Tag Archives: Law Programs

Becoming a Lawyer

Pursuing a career in law may seem overwhelming; experiencing the competitiveness of being accepted into a law school, enduring the rigorous three-year law program, competing with fellow classmates for articling positions, and long hours studying and working while limiting time with family and taking vacations may dissuade others from choosing this occupation. However, being a lawyer can be extremely rewarding (emotionally as well as financially).  Those with great work ethic, high regard for education, exceptional interpersonal skills, assertiveness, compassion, and empathy will be successful in a career in law. Along with these traits, prospective law students must complete educational requirements which are explained below.

Students must first have a high school diploma (or its equivalent, such as a GED) since this is needed to enroll at a college or university for a four-year bachelor’s degree. Every law school requires its applicants to have obtained a bachelor’s degree. This undergraduate degree does not have to be in pre-law; however, it is beneficial for students to take courses related to law such as criminology, politics, government, ethics, philosophy, or economics. While completing coursework, students must maintain a high grade-point average (GPA) since law school admission boards take this number into heavy consideration when reviewing law school applications from prospective students. Upon completion of a bachelor’s degree, students must then take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). Students generally take about three full months to study and prepare for this extensive examination. The score from the LSAT is another factor law school admission boards review. It is in the student’s best interest to obtain a score in the 80th percentile or higher. Students should apply to three to five different law schools as applying and getting accepted is quite a competitive process. Once accepted, law school is a rigorous three-year program. Grades obtained during this program are extremely important as law firms look at the applicant’s ranking within their class as part of the hiring process. After the first year, students are able to obtain summer positions at a law firm to gain working experience and the opportunity to network. Before graduation, students should have researched and applied at a number of different law firms to work at. They then must take and pass the state bar exam which then certifies them as a lawyer. Students are now able to work professionally as a lawyer, working in the jurisdiction of their choice.

As seen here, pursuing a career in law is certainly not an easy task but for those who enjoy the field and are hard-working and compassionate towards others, being a lawyer can be quite gratifying.

Below are a few helpful links which are related to the legal profession.

http://www.educationchoices.com/

http://legalcareers.about.com/od/legalcareerbasics/tp/Legal-Skills.htm

http://www.law21.ca/2008/07/core-competence-6-new-skills-now-required-of-lawyers/