Steps to becoming a Lawyer
Lawyers are needed in every field. If you are really interested in doing law and legal practice, then carefully consider the following steps. These steps would guide you take a right decision and become a lawyer. They contain in-detail information on relevant education, training, entrance and license requirements for lawyers to practice in the court of law across the U.S.
Before enrolling on to any law program across the United States, the first step would be to obtain your undergraduate degree from any institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. You would then choose a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). Interestingly, although there are no typical undergraduate majors to help you succeed at studying law or you becoming an attorney, but pre law major subjects such as history, political science, economics, philosophy, journalism, government, and English would be quite helpful in letting you become a lawyer. In addition to your undergraduate degree, you’ll take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) as a measure of your skills in the core areas of law. There could be other factors, such as community service, professional memberships, and recommendation letters from educators, alumni or legal professionals.
Lawyers have a great employment potential in multiple fields and specialties. They could join the areas of real estate, criminology, environment, insurance, family law, labor and taxation, corporate law or administrative law. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean annual wage for lawyers was around $114,970 in 2014, which is much higher than the national average. According to BLS, there would be 10% growth of employment in legal careers between 2012 and 2020. This would create more than 74,800 job positions in the areas of business and corporate law, healthcare, intellectual property rights, real estate and litigation.
The Juris Doctor (JD) is the nationally recognized three year, full time study degree for law practice in the U.S. This degree is offered by 205 ABA accredited law schools across the U.S. The law graduates are also required to pass the State Bar Exam set out by each state in accordance with its own state regulations. The freshman lawyers usually begin as law associates with senior lawyers and after gaining a certain level of experience, may either pursue higher education of the Master of Law (LLM), PhD, or may become a judge and move onto public offices.
To practice law, the Lawyers across the U.S. need to complete an undergraduate degree, earn a three year Juris Doctor (JD), and pass the respective State’s Bar Examination. In the recent times, the industry demands have led to the formal board certifications of the lawyers in their specialized skill set areas from the National Board of Legal specialty. The specialties include Civil Pretrial Practice, Trial Lawyer, Family Lawyer, Social Security Disability Lawyer, and Criminal Trial Lawyer.