Think you have what it takes to study countless hours of case law and criminal statutes and sweat your way through the bar exam? Learn how to become a lawyer.
According to an American Bar Association survey, there are over 1,338,600 licensed attorneys in the U.S. This is a 15.2 percent rise in the number of lawyers over the past decade.
This simply shows just how lucrative the profession has become. Thus, it’s no surprise why many would want to join the practice. Especially with the growth opportunities and the high pay that can hit an hourly mean wage of $56.81.
So, what does it take to be a lawyer?
If you think you can endure countless hours studying criminal and case law, and you’re ready to sweat through the dreaded bar exam, read on to learn how to become a lawyer in five steps.
1. Get a Bachelor’s Degree
This is the minimum requirement for admission to law school. The American Bar Association doesn’t recommend any particular field, meaning that you can undertake a course of your liking.
Over the years, students admitted to law school have had degrees from nearly every area of study, including political science, economics, business, journalism, philosophy, and even mathematics.
2. Pass the Admission Test
As part of the admission process to law school, you must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).
Admission officers use LSAT’s scores to access the quality and knowledge of applicants. Usually, the LSAT measures your skills in crucial areas of legal framework like information management, reading comprehension, critical thinking, analysis, and reasoning.
3. Complete Admission
The third step to becoming a lawyer is identifying your preferred law school and getting admitted.
Prospective lawyers should only consider American Bar Association-accredited law schools.
Many law schools consider factors like leadership qualities, organization affiliations, and community service. Recommendation letters from legal professionals, educators, and alumni may also help,
4. Earn a Juris Doctor’s Degree
Law school lasts for about three years after which you’ll graduate with a Juris Doctor degree.
While starting out, you’ll undertake courses in property law, constitutional law, labor law, and tax law. As you progress, you’ll have elective courses such as corporate law that’ll shape your career. For instance, a Nashville medical malpractice lawyer specializes in cases that involve medical negligence in Tennessee.
Also, your time in school may involve activities like legal clinics, mock trials, and writing law journals.
5. Pass the Bar Examination
Bar exams are a two-day process. The first day covers the Multistate Bar Examination, and the second day involves writing legal matters.
This examination gets administered by the state’s board of examiners. The board assesses your educational background, character, competence, and ability to represent others before giving you full legal licensure.
Final Thoughts on How to Become a Lawyer
Now that you know the steps on how to become a lawyer, take advantage of the many opportunities available. You’ll probably start out as an associate working with a seasoned lawyer, then become a partner in the firm. Better yet, you can start your own practice.
Check out this post to learn more about starting your own law firm.