What Are The Steps To Becoming A Lawyer?

Lorene MarkowitzFebruary 2, 2024

A lawyer is also known as an attorney. The majority of lawyers specialize in a particular field of law, for example, criminal law, real estate law, family law, immigration law, etc. It is the responsibility of lawyers to consult with their clients and offer legal advice on how to resolve their disputes. Their duties may include preparing documents for court, representing clients in mediation or court proceedings, and other negotiation activities. 

Additionally, lawyers might need to prepare for trials with evidence to support their client's claim so that they can obtain the most favorable outcome possible for their client.

What Does A Lawyer Do?

A lawyer's duties may include representation in court and offering legal advice regarding personal or business matters. Regardless of the case, your role requires researching laws and judicial rulings that can be applied to your client's specific situation. 

It is possible to specialize in a particular area of law, for example, environmental law, intellectual property law, or criminal, civil, or international law.

Step 1: Earn A Bachelor's Degree

In order to be admitted to law school, you must have a bachelor's degree. The law school admissions process does not include any required courses or recommended majors. Nevertheless, courses focused on developing writing, reading, speaking, logic, and research skills can be useful. 

Law schools may prefer accepting applicants who have taken courses that provide an intellectual challenge.

Step 2: Take The Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

Your LSAT scores must be submitted as part of your application to a law school. This test is conducted by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) and measures your reading, comprehension, reasoning, and critical thinking abilities. 

There are multiple-choice questions on the LSAC test, which is divided into five parts. You can retake the exam for those who feel their LSAT scores do not accurately reflect their ability.

Step 3: Earn Your Juris Doctor (J.D.) Degree

It typically takes three years to complete law school and earn a Juris Doctor degree. As a law student, you begin with courses in constitutional law, contracts, torts, legal writing, and property law. 

Later, you can take electives in areas that interest you, for instance, corporate law, tax law, or labor law. As a law student, you will have the opportunity to participate in mock trials, participate in legal clinics, and write for the law journal.

Step 4: Consider Participating In A Clerkship

It may be possible for you to complete a part-time clerkship or a summer clerkship as a law student. A clerkship gives you the opportunity to earn experience working in a law firm, a government agency, or a corporate office. It is possible for some law students to obtain employment after completing a clerkship.

Step 5: Pass Your State Bar Examination

As a prerequisite to practicing law in the United States, it is necessary to pass the state bar examination and obtain a license. According to your state's requirements, you may have to pass a written bar exam, along with a written ethics exam. As a lawyer who wishes to practice law in more than one state, passing the bar exam in each state is typically necessary.

Would you like to know the role and duties of local law enforcement? Read our blog to learn.

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