Becoming a lawyer can be a very demanding yet rewarding career, with many different career outcomes. There are also various ways to become a lawyer and work out which area you would like to specialize in. If you are considering training to become a lawyer, here are just a couple of pieces of basic information about the journey you might take.
Types of Lawyer
While you will not have to decide on a specialism right away, it can help to have some basic knowledge of different areas of law. From family law to malpractice law, there are many different types and roles that you could end up working in, so start familiarizing yourself with the potential career outcomes and read this awesome blog post about Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers and others like it to understand where you could end up working.
Studying for a bachelor’s degree can give you many great skills and experiences that can be useful in later training. Usually, you don’t have to study a law degree at this level to progress; however, it can be useful to study a major that develops skills that are useful as a lawyer. This can include critical thinking, reading, and writing, so many pre-law students have English or political science degrees.
Before you attend a law school to gain your JD or Juris Doctor, you will need to pass the admissions exam, as well as several other factors that will affect your admission. This exam is traditionally the LSAT, although some institutions accept the GRE, so make sure you know which test you will be taking and what to revise. Once you pass and are accepted into your selected school, you will usually study there for three years before receiving your degree.
Further education and training
Certain roles and types of lawyers require further qualification and experience than a JD. For example, if you wish to be a family lawyer, you could combine your JD with a Master’s in Social Work, or if you want to work in medical malpractice law, a degree in medicine or biology, while not essential, is incredibly useful. Once you have passed the bar exam and become fully licensed, you can also choose to further study at Master’s or Doctorate Level.
Pass the bar exam
You will need to pass the bar exam in the jurisdiction you intend to work to practice law in the USA. These exams can be incredibly difficult and vary depending on location but usually take over two days and include the Multistate Bar Exam. Once you have passed, you will also be assessed on various factors such as your educational background, character, and competence before you are offering full licensing. Once you have successfully passed the bar exam and been granted your license, you can work towards advancing your career. How you go about this can vary, but typically, newly licensed lawyers work as associates, then partners; they may open their own law firm, become a judge, or move into public positions.