What Education Is Needed to Become a Lawyer?

Becoming a lawyer can be a rewarding career with ample salary and advancement potential. Your role would involve helping people navigate the legal system, representing clients in litigation and following laws to safeguard clients’ best interests. There are various specializations within this field such as corporate Law, family Law, intellectual Property Law and criminal Law; also available are positions with law firms or government agencies such as Department of Justice.

People looking into this profession will first need a bachelor’s degree. While it doesn’t matter which subject one chooses as their undergraduate major, ideally it should provide enough of a foundation in law school studies for them to succeed later on. Next up: taking the Law School Admission Test, or LSAT. Law schools require applicants taking this standardized assessment when applying. Some universities even offer prelaw advisors who can help students select degree programs, prepare for LSAT and gather letters of recommendation that could aid their application to Law schools.

Once accepted into law school, a student will pursue a Juris Doctor, or JD, degree program. While each school offers different courses of study for JD degrees, most offer fundamental legal studies classes like contracts, torts, and constitutional law as well as more specialized ones in criminal, international or real estate law. Students may also gain practical experience through clinical programs or externships.

After graduating law school, graduates will need to pass their state bar exam. This exam generally lasts two days and covers basic laws and regulations of their state. Candidates should prepare themselves for lengthy essays as well as being able to read complex legal documents with ease. A strong knowledge of law is key for developing sound legal arguments against cases as well as creating sound strategies against them.

Are You Eligible for Legal Practice? Qualifications to become a lawyer include possessing superior communication and interpersonal skills as well as the ability to remain calm under pressure. In addition, becoming a lawyer demands intense concentration, persistence and analytic thinking as court proceedings may take years and require multiple rounds of appeals before being resolved. Finally, using technological tools for research and case preparation would also prove advantageous.

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