“I object, Your Honor!” Have you ever dreamed of shouting this in court, of defending your client until that gavel strikes?
Many people do, but they assume that dream is too far fetched for reality. But here’s a secret: becoming an attorney is entirely within your grasp.
It’s a profession that is rewarding monetarily and emotionally. Attorneys dedicate their lives to helping others and had a median pay of over $120,000 in 2018.
But what does it take to be a lawyer? Here, you’ll find out exactly what you need to do.
Steps to Become a Lawyer
Lawyers are invaluable to their clients, so if you want to help people, this may be the career for you.
The best route to becoming a lawyer starts before college. In fact, many high school students can give themselves a leg-up before university.
1. Work Hard in High School
High grades and commitment to extracurricular activities are helpful in high school and undergrad. Some excellent activities to consider are:
- Student government
- Community service
- Intramural sports
- Nonprofit organizations
The high grades coupled with leadership in extracurriculars make it more likely a student will be considered for prestigious law schools.
2. Complete an Undergraduate Degree
All law schools require students to complete an undergraduate degree before acceptance.
It’s advised students study a subject that will enhance the skills needed for the student’s later career, such as:
- Political Science
- Criminal Justice
Many students obtain undergraduate degrees in areas not strictly associated with their later professions. This is because skills such as abstract thinking and kinesthetic intelligence are necessary for successful lawyers.
For specialized attorneys, such as a real estate or an accident attorney, it is advisable to seek parallel degrees that will give future attorneys the knowledge they need.
Again, it’s advised students also partake in extracurricular activities and maintain high GPAs.
3. Do Well on the LSAT
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is the most important factor determining if a student will get accepted into a law school.
The LSAT impacts what law schools accept which students and what financial aid a student receives. It measures a student’s reading and verbal reasoning skills, and law schools place a higher emphasis on LSAT scores than even GPA.
4. Take the MPRE
After obtaining a law degree, individuals are eligible to take the Bar Exam. Prior to that, however, they must take the MPRE.
The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination is a written test that evaluates a student’s ethical knowledge. In almost all states, students must take the exam before they are allowed to take the Bar.
5. Pass the Bar Exam
The Bar Exam is a difficult test administered to individuals who want to become practicing lawyers. This test is so difficult that many fail it. In 2016, over 40% of test takers failed.
The exam grades students on their knowledge of the law and their ability to apply it to real-life scenarios.
After passing this test, students spend their days as lawyers.
What Does It Take to Be a Lawyer?
So what does it take to be a lawyer? Becoming a lawyer takes diligence, time, and lots of studying. However, the benefits are numerous.
Attorneys receive good pay, they help individuals daily, and the profession is expected to grow.
But law school is expensive, and we know it’s a concern for many individuals. Find out how to beat the debt here and start raking in the big bucks at a law firm.