There are many different careers that you can find yourself working in if you are living in the United States with only a bachelor's degree, or maybe even without a degree entirely!
Many employers in the United States will prefer you to have a college degree when working for them and will prefer applicants with a bachelor's degree.
How does this apply to the field of law?
Law is one of those fields of study that will actually ask you to have more than just a 4-year bachelor's degree when applying to law firms in the United States.
If you want to be a lawyer it will take loads of patience, studying, and hard work. It is one of the most respected careers in the United States, as well as one of the most popular and high paying.
If you become a great lawyer you will also earn a higher salary, and that getting to that point starts when you are studying during your law school days, college days, and even your high school days.
You will need to study much more than your 4-year bachelor's degree, you will need to go to law school as well as pass some exams.
The best law schools can prepare you for these qualification exams, as well as give you the best chance of finding a top law firm to work in and prepare you for all that it takes to become a qualified and great lawyer.
So what should you study when you get out of high school? What law schools are the best in the country? and what exams do you need to pass to become a certified lawyer in the United States?
Keep reading and find out what you can do to become a certified lawyer.
Education you will need to become a lawyer
Some advice that you could use to begin your path to becoming a fully certified lawyer in the United States is to know what you should study while you are still in high school and college. Understand that studying to become a lawyer is a pretty risk-free career choice wherever you choose to study.
However, if you want your resume to stand out once you finish college you should study and excel in the correct subjects and majors if you want to stand out to law firms once you finish your studies.
To become a lawyer you will need to pass law school, which isn't exactly easy to get into. So what can you study during your undergrad in college to give you a better chance of getting into the law school of your choice?
- Law and Legal Studies
- Social sciences
Law and Legal studies are the obvious choices if you want to get into law school someday and become a lawyer. Studying this major will teach you the finer points of the law and even about the different types of law that exist.
Deciding to directly study law, will give you an upper hand when applying to law school, history, and social science also help, however studying law during your undergrad degree will make your application stand out more, especially if it is at the top university in the country.
What you need to be a certified lawyer
Once you finish a bachelor's degree and you have decided you want to try and become a lawyer you will have to go to law school. Like becoming a doctor or a teacher a bachelor's degree is not enough, you also need to become certified to practice law in the United States.
To do that you will need a Juris Doctor degree and then take a bar exam.
Something you may not know is that each state also has its own certifications so you will need to pass an exam in each state to practice law in that specific state, more on that later.
Law school in the United States takes 3 years to complete and of course, the purpose of going to law school is to study law in the United States.
You will study a mandatory curriculum then you are free to choose your own field of law to focus on. Choosing what type of lawyer you would like to be before you get to law school or during your first year at law school will help you to work in a certain field of law.
Some examples of fields of law you can check out are:
- Corporate law
- Tax law
- Criminal law
- Medical law
Studying for three years and passing your classes and exams will earn you a Juris Doctor degree or JD degree which is a professional doctorate. Once you have that degree you will have to pass the bar exam in your state and/or the state where you wish to practice law.
To practice in these fields of law, you will need to pass the bar exam. The bar exam is an exam that is created in each state to certify lawyers to practice law in that state.
It isn't an easy exam however you can definitely pass if you study hard during the 7 years prior.
The bar exam takes place over 2 days and the format in each state can be different however most jurisdictions cover more or less the same topics for the exam.
This includes Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Federal Civil Procedure, and Constitutional Law as well as some other topics.
Deciding on where you will take the bar exam can depend on a few different factors. Where you are currently living and where you want to live are huge factors.
Then you must also go by what field of law you plan to specialize in. In some places like New York City you may find that corporate law is much easier to find jobs in than in Kansas, however, another type of law like elder care law is better in a different state.
So taking the bar exam based on your specialty would be a really smart move.
Studying law and for the bar exam with a private tutor
The bar exam is not easy at all and there is a lot you will have to learn when it comes to the law and legal studies in the United States.
Like studying any subject, studying something can become extremely overwhelming, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to look for some outside help while you are studying for your bachelor's degree or while you are studying in law school.
One great option you have is to look for a private tutor that specializes in legal studies, and there are even some that have knowledge of the bar exam.
If you need to find a tutor like that an awesome platform to use is Superprof.
There are plenty of tutors on Superprof who can help you with your legal studies as well as help you to prepare for the bar exam.
You can check to see if a tutor will be a good match thanks to their opinions that have been left by their previous students as well as what the tutor specializes in and how he or she can help you prepare for everything you will need to learn and study.
Best universities to study law
So now that you know about what you will need to get to become a certified attorney in the United States, and you aren't scared yet about all of the hard work you will need to do, you should check out the best law schools in the USA.
The best way of entering the world of professional law as ready as possible is going to a top school especially a school that can hang its hat on its law program.
Some colleges and universities around the country are more reputable when it comes to their legal studies undergraduate programs as well as their law schools.
Law schools can be really expensive, especially the best ones, so that is something to consider, however as a lawyer you should have a great chance at earning a high salary to quickly pay off any loans, just make sure you are ready to enter law school and work hard the three years to earn your JD degree.
Some of the best university law schools in the country include:
- Yale Law School
- Stanford Law School
- Harvard Law School
- The University of Virginia School of Law
- Columbia School of Law
- Duke Law School
Working hard in high school to earn a scholarship will help you to get in and not have to worry about having to pay a lot for tuition as well as getting into these schools which have ridiculously high standards, so from high school onwards, you're going to have to prepare if you want to become a good lawyer.
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