How Long Does it Take to Become a Lawyer?
One of the most important decisions a person can make is what they will do as a career. Nurse or chef? Elementary teacher or dolphin trainer? The options are numberless. No matter the career you choose, there will be some kind of training required. These training periods vary greatly according to the kind of career you are pursuing. If you want to become a lawyer, for example, it will take quite a bit of time, usually at least seven years. Here is the usual progression through the education required topractice law.
Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree
The first thing you will need to do if you want to become a lawyer is obtain a bachelor’s degree. Your choice of major isn’t particularly important. What matters is that you do well and complete your program. Some law school hopefuls study English, to improve their communication skills, some study History, to give them a good foundation for studying the law, while some people pick a less common major in hopes of attracting the attention of law school admission counselors. If you know what area of the law you’d like to focus on once you get to law school, you can choose a major related to that field. If you attend school full time, you can expect your bachelor’s degree program to take four years.
Take the LSAT
In preparation for sending out applications to law schools, you will need to take the Law School Admission Test, or LSAT. This is a standardized test designed to ensure that you have the basic knowledge required to succeed in law school. You will want to study and prepare for this test, as it can form a major part of your law school application. Of course, the test is not all that matters to admissions counselors. However, you will want to present the best image you can by doing well on this test.
Apply to Law Schools
During the fall of your senior year of college, you will need to submit your applications to law schools. Where you decide to apply will depend on many factors: where you want to live, which schools have the kind of emphasis you are interested in, tuition costs, and your own eligibility to attend. Law school can get expensive, so don’t hesitate to apply for financial aid and scholarships.
Complete Law School
Once you’ve been accepted into law school, it generally takes three years to complete your program. Law school has a reputation for being a lot of hard work and long hours. If you can, it’s best to attend law school full time. However, if you need to work, you might want to consider attending part-time since law school can be so demanding. This might add another year to your program. All in all, from bachelor’s degree to law school completion, plan on spending about seven years in order to become a lawyer.