Whether youâ€™re looking to make a significant change to society or just want a rewarding career, becoming a lawyer is an excellent choice. Youâ€™ll work with clients in a legal setting to ensure that their rights are protected and that they have access to the courts when necessary.
However, law isnâ€™t a career that comes easy. It requires extensive education, certifications and a lot of time and effort. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the length of the process and still achieve your goal of being an attorney.
Get a Bachelorâ€™s Degree
A bachelorâ€™s degree is the first step to becoming a lawyer. A degree in business, criminal justice, economics, psychology, English or another discipline that develops analytical and critical thinking skills is a great start.
Apply for a Summer Internship or Clerkship
A summer internship or clerkship is an important way to gain practical experience and build connections that can lead to future employment. During this time, youâ€™ll have the opportunity to shadow a working lawyer and develop your professional skills.
Attend Law School
The most common path to becoming a lawyer is to go to an accredited law school. These institutions are regulated by the American Bar Association (ABA) and provide a quality learning environment for law students.
Take the Bar Exam
After completing your degree, you need to take the bar exam in your state of residency. This is a comprehensive test that will determine if you have the knowledge and skills to practice law in your jurisdiction. Youâ€™ll also need to pass a background check and demonstrate that you have good moral character.
Earn a Masterâ€™s or Legal Certificate
Many lawyers choose to pursue a masterâ€™s or legal certificate to expand their skill sets and enhance their career opportunities. These programs can be completed in just a few months, and they are available for many different law-related topics. Recommended this site workers compensation lawyers .
Get a Job in the Law
Once youâ€™ve finished law school, your next step is to find a job in the legal field.
There are a number of options available to you, including internships, clerkships, and full-time positions with large law firms or small local law offices.
Be an Apprentice or a Student Solicitor
If youâ€™re interested in a law career but donâ€™t have the time to attend law school, consider an apprenticeship program. This option is available in most states and can be a good way to break into the profession before committing to years of schooling.
Study Abroad or the US
If you are willing to devote the time and effort required to complete a degree, studying abroad is an excellent option for obtaining your law degree. The United Kingdom and Australia/New Zealand both have law degrees that are less expensive than those in the US, and the job markets are more robust.
Even though it takes a bit longer to get your law degree in the UK or Australia/New Zealand, itâ€™s well worth it for the high-quality education and opportunities available. Moreover, itâ€™s possible to find a well-paying internship in these countries that can give you a leg up on finding a job after graduation.