A lawyer's career can be both challenging as well as rewarding and it also offers a wide scope of practice. A lawyer can have his or her own private practice, can work with a law firm or in a corporate firm, can be employed with the government or even pursue a career as a political leader. However, getting to this very lucrative career requires a lot of time and dedication towards the purpose. In fact, it is said that obtaining a lawyer's degree is tougher than obtaining a medical degree. It involves pursuing high level of education and qualifying various examinations, even after obtaining the degree. Those wanting to become a lawyer, must understand that they need to focus on their educational goals, all throughout. So, what are the qualifications to be a lawyer? Listed below are the requirements to become a lawyer.
Requirements To Be a Lawyer
There are three main lawyer requirements. The first requirement is that you should have studied for four years and achieved a bachelor's degree. After that to get enrolled into a law school you will need to pass the law school admission test. Once, you are done with this you will study in the law school to get another degree. Finally, to get the license to practice law, you will have to appear and pass the bar exam.
Obtaining a bachelor's degree is the first requirement to be a lawyer. There is no specific course that you need to pursue at this level. You can pursue a course of your choice, provided you do well in it. College grades will matter a lot, while seeking admission into a law school. When in college, you can start training yourself for law school. You will need to develop your communication skills, analytical and logical thinking, writing and researching skills. You can also take up additional courses in foreign languages, history, philosophy, public speaking, etc. Also, you can enroll for preparatory courses for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), as it is crucial in obtaining admission into a good law school.
Law School Admission Test
The law school admission test is an entrance exam for law schools, conducted four times in a year by the Law School Data Assembly Service. It mainly evaluates verbal reasoning and reading skills. Its grades are important in determining the law school, you would be enrolling into. The law schools that fall under the jurisdiction of the American Bar Association, require their applicants to qualify the LSAT. Law schools consider the applicant's LSAT scores, college grades, undergraduate school quality and if required, may also conduct a personal interview before accepting the applicant. You will also need to send your certified transcripts and college grades to the Law School Data Assembly Service, which then forwards the same to the law schools.
The first year of law school involves the study of courses such as legal writing, contracts, property law, civil procedure, constitutional law and torts. In the remaining two years, you would be pursuing specialized courses, like corporate law, tax or labor law. The three years in law school would also include activities, like moot court competitions, practicing in legal clinics and practicing under experienced judges and lawyers. At the end of the three years, successful students obtain the 'juris doctor' degree.
Those who would like to teach or research in the field of law, would need to acquire advance law degrees. Others can become accident lawyers, bankruptcy lawyers, divorce lawyers, etc.
A law school pass out, holding a 'juris doctor' degree, would need to get licensed before he/she can practice in a court of law. Getting licensed would mean being admitted to the bar of the State, under the rules established by the State's highest court. For this, you would have to qualify a written examination conducted by the bar and also a written ethics examination. The criteria for qualifying these examinations is - that the applicant should be a graduate from an American Bar Association accredited law school and should hold a valid college degree.
These requirements to be a lawyer, will help you obtain the degree required, but to be a successful lawyer you would need certain qualities like perseverance, the ability to reason appropriately and effective communication skills with the clients. These were the requirements to become a lawyer in United States. However, the requirements to be a lawyer change slightly from country to country.