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Becoming a Lawyer: The Journey from Law School to Practice

December 14th, 2023

Becoming a lawyer involves a multi-step process that includes obtaining the necessary education, acquiring practical experience, and passing the bar exam. Here’s a step-by-step guide to becoming a lawyer:

Step 1: Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

Aspiring lawyers must first obtain a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. This typically takes four years of undergraduate study .
Step 2: Take the LSAT or GRE

After completing a bachelor’s degree, individuals need to study for and take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) .
Step 3: Attend Law School

Following a successful performance on the LSAT or GRE, aspiring lawyers must attend an accredited law school. Law school typically requires three years of study .
Step 4: Pass the Bar Exam

Upon completion of law school, individuals must pass the bar exam in the state or province in which they wish to practice .
Related Careers and Specializations

In addition to the practice of law, there are related career paths within the legal field, such as becoming a judge or legal professor at a university. Some individuals may also pursue legal services that do not require attending law school .
Duration of Education and Training

Becoming an attorney typically requires four years of undergraduate school and three years of law school, totaling seven years of education and training .
Majors and Qualifications

Majors that can help individuals on their journey to becoming a lawyer include criminal justice, philosophy, political science, and psychology. Additionally, completing a qualifying law degree (LLB) is necessary before taking the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) .
Alternative Routes

While the traditional route to becoming a lawyer involves attending law school, an alternative route is to undertake a legal apprenticeship, also known as “reading the law.” However, only a handful of states allow this method as a substitute for law school .
Practical Experience

It’s beneficial to seek opportunities to shadow, network with, or be mentored by practicing lawyers, as well as to pursue internships in law-related settings during college breaks and summers. These experiences can help individuals make informed decisions that lead to a successful law career .