Step-by-Step: How to Become a Lawyer After Getting Your Associates Degree

Individuals desiring a career as a lawyer must take on a great deal of responsibility. Lawyers work with a variety of people to assist their clients, so an importance is placed on oral and written communication skills and interpersonal skills. Individuals pursuing careers as lawyers must meet rigorous education requirements. Receiving an associates degree is the first step for many students. The remaining years of study after an associates degree depends on the undergraduate program you choose and the courses taken in your associates program. Aspiring lawyers should understand the career requirements needed to find the most successful path to a career as a lawyer.

Instructions

    • 1

      Apply to an undergraduate program at an accredited college or university. Take the necessary courses to obtain a bachelor’s degree. No specific degree requirements exist for aspiring lawyers. Many students pursue undergraduate degrees in economics, political science, philosophy and history.

    • 2

      Take the Law School Administrative Test. Law schools approved by the American Bar Association require students to take the LSAT for consideration into law programs. According to Foothill College, students should take the LSAT in the junior year of their undergraduate program.

    • 3

      Apply to law school. Meet the individual application requirements of each school you desire to attend. Most law schools require students submit an official undergraduate transcript, LSAT scores, a personal essay and letters of recommendation. Some law conduct personal interviews with students as part of the application process. Acceptance into law school is extremely competitive, so students should focus on excelling in academics and extracurricular activities.

    • 4

      Complete law school requirements. Full-time law school programs last three years. Complete the first-half of the program, which includes courses in contract law, torts, constitutional law, civil procedure and legal writing. Choose a specialization in the second-half of the program. Examples of specializations include tax, international, labor, corporate and family law.

    • 5

      Gain practical experience while in law school. Obtain a summer clerkship or part-time job in a law office, government agency or legal department of a corporation. Participate in clinical trials, legal clinics and court competitions sponsored by your school. The skills and professional connections gained through practical experience can help you land a job after graduating law school.

    • 6

      Apply to take the bar exam in your state after graduating law school. You must take the bar exam in the state you plan to work in as a lawyer. Once you pass the bar exam, you receive a license to practice law in your state. In most cases, if you wish to practice law in another state, you must pass the bar exam in that state as well.

Tips & Warnings

  • A degree from a highly regarded law school can help make you a more attractive job candidate.
  • Participating in unethical behavior can damage your chances of becoming a lawyer.
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