Becoming a lawyer is one of the most prestigious jobs. It is not easy and takes a lot of effort and time. There are certain steps, skills, and subject areas that one must cover to become a lawyer. Being a lawyer means you perform activities in court on behalf of your client. An example amount of readings and knowledge in specific subjects are required to be eligible.
In the discussion below, we’ll talk about “What Subjects Do You Need to Become a Lawyer?” and few subject areas that are necessary to pass to become a lawyer and also suggest some steps that one can follow to become a successful one.
What Subjects Do You Need to Become a Lawyer: Step by Step Guideline
The job of a lawyer is challenging as he/she acts as the top-most legal advisor between crime and Law. So becoming a lawyer is not a piece of cake, and one must choose and decide intelligently in an early stage of one’s education whether he/she is up for the task.
First and foremost, we see what kind of background you must have to pursue a career as a lawyer. You must complete law school. And entering into a law school requires undergrad completion. Now, there is no fixed subject that you must graduate in, but it should be relevant to the type of field you are hoping to get in law school.
Suppose you want to become a “tax lawyer.” So, you can either have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or have a degree from a CA firm. Then a formidable score in the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), along with the completed bachelor’s degree, should be enough to get into law school and specialize in a particular field of Law.
Finally, after earning a J.D degree from the law school, you must take the State Bar exam and start practicing before taking on a case at hand. Let’s look into details about the study subjects in the following now.
1. High School and Undergrad
A 4-year bachelor’s degree is a must and first step before getting into the official education of Law. Regardless of the high school and school background, a student must have a bachelor’s degree that is relevant to the law school subject he/she plans to undertake. A student, after high school, can also obtain a bachelor’s degree in Law from a reputed university.
In that case, your next choice is nothing but getting into the law school, and you have no option to look for conventional corporate jobs. Although it is believed that no particular subject filled is required to get into the law school, it is certainly a plus point if the bachelor’s subject is relevant to the subject of the law school, as already mentioned above.
Let’s assume you want to become a criminal lawyer. So there is no particular bachelor’s subject to study before getting into law school to become a criminal lawyer. In this scenario, a student having courses that is closely related to Law can be beneficial.
This is true for other fields of interest as well. Courses like English, public speaking, government policies, public administration, history, economics, political science, sociology, accounting, psychology, etc. are all the subjects that a student can earn a bachelor’s degree in that will prove helpful for him/her in becoming a lawyer in the future.
2. Law Schools
The next step is getting admitted to law school and passing it with a competent result. Having a bachelor’s degree fulfills one requirement in admitting to law school. Another required criteria are to pass the LSAT with a good score.
The Law School Admission Test is basically an entry exam, and different training centers can help you pass the exam to get into law school. This exam is about English proficiency, technical, analytical & logical reasoning tests. Passing the LSAT means an entry in the Law School, which is a 3-year course where you specialize in your desired specific field of Law.
The law school, accredited by the American Bar Association, requires a lot of studies, hard work, and dedication to pass. There are several exams in each year of the term that you must pass with minimum required marks. After 1.5 years, you are expected to choose your specific field of interest, such as “tax lawyer,” “environmental law,” or maybe “criminal law.” You can also look for externship where you observe, participate, and learn from daily legal activities.
You also learn about legal procedures, legal writings, government policies, and legislations from the law school. Passing the law school means you earn a J.D degree, and once you pass from the law school, you can expect to give the Bar exam and start practicing lawyer activities as the last step in becoming a lawyer.
3. The State Bar Exam
The final step in becoming a lawyer is sitting for a Bar exam in your respected state or territory. This exam can consist of different levels of tests depending on the specific jurisdiction, i.e., Multiple Essay Examination (MEE).
The Bar exam allows you to become a specialized lawyer in your desired field. Passing the Bar exam means you are now eligible to practice real-life cases and work either for a private firm or under state provision as a professional lawyer.
4. Further Education
Completing the final step is not necessarily the end of your study as a lawyer. You must keep on studying various topics to get further acquainted with the Law and policies of the state. Law schools and The Bar Association cover and teach different courses of ethics, Law, and policies for a lawyer to learn even after becoming a professional one.
5. Extracurricular Activities
Although this is not directly related to study, different activities during the high school and undergrad levels can help you in getting into law schools. Debate and forensic clubs can play a very important role in building up your competency in public speaking and arguing with logical inputs that teach persuasiveness.
Overall, becoming a lawyer requires at least 7 to 8 years of study in the respected and relevant subjects. It is certainly not simple and requires a lot of hard work, a continuous study in different courses, and complete dedication. The prestige and the amount of salary is the cherry on top of all the hard work. So hopefully, now you have the answer, “What subjects do you need to become a lawyer?”