Lawyers operate as advocates for their clients in the legal system. In criminal matters, the lawyer may be prosecuting or defending a client in court. Civil proceedings, on the other hand, might range from property disputes to class action settlements. Whatever type of lawyer a person chooses to be, there are a few degree criteria that must be met before applying for a license.
What Degree Does a Lawyer Need?
To become a lawyer, one must complete seven years of formal education. Students can proceed to the next level after earning a bachelor’s degree from a college or university. They must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) the following year (LSAT). The student’s university grades and LSAT score will influence whether or not they get admitted to their first-choice law school.
Before obtaining a Juris Doctorate, which takes three years and is required of all lawyers, the vast majority of lawyers must first get a bachelor’s degree. A Juris Doctor degree must be received from an institution approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) in order to be considered valid (ABA). After enrolling in law school, students can select from a wide range of subjects, including property law, labor law, contracts, civil process, corporate law, constitutional law, and taxation law, among others.
What Types of Bachelor’s Degrees Should Students Pursue?
According to the rules, students with any form of bachelor’s degree can apply to law school. While there is no necessary major, students who take classes in public speaking, history, mathematics, English, government, and economics will have an easier time getting into law school. Several colleges offer a pre-law program to help students prepare for the transition from undergraduate to graduate school after finishing their bachelor’s degree. Furthermore, criminal justice is a popular major for individuals seeking to attend law school.
In general, students should select a major that is compatible with their long-term goals. If the undergraduate university does not offer a pre-law program, students should enroll in courses that meet the prerequisites for admission to the law school of their choice. Students who major in philosophy, English, or economics will benefit from their decision. In contrast to philosophy degrees, which prepare students for critical thinking, English degrees prepare students to write and read critically. Students who major in economics will be better prepared to understand the commercial aspects of establishing a law firm.
What Happens After Law School?
Law school graduates haven’t finished their task yet. Anyone who wishes to become a lawyer must first pass a test known as the bar exam. If students pass this exam, they are considered to have been admitted to the bar.
The rules for obtaining a bar license differ from state to state. Most states, in general, do not allow students with felony records or substance addiction issues to attend college. Applicants who have been dishonest in school may be unable to apply for the position. Students must also graduate from an ABA-accredited law school and pass the bar exam as part of the process of becoming a member of the bar.
If the lawyer wishes to practice law in another state, they must retake the bar exam. If a lawyer wishes to preserve their license, the state may require them to complete continuing legal education every one to three years. The state determines the number and nature of classes.
Do You Need To Go To Law School?
Despite the fact that some states offer other paths to becoming a lawyer, law school is required in the vast majority of states. Even in places where students are able to take the bar exam without having received a law degree, there are still difficulties that candidates should be aware of. In the state of Washington, students can technically study and work for a lawyer for a set length of time instead of attending law school for a set period of time. After that, they are entitled to take the bar exam. Only a tiny percentage of students take advantage of this opportunity because it can be difficult to find a practicing lawyer ready to serve as a mentor to a law student. Even if students are able to secure the assistance of a practicing attorney as a mentor, they will have a more difficult time finding employment without a law degree.
In general, prospective lawyers will need to spend seven years in school before they can take the bar exam and become licensed to practice law in their jurisdiction. Graduates of a bachelor’s degree program will move on to law school, where they will spend an additional three years after graduation. Students who get a bachelor’s degree and a Juris Doctor degree are qualified to take the bar exam and seek a career as a practicing lawyer.