There are many different level of education a person has to go through to become a lawyer. In order to practice law a person needs to earn a Juris Doctor degree from law school in addition to successfully passing the Bar exam. This will take around seven years to complete. After this point a lawyer can continue to go to school to specialize in a certain area of the law. Before going to law school a potential lawyer has to successfully complete several undergraduate programs.
To start on the path to becoming a lawyer a person will need a Bachelor’s degree. While one specific content area is not required it is helpful if the students takes courses in writing , research, and communications. Suggested majors include English, Political Science, Business, or Math. Other majors are accepted but these areas are closely related to the knowledge that a lawyer is going to use in their practice.
Once a person has earned an undergraduate degree there are several requirements they must meet to attend an accredited law school. A students will have to have a certain grade point average. This may vary per school but it is recommended to have at least a 3.0 average. A person must take the Law School Admissions Test and successfully pass that. There are some other aspects that will help with acceptance including work experience and general good person character traits. Some applicants may have to interview with the school before being admitted.
A full time students can expect to be in law school for thee years. The first year will focus on general courses about the law including contracts and criminal law information. During the last year of school a person may choose a specialty to practice. In addition to work in the classroom law students have to go to court and observe trails and in some cases intern under practicing lawyers. They can also intern in legal departments and other related hands on training. In some cases judges will assist law students in their studies.
There are additional educational choices for lawyers. A Masters of Law program has many different specializations. These courses will take around one year to be completed. Specializations include international law, business law, and criminal practices. Before a lawyer can practice on their own they may take an entry level job in a law firm. They may handle low level cases before entering into the courtroom. The more education and experience a lawyer has the more respected they will be in their field.
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