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Courtroom by Penn State Law

How to Become a Lawyer

The legal profession is a very prestigious one. Lawyers are well-respected in the society and ranks among the best-paid professionals anywhere. It is not surprising then to see many young people aspiring to become one someday. This post is aimed at guiding those interested in knowing how to become a lawyer. We present some useful tips below.

Start early

It is ideal to start working toward becoming a lawyer right from the time you are in high school, rather than waiting until when you are about to enter college. You should aim at and work hard toward attaining good grades while in high school. It is equally advisable to seize every opportunity to participate in public speaking events such as debates.

Obtain an undergraduate degree

Law schools in the country require prospective students to have an undergraduate degree, so you will have to attend a 4-year college specializing in one of the fields that are approved by the law school you have in focus. The more popular undergraduate majors of prospective law school students include English, government, political science, history, philosophy and economics. Be actively involved in student organizations and grab every opportunity to develop your public-speaking skills while in college.

Take and pass LSAT

It is required for prospective law students to take and pass the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) before being considered for admission. This is a requirement not only by all law schools accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA), but also by a good number of non-ABA-accredited law schools as well as schools in Canada. Many of these schools require that the test be taken latest by December for fall admission.

Attend law school

You have the option of proceeding to law school immediately after obtaining your undergraduate degree, and passing LSAT, or you may work for some years with the degree earned before starting your application to law schools. It is advisable to exercise due diligence when choosing schools by considering ABA accreditation status. Take note of school fees when applying and resist being tempted by application fee waivers sent by some of these schools. Be serious with your program and endeavor to get close to some of your professors when in. You will usually be required to take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) after your first year. Choose a law specialty that you are very comfortable with when the time comes for that.

Get experience

While in law school, it is recommended that you endeavor to garner work experience in law firms. You should aim to undertake at least one summer internship program. This not only enables you gain useful experience, but also build a network of people you may need in future.

Pass bar exam

Before you can practice after completing law school, you must take and pass the bar exam as stipulated by the highest court in the state you aim to practice. This exam is usually taken the summer after graduation. In addition to passing the bar exam, a board of examiners will also assess your worthiness to be called to the bar before granting licensure.

There you have the average steps involved in becoming a lawyer. It should be noted that it does not end with getting a license to practice. You will also need to continue building on your knowledge, taking special courses at least every three years.



Image: Flicker/Penn State Law


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