One of the most interesting yet difficult professions out there is that of a lawyer, yet it can also be one of the most rewarding professions.
Like every other career field, students who want to pursue a lawyer’s career will have to put in the effort and have to invest time and money.
Contrary to popular belief, being a lawyer is quite a respectable profession, and not every lawyer is corrupted.
Thus, if you want to become a lawyer but are not sure if you can do so by sticking to your morals and ethics, be assured that you can.
You will need to spend a lot of time studying, but at the end of the day, or more specifically, the long years till you acquire your practising license, you will be rewarded with a promising career, success, and money.
If you are ready to find out more about becoming a lawyer and how long it will take you to become a lawyer, then keep on reading this article.
How to Become a Lawyer: Step-by-Step Guide
If you want to become a lawyer, you will need to follow a few steps to ensure you successfully pursue a career as a lawyer.
It has been estimated that you will take at least seven years to become a lawyer. Some people, naturally, can take few additional months.
Discussed below is a step-by-step guide on becoming a lawyer in the U.S.A. and countries where the American education system is followed.
A similar guide is followed with minor changes in other parts of the world depending on the respective education system.
Step 1: Complete Your High School Diploma
The first and most obvious step is to complete your high school education and get your diploma.
In high school, you can also practice developing the skills that will help you become a successful lawyer.
Your credentials in high school will also help you and will be an essential factor while you are deciding on which universities to apply for a bachelor’s degree.
Step 2: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
While pursuing a law degree after high school directly immediately, most countries do not approve of this system.
So instead, you will need to complete your undergraduate studies and earn a bachelor’s degree.
There is no specific bachelor’s degree you need to study.
You can study in any field. However, it is highly recommended that you study in a law-related field and help you in your further studies as a lawyer.
Some of the fields of study you can go for are listed below.
- Criminal Justice
- Public Administration
- Political Science
Step 3: Take the LSAT
At this point, many law students would like to enroll themselves in a law school.
However, students will need to pass the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) before doing that.
While LSAT is not mandatory in every school, it is advised to be taken from a country where LSAT is not provided.
Research and find out the alternative option provided in your country.
Step 4: Complete the Law Degree
Finally, you can admit yourself to a law school and get that law degree.
The law degrees vary, once again, and have different names in different countries.
In some countries, where the U.S. education system is followed, the law degree in this step is known as J.D., Juris Doctor.
In some countries, the law degree is known as L.L.B., usually offered as a bachelor’s degree.
Other potential degrees include Master of Laws (LL.M.) and Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D).
Step 5: Pass a State’s Bar Exam
You are close to the end now and will only have to take and pass the state’s bar examination.
Step 6: Get Your License
Once you pass the bar exam, you will finally acquire your license to become a practicing lawyer.
J.D. Degree Courses
If you are looking forward to pursuing a degree in law from the U.S., then according to most states’ education system, you will have to pursue a J.D. degree.
Given below is a list of courses you will focus on while pursuing a J.D. degree.
- Commercial Law
- Corporate Law
- Administrative Law
- Comparative Law
- International Law
- Intellectual Property Law
- Family Law
- Constitutional Law
- Advanced Torts
- Commercial, Business & Labor Law
Skills You Need to Become a Lawyer
You can become a lawyer simply by following the steps mentioned above.
However, to become a good lawyer, there are a set of skills you will need to develop and to hone and make part of your personality traits and qualities.
This way, these skills will become second nature to you and eventually lead you to become a successful lawyer.
You will find some of the skills you will require to be an incredible and successful lawyer in the list below.
- Speaking skills
- Writing skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Research skills
- Analytical skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Work under pressure
- Initiative and independence
- Understanding people
- Commercial awareness
- Attention to details
How Much Do Lawyers Earn?
Generally, one of the main reasons an individual might be motivated to become a lawyer would be the large sum of their earnings.
It is highly acclaimed and accepted that lawyers earn a lot in almost every part of the world.
However, to give you a general idea, given below are estimated amounts of money lawyers make yearly on an average in few countries from around the globe.
- In the U.S.A., lawyers earn an estimated amount of $120 000 annually.
- In the U.K., lawyers earn an estimated amount of £85 000 annually.
- In Australia, lawyers earn an estimated amount of $140 000 annually.
- In Jamaica, lawyers earn an estimated amount of $4 970,795 annually.
- In Egypt, lawyers earn an estimated amount of 267 003 EGP annually.
- In the Netherlands, lawyers earn an estimated amount of €95 000 annually.
- In Kazakhstan, lawyers earn an estimated amount of 7, 460, 124 ₸ annually.
- In South Africa, lawyers earn an estimated amount of R921, 262 annually.
- In Switzerland, lawyers earn an estimated amount of 200 000 CHF annually.
- In Turkey, lawyers earn an estimated amount of ₺ 313 annually.
- In Vietnam, lawyers earn an estimated amount of 858.137 ₫ annually.
- In Malaysia, lawyers earn an estimated amount of RM 176,544 annually.
- In South Korea, lawyers earn an estimated amount of ₩76,778,770 annually.
- In India, lawyers earn an estimated amount of ₹13 14,327 annually.
- In Mexico, lawyers earn an estimated amount of $547,203 annually.
- In France, lawyers earn an estimated amount of 84 051 € annually.
Area of Law Specializations
In the list below, you can find some of the areas of specialization you can choose that might help you decide the career you will pursue eventually as a lawyer.
- Property Law
- Criminal Law
- Commercial Law
- Intellectual Property Law
- Family Law
- Environmental Law
- European Union Law
- Islamic Law
- S. Law
Career Options in Law
Given below are some of the career options you can opt for as a lawyer.
- Legal careers
- Legal training
- Corporate lawyer
- Barrister’s clerk
- Company secretaries
- Associate attorney
- Immigration lawyer
- Litigation attorney
To sum it all up, going down the path of law not only as a practicing citizen but to be involved in it is challenging yet satisfying.
No matter the area of law you choose to specialize in, you will help change many people’s lives and leave a positive impact as a lawyer.
There will be times you will have to make tough decisions, but you will be prepared to do so.
Sometimes you might find certain situations challenging to your morals and ethics, and during those confounding times, you will need to stick to them the most.
Becoming a lawyer might sound daunting and too difficult to some of you, but let me assure you that the years spent studying and preparing will pass by in a blink if you are passionate about it.
You will be rewarded for your hard work, both tangibly and non-tangibly. You can leave a mark and bring a change to this world.