To become a lawyer, a license is required to practice law. A lawyer advocates on behalf of his clients and work in between the legal framework.
Becoming a lawyer is not an easy thing to do, as a right candidate has to develop and maintain the required aptitude since beginning. Let us have a look at overall process to get your law license and become a lawyer professionally:
Step 1: Complete Undergraduate Degree
An undergraduate degree is required as the first eligibility for law school or even admission test. Your major subjects at this level does not matter as you can be from any background. However, if you have maintain the aptitude from the beginning then you would have studied subjects at this level that can help you in your career.
Step 2: Qualify LAST – Law School Admission Test
LAST, Law School Admission Test is a primary step to get into a law school. Your score in LAST assess your eligibility to get admission in any the law school.
This test assess a candidate’s skills for the future legal work, which includes reading comprehensions, information management, analytical skills, reasoning, critical thinking, confidence, communication, and argumentation with logic.
Step 3: Do your Research about Law Schools
Once you qualify Law School Admission Test, do your research about best law schools, which are recognized by American Bar Association (ABA). Your grades/ CGPA, coursework in undergraduate degree, LAST scores, recommendation letters and other admission factors will help you decide about and make you eligible for admission in best law school.
At this stage, you will understand the areas of study an institute is offering, their faculty details, tuition fees and curriculum details.
Step 4: Complete and Submit your Admission Application
After selecting a law school, you will be required to complete an admission application. Law school admission Council in US helps the candidates to complete their application process for admission in law school.
Step 5: Earn a JD Degree
Juris Doctor, commonly known as JD, usually completed in three years and is a recognized degree to practice law in USA. JD is widely offered by all law schools that are recognized by American Bar Association (ABA). Be sure about your area of interest because you will be required to do specialization in one specific field.
There are numerous specialties within law studies and students are required to choose an area, which meets their interest. Students can choose for example environmental law, tax, family law, real estate, immigration, business and many more.
Step 6: Bar Examination
Once you graduate from a recognized law school, you will be required to pass bar examination. This exam is usually a two-day process however, each state has its different testing guidelines. One day in this exam is for completing the multi-state bar exam and second day is for the writing exam, which covers various legal matters.
Apart from the bar exam, the examiner in state board will also evaluate your educational background, character, competence, capability to argument and represent others in legal matters. Once the board assess you are eligible, then you will be granted the full legal license to practice law.
Step 7: Practicing Law
As a fresh graduate, you will start your career as an associate, and work with the experienced lawyers in their supervision to get polished. And after several years of professional experience, you will be a groomed attorney and will become partner in a law firm.
You can also choose to start your own law firm. Some lawyers opt to become judge or choose public positions.
Step 8: Further Education
You can further pursue studies to master or doctoral level i.e. LLM (Mater of Law) or PhD (Doctor of philosophy), Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) or Doctor of the Science of Law (JSD), or Doctor of Jurisprudence (JSD).
Best Law Schools in US
There are 201 law schools in US, which are accredited by American Bar Association (ABA). Their admission criteria and fee structures differs and it depends whether these universities offer the courses in your desirable specialty. We have researched about few best-recognized law schools in US based on their international rankings.
- Yale Law School
- Harvard Law School
- Stanford Law School
- University of Chicago law School
- Columbia University Law School
- New York University School of Law
- Northwestern University School of Law
- Duke University Law School
- Southern University Law Center
- CUNY School of Law
- University of Michigan Law School
- Emory University Law School
- University of Montana School of Law
- University of Washington School of Law
- Cornell Law School
Lawyer job varies in the work context and their area of specialty. Some work as legal counselors in corporate sector or government sector or individually, while some represent their clients in courtrooms.
This depends on a lawyer goal, that he build his own law firm or join any corporation to advocate their business matters. A lawyer can choose to teach in any law school as a profession. Therefore, the career path of lawyers depends only on their own skills and personal choices.
The industry is huge in US and for a lawyer there are lot of opportunities to work in any area. Success depends on the hard work, competence and the right specialty you choose which compliment your skills