The decision to become a lawyer should start at the high school level. The study habits you develop will help you on the path to becoming a lawyer. You should strive to make the highest grades possible. Your high school grades and activities are taken into consideration when applying to colleges and universities.
Law Degree Requirements
Becoming a lawyer takes a total of seven years, and you must pass the bar exam. Every law school requires a four-year bachelor’s degree from a university or college, and law school takes another three years to complete. You should study English, government, history and public speaking. These courses will help you prepare for a law career. Philosophy, economics and mathematics are also important subjects to consider. Get involved in student activities such as debate teams, student government councils and other organizations.
During your last year in college, you should register to take the Law School Admission Test. This is a standardized test that provides information about your acquired reading and verbal reasoning skills. The results of this test is used as one factor in determining whether you are accepted to law school. The test is offered several times a year at universities and colleges across the country.
The law schools you apply to should be accredited by the American Bar Association, but many candidates apply to several law schools. Read reports and journals that give you an overview of the best law schools. Since you will be advised against working, check into financial aid and other programs. Law programs require a lot of dedication and study, so work to improve your grades during the first year of law school. Afterwards, you may be able to qualify for grants. You should expect to spend many hours studying while attending law school.
At some point during your first year of law school, you will need to take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination. You need a passing score of at least 75. California and a few other states require a score of 86. Find out the passing score requirements in your state by visiting their website. Consider working at summer internship programs while you are out of school. You will gain some experience and build business contacts that can help you when you graduate.
Once you finish law school, you will need to determine which type of lawyer you want to specialize in such as divorce, real estate or personal injury, as well as other types including criminal, civil and immigration. Law school gives you the basic foundation you need to study any type of law. You can also choose to be a general practice lawyer that works in a variety of law specialties.
The bar exam covers a large range of topics pertaining to law. Specializing in a particular field of law will allow you to achieve greater expertise than if you were to become a general practitioner. Becoming a lawyer will help clients resolve their complicated issues. Choose a specialty that coincides with your interests, skills and personality to ensure your happiness and success.