How to Become a Lawyer

Written by

Ray Grant Walden


August 14, 2014



Almost every aspect of the U.S. society is affected by the legal system, from crossing the street to purchasing a home. Highly trained professionals form the backbone of the legal system and connect it to society in a variety of ways. These professionals are lawyers.

What does a lawyer do?

Lawyers (also known as attorneys) act as society advisors and advocates for a broad range of issues. As advisors, they advise their clients about their legal rights and responsibilities and recommend certain courses of action in personal and business issues. As advocates, lawyers represent one of the sides in civil and criminal trials by arguing in court to support their client and presenting evidence to support their arguments. All lawyers research judicial decisions and the intent of laws and apply them to the certain situations that their clients face.

Lawyers can specialize in a variety of areas such as trials, environmental law, bankruptcy, elder, international, insurance, and probate. Majority of lawyers have private practices and concentrate on civil or criminal law. Local, state, and federal governments employ many lawyers.

What kind of training does a lawyer need?

To become a lawyer, it typically takes 7 years of full-time education with 4 years of undergraduate study and 3 years of law school. Students applying to law school must have a bachelor degree and are required to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Aspiring lawyers should also be proficient in reading, writing, speaking, analyzing, researching, and logical thinking. Graduates must pass a written bar examination to become licensed to practice. State requirement often vary, but most states also require applicants to separately pass a written ethics examination. Many States also require applicants to take a one-time required Multi-state Performance Testing to assess practical skills. Lawyers must keep up to date on legal developments and are required in many states to complete continuing legal education.

What are the prospects for a career as a lawyer?

Employment of lawyers is projected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 11% through 2016.

Job growth will be driven by population growth and the increase in legal transactions, criminal cases, and civil disputes. Job prospects are expected to be good with keen competition. The best prospects will be for graduates with excellent grades from law schools that are highly regarded.

How much do lawyers make?

As of 2015, the average annual salary of a lawyer in the United States is 74,000 according to Lawyers with less than 1 year experience earned yearly salaries around $56,326. Those with 1 to 4 years experience earned around $63, 691 a year and those with 5 to 9 years experience earned around $87,669 a year.

A career as a lawyer is an excellent profession for individuals who enjoy working with people and can win the confidence and respect of the public and their clients and associates. Creativity, perseverance, quick thinking, and reasoning ability are also essential qualities for anyone considering whether and how to become a lawyer.

Becoming a Lawyer Requires Skills & Training, Start Today

Are you serious about becoming a Lawyer? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the  College Mouse Degree Search tool  to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Written by:  Ray Grant Walden

Ray Grant Walden attended American University College and now lives in Houston. He has enjoyed a very exciting career and has experience in a wide variety of professions, including college counseling.

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