The process and steps taken to become a lawyer can be very tough and long. Prospective lawyers must be ready to go through hustles in order for them to become licensed lawyers. They are then able to provide legal advice and represent their clients. Various steps are involved when one wants to become a lawyer. They include:
1. Completion Of A Bachelor’s Degree
This is the minimum requirement for admission into a law school. Law schools usually require an undergraduate degree for admission. Degrees in any field including political science, English, economics, philosophy, business, and even mathematics can be used for this application.
2. Pass The Law School Admission Test
The LSAT is a fundamental component of admission into law school. Scores from these tests are used to assess the quality and knowledge of applicants. All those who want to become lawyers have to sit for this standardized test. Law schools have to be accredited by relevant bodies such as the American Bar Association.
3. Law School Identification And Application
The LSAT is one of the major determinants when one is being admitted to a law school. Overall GPA and undergraduate coursework also play a role here. Organizational affiliations, community service, and recommendation letters may also play a part when it comes to law school admission.
4. Earning A Juris Doctor Degree
Here is whereby one attends law school in order for him or her to acquire the relevant skills and knowledge that are required in practicing law. The Juris Doctor degree is earned after completion of this phase. It takes about 3 years for one to be done with law school after admission.
Students should choose specialties that are within their areas of interest. One may decide to specialize in criminal, family, tax, environmental, real estate or family law.
5. Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination
It is taken as part of the bar admissions process. It is a prerequisite to the bar examinations for admission as a lawyer. It is a written test that takes 120 minutes to complete. A class on Professional Responsibility while in law school can immensely help on this test. MPRE examines the professional standards and ethics of the candidates who are aspiring to become lawyers.
6. Pass The Bar Exam
This exam involves both multiple-choice questions and an essay. Some states have adopted the Uniform Bar Examination as a standard exam while other states prefer setting their own exams. The board of bar examiners takes into consideration a candidate’s educational background, character, competence, and ability in the representation of others when awarding a license. Full legal licensure is issued once this step is completed.
7. Advancing Your Career
After getting a license, your career as a lawyer officially takes off. As a budding lawyer with no trial experience, one has to start by taking on free cases. Working on a pro bono basis will help to familiarize an individual with the judicial system. Working closely with seasoned lawyers help in honing one’s craft.
After years of gaining experience, one may decide to become a partner or open a law office. Furthering education by obtaining a masters and doctorate degree can also be pursued. These are the steps that one has to take in order for him or her to be licensed and practice law.