Steps To Becoming A Lawyer

Becoming a lawyer is considered by many to be a very positive career choice, in spite of all the ridicule and suspicion that the profession may receive in certain circles. After all, lawyers are an important part of a functioning lawful society, and the rewards that come from representing individuals and corporations can be great. Beyond that, many others enter the profession for more idealistic reasons, such as a desire to protect innocent people from unfair accusations, or the vulnerable from the abuses of tyrannical laws. Regardless of the motivations behind a step towards a career in law, there is a clear route that all must take, and it can be clearly defined.

Be aware that depending on what sort of cases you want to take on, you will probably have to vary a little from what is described here. There are lawyers, for example, who specialise in certain cases over others, such as David Heil’s personal injury firm. Keep this in mind if you do have your mind set on a specific line of attorney work. You may even want to find practising attorneys who specialize in the area of law you wish to go into, so that you can source their experience and advice to guide you as you start your journey towards a new career.

Steps To Becoming A Lawyer

Build Your Foundations Firmly, And Early

As with all things, the sooner you start to prepare this the easier you will find it to succeed in your ambitions. This means getting high grades in high school and going soon after to college for a Bachelor of Arts degree. While the obvious choice for a major would be Law, there’s nothing stopping you from taking a major in other areas too. Most law schools are interested in your overall GPA and where you studied, rather than your specific coursework in that regard. You want to get into the best college possible and achieve the best possible grades while you’re there too, so make sure you knuckle down.

Taking part in debate clubs, mock trials, political organisations, and any courses that help develop your ability to speak in public, as well as your understanding of law and legal precedent.

Make sure becoming a lawyer is really what you want to achieve – you must not go into it thinking that it’s all high-stakes court hearings and clear cut cases with obvious bad guys. Being a lawyer is hard, stressful, and frequently thankless work, with just as much chance of failure as there is success. Also be aware that studying in college is not an excuse to cut loose and party. If you want to become a lawyer, you must study hard and make sure you hit those high GPAs in order to secure the interest of a law school, and those oh-so-valuable scholarships and grants.

Attend a Law School

Before you can attend a law school, you’ll need to complete a Law School Admission Test (LSAT).

You’ll have the opportunity to take this exam four times a year, so don’t worry too much if you’ve found out you just missed one. The basis of this exam is to examine and assess your capacity for comprehensive reading, analysing information and using logic to solve problems. Your LSAT score is one of several things any prospective law school will look into before considering your application.

Once you completed your LSAT, you can apply for a law school. All states require you’ve completed a course at such a school before you can be called up to the bar. When applying to a law school, you’ll be evaluated on your LSAT results, your grade point average, the school you attended, extracurricular activities and other factors — all of which will influence whether or not your application is accepted. If you’ve done everything right, you should be able to get a position and take your next step in becoming a lawyer.

While in law school, take every opportunity to expand your knowledge and experience in law and its practise. Look at courses directly relevant to your career plans, and consider getting a job at a law firm while you’re studying. The latter especially would be invaluable, not just for the income but for the hands-on experience and the ability to network and make connections that could help you upon graduation.

Take the Bar Exam

This is the final step to becoming a lawyer. Before the bar exam, expect a moral screening process.

This is to prove you have a clean criminal record and have the moral character necessary to practise law. Expect to be asked for fingerprints, references, and a general examination of your personal ethics before you’re allowed to take the bar exam.

Every state will have its own individual exam that tests whether or not an applicant is ready or suitable to practise law. Some states have also adopted the Uniform Bar Exam, which allows some level of interstate practise. These may be taken while still studying in law school, should the state you’re studying in allow it.

Christian Mills is a freelance writer and professional student who offers articles and opinions on a variety of topics in education and everyday life, distilling the complexities of the modern world into practical, down-to-earth advice.

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