How To Become An Attorney

Educational Requirements
This profession requires a committing a significant amount of time to your education. Students enrolled as full-time students could have to spend up to 7 years in school. Prospective attorney must begin by acquiring a 4-year bachelor's degree followed by 3 years at law school. American Bar Association (ABA) approved law schools require applicants to hold an undergraduate degree; a specific major is not required. After this applicants will have to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).Once admitted to law school, students will be focusing on the study of law and its various branches including constitutional law, contracts, evidence, real property, criminal law and procedure, torts, business associations, family law, conflict of laws, federal and state civil procedure, trusts and estates, and Uniform Commercial Code. This juris doctor (JD) degree will make you eligible to sit for the state's bar exam.

Licensure And Certification
Almost all states require candidates to be licensed before they are allowed to practice as attorneys. This involves passing a bar exam. The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) administers the following examinations; your state and jurisdiction requirements will determine the ones that you have to pass:

  • Multistate Performance Test (MPT)
  • Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE)
  • Multistate Bar Examination (MBE)
  • Multistate Essay Examination (MEE)
  • Uniform Bar Examination (UBE)

After passing the bar exams, you will be admitted to your state's bar. Attorneys must also frequently refresh and update their knowledge and skills by attending continuing education programs every two or three years. After completing a specific number of years in law practice, licensed attorneys may gain legal specialty certification in areas such as criminal, family, and civil law.

Distinguishing Characteristics
To succeed in this field, attorneys must cultivate good persuasion and negotiation skills. They must also have excellent communication and comprehension skills as their work involves conveying information to other parties as well as inferring information from spoken testimonies. Other helpful abilities include good inductive and deductive reasoning skills.

What They Do?
Attorneys are involved in advising their clients and advocating on their behalf. They are hired to represent their clients' interests in civil or criminal trials. This involves arguing and presenting evidence in courts or before government agencies. Their obligations also include interpreting different laws, regulations, and rulings for individuals and corporations; preparing, reviewing, and filing legal documents; analyzing legal problems; and advising clients about their legal rights and obligations.

Employment Outlook
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted a 10% growth in the employment of attorneys from 2010 to 2020. This is about as fast as the average of all occupations. Nevertheless, it should be kept in mind that competition for these positions is going to be strong, so you need to be equipped with a high level of education and training. All the hard work certainly pays off as attorneys enjoy good annual salaries.

Online Education
Online education may play an important role in how to become an attorney.Students constrained by financial resources, family responsibilities, or work obligations could choose online education. Those aspiring to become an attorney could make use of several accredited undergraduate degree programs that are offered online. Online education offers affordable degree programs and flexible course schedules.


Q:How long does it take to become an attorney?

A:At least 7 years of higher education is required to become an attorney. The first step to becoming an attorney includes earning a bachelor degree from an accredited institution. The next step is to enroll in a law school and earn a law degree which may take 3-4 years. After getting a law degree, one must take the bar examination in their state and earn a practicing license.

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