One of the most important decisions of your life you'll have to make during the last years of high school. You will have to decide what you want to do and where you want to go after you graduate.

It's normal for this decision to be overwhelming for some students and a breeze for others. Many students have a clear idea of what path to take after high school, some students try to figure out what skills and passions to pursue, and others are trapped somewhere in between.

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To pursue criminal law you'll need a Juris Doctor degree and fulfill many other requirements to find employment in that area. Photo by Giammarco on Unsplash

If you feel like you're somewhere in between because you're interested in Law school but you don't know much about it, don't worry, you are not the first student to have doubts and concerns!

Many students gravitate towards Law school and becoming a lawyer because studying Law sounds powerful and fancy. However, understanding exactly what it is you will learn is crucial to helping you decide if you want to pursue this career path.

Law schools are institutions that specialize in legal education and are a requirement for anyone who wishes to become a lawyer of any given field or jurisdiction.

In this article, we are going to tell you a little bit about Law school, some of its requirements, and the high school and college classes or subjects that you should pass and that will come in handy once you're enrolled in Law school.

Keep in mind that it doesn't matter if you want to become an attorney, work for firms, get a Juris Doctor degree, or work for the government as a lawyer. Either way, you will have to pass the LSAT, the Bar Exam, and complete all the requirements of Law school to obtain your degree and practice law legally.

Continue learning about the subject of choosing Law as a career after high school.

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5 things you'll need to become a lawyer

Figuring out what exactly you need to do to reach your goal of becoming a lawyer can be tricky. However, we've made a quick list of everything you must do to obtain your degree as a lawyer.

Keep in mind that many people do this process altogether year after year, but if you don't follow a strict timeline that's fine too. You can take a sabbatical year after getting your undergraduate degree or choose to wait a few months before you take the Bar exam.

Below is the list of every step you need to take to become a lawyer:

  1. Go to college - once you graduate from high school the next step is to go to a four-year program and get an undergraduate degree. There is no official requirement regarding any preferred major for law students all that matters is that you get the education and the degree. However, most law students were in political science, journalism, English, philosophy, or business programs
  2. Earn an undergraduate degree - you must complete the four-year program and graduate. Getting your bachelor's degree is one of the most important steps in becoming a lawyer.
  3. Pass the LSAT - the LSAT or Law School Admission Test is an examination that consists of multiple-choice questions in areas like critical thinking, reading comprehension, reasoning, argumentation, and other important aptitudes for future lawyers.
  4. Graduate from law school - once you pass the LSAT you can enroll yourself in Law schools in the country. There are plenty of programs to choose from, but you better apply to a bunch to guarantee admission to at least one institution.
  5. Pass the Bar Exam - finally, you need to take the Bar Exam. This exam takes two days and the state board in charge of the examination may take other factors into consideration like the candidate's character, educational background, or perceived competence.
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If you're interested in corporate law you better get a bachelor's degree in business and look for employment in different legal firms in different states. Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

Learn more about the LSAT and the Bar exam.

Useful high school classes for future lawyers

If you're a student in high school and you are considering pursuing a career in Law then there are some classes you should take that will come in handy once you're enrolled in a law program.

Here is a list of all the classes that will come in handy in the future:

  • English - the language and literature classes you're compelled to take are very important if you want to study and practice law in the future because it will help you develop your writing and reading comprehension skills. These are much-needed skills if you want to become an attorney.
  • Math - having good math skills can come in handy for anyone and in any field. Nonetheless, attorneys usually have to analyze complex numerical data and it will be really useful if you develop your mathematical skills at an early age.
  • Social studies - attorneys need to have extensive knowledge on any subject that can help describe society like economics, history, government affairs, and others.
  • Science - it might sound weird but learning the scientific method will be incredibly helpful once you start studying law because some of the steps of the scientific method (hypothesis, experimentation, observation) are used in the legal profession.
  • Public speaking - learning to speak in public is probably one of the most essential skills you'll need as a lawyer because you will have to stand up in front of entire courthouses and deliver speeches.

What USA universities are best for law majors?

Useful college classes for future lawyers

Once you start your college years you'll find out that some of the education you received in the previous years has changed or it wasn't enough to be ready for Law school.

But, there is plenty of things you can do to prepare yourself and one of those is enrolling yourself in classes that will help you develop useful skills.

Below you'll find a list of college classes that will come in handy in the future:

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If you want to study law only for the salary then you shouldn't go into it, passionate lawyers are good because they want to fight for their clients, not for the salary. Photo by Melinda Gimpel on Unsplash
  • Public speaking - we're listing this subject again because it can be useful to take the class twice and see how your level of speech has matured with the years. After all, your job will be to speak on behalf of your clients and you will perfect it over the years but it's best if you work on it constantly.
  • Statistics and data science - this can be a continuation of your math education, and as we explained above, learning to understand and follow data is very important for anyone who wants to become a lawyer.
  • American history and government - spending some time learning about history, government, and the laws of the state you live in will be very helpful once you start your law degree. It is also very important for you to learn about the historical law cases because many times they come up in trials.
  • Reading and reasoning - as a lawyer you'll spend a lot of time reading, analyzing, and interpreting contracts, depositions, and official documents. That is why you need to work on your reading and reasoning skills and taking a class or two in college can add a lot.
  • Communication - taking communication classes can help you strengthen your public speaking, argument building, and overall theatricality.

What kind of law path is best for you?

Things you'll learn in Law school

Knowing what you'll be learning as a law student is important because it could help you make up your mind. If you've always dreamed of becoming a lawyer knowing about the classes could help you get prepared.

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Part of the job of lawyers is to know the different normative throughout the states, especially if they want to practice law in New York and California. Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

There are many programs across the country but essentially they all have to teach the same things. Some schools might have different names for the same subject but overall everyone is supposed to learn the same things.

Below there's a list of some of the classes you'd be taking and the things you'll have to learn:

  • Constitutional law - you'll learn about the federal and state legislative powers and the constitutional history with a big study focus on the Bill of Rights and constitutional freedoms.
  • Criminal law - or criminal procedure is a class about the bases of criminal responsibility, the policies enforcing sanctions against people who are accused of committing offenses against other people and the public order, and the rights guaranteed to those who are charged with criminal violations.
  • Contracts - contracts are a huge part of the law and you'll be taught to read, analyze, interpret, and write contracts.
  • Legal writing - you'll be taught about this during your first year because it is one of the most important things you'll have to learn how to do.
  • Corporations - you'll learn how corporations and big companies manage their legal systems.
  • Evidence - it is very important for anyone who wants to pursue criminal law to learn about evidence.
  • International law - this is one of the many electives you'll have to choose from and many people who studied international relations during their undergraduate degree then pursue international law during Law school.

As a law student, you'll also be asked to participate in mock trials. The goal of a mock trial is to make students practice and test their abilities. This is an examination that most likely you'll have to go through every year.

Law activities or clubs to join in and out of high school.

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