One of the most traditional forms of employment that people often dream of doing from the time they are kids is to become a lawyer and practice law. We grow up watching television shows and movies about the wise or clever attorneys who use their intelligence and skill to win the big case and save the day. While the popular view of becoming a lawyer as a way to live a life of luxury is not necessarily the case, practicing law can be a rewarding career to pursue and can lead to other careers such as political office.
But how does one become a lawyer? Don’t you have to come from a rich family and study at Harvard? Fortunately, the answer to that is no. You don’t have to be rich, but you do need to be prepared for a lot of time and study working toward this rewarding career choice. Here are a few steps you will take on the way to becoming a lawyer.
Get an undergraduate degree.
Most places require their lawyers to have a law degree before they can apply to take the test, called the bar exam, that lawyers are required to take to prove they are qualified. But before you can go to law school, you have to a have a basic four-year bachelor’s degree. Now, because the law applies to almost every industry and field of study, you don’t necessarily have to get your four-year degree in any particular subject, it does help to take a pre-law program if your college or university offers that.
Pass the LSAT.
Before you will be accepted into law school, you have to pass an exam known as the Law School Admissions Test, or LSAT. This is similar to the entrance exams you had to take to get into regular college, like the ACT, but focuses on the kinds of subjects law students will need to be proficient in if they are to succeed in their studies. You can usually find excellent study materials to help you pass the LSAT in your local bookstore or library.
Get accepted into a college law program.
Like any graduate level college course, it is not easy to get into law school. You have to work hard and study in your undergraduate program and graduate with a decent grade point average. Slackers will not cut it. You will also want to have related extracurricular activities such as participation in student government or interning at a law firm.
Graduate from law school.
A typical law program will take you about a year, and it can be a grueling year. You will have to devote a lot of time to study and research, as well as learning how to present a case in court. This is where they separate the little boys and girls from the men and women who will represent citizens in their legal matters. And if you can graduate with honors, you can have your pick of firms to work for after you graduate.
So, your dreams of becoming a lawyer can be realized. And you don’t even have to be a traditional college age student to start on your way. Very often people choose to pursue a law career later in life. So, what are you waiting for? You have the information you need to get started now. The only thing holding you back now is you.