead of furthering their education. No matter how long does it take to become a lawyer, law students should consider attending law schools that the American Bar Association accredits. This is also one of the most important steps to become a lawyer. Apart from overall GPA, LSAT scores, undergraduate coursework, and other factors. The other factors include organizational affiliations, community service, alumni professionals, recommendation letters, etc.
Step 4: Earn a JD
The Juris Doctor Degree certifies a degree for practicing the law in the US. About 205 ABA-accredited schools offer the Juris Doctor Degree. Students taking this must be familiar with areas of study, the faculty, and the curriculum before they apply. There are many areas of specialization in the legal practice. Students must select the one they have a special interest in pursuing. Students may choose areas like environmental law, tax law, real estate, or family law. It takes 3 years to complete the JD.
Step 5: Succeed in the Bar Exam
In most states, it is an important requirement that lawyers pass the bar exam. Although every state has a unique testing guideline, the bar exam is usually a two-day process. On day one, students undertake the Multistate Bar Examination. On day two, they write the exam, covering various legal matters. In addition to the exam, candidates must have a sound educational background, good character, and the ability to represent people in legal matters.
Step 6: Enhance Your Career Growth
This is the last but most important of the steps to become a lawyer. Lawyers have numerous opportunities to advance their career. Usually, fresh law graduates start as associates and work closely with lawyers. They hone their skills and after several years of practice, they become attorneys and collaborate with firms. Some become judges and take up influential public positions. Lawyers can also further their education by doing masters and doctorates. Usually, they take advanced degrees like LLM (Masters of Law) and Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy).
Becoming a lawyer is a great career choice. Yes, it does mean dedicating some years to studying the profession, but in the end, it is a respectable and highly sought profession worldwide.