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Preparing For a Career as a LawyerThis article was approved by Jim Adler
Practicing law involves a number of different skills, including research, communication, and analytical reasoning. Lawyers also must adhere to stringent ethics to ensure that they represent clients effectively. To prepare for a career as a lawyer, a student will focus on courses that both challenge and enlighten. These courses should be in a variety of different subjects to provide a wide range of instruction.How Do I Become a Lawyer?
A legal career can involve a number of different focuses, from real estate to criminal prosecution. Broken down to the most basic of terms, a lawyer assists people to prevent or solve legal problems of different kinds. Choosing the type of law to practice depends on personal interests and career desires.Law-Related Careers
Pre-law studies can be general or focused on specific areas such as education, health care, business, or philosophy. Whatever a pre-law student chooses to study, the student should strive to earn good grades and to develop exceptional communication skills. A lawyer must be able to communicate effectively with both spoken and written words.Occupational Outlook: Lawyers
Lawyers might assist individuals or businesses with various legal issues. Before practicing law, a person must earn a law degree and then pass a written bar examination administered by the state of residence. The job outlook for lawyers is competitive because more law graduates exist than positions.Preparing for Law School
The undergraduate education varies greatly for pre-law students. Traditional preparatory majors include English, philosophy, history, political science, business, and economics. However, students could also study computer science, music, art, education, engineering, or even nursing prior to beginning law school. The American Bar Association recommends that a pre-law student study a range of challenging subjects.Law as a Career
Pre-law studies should include subjects that help build the skill of analytical thinking. With strong analytical reasoning, the student must also be able to transfer ideas into concise spoken and written words. Undergraduate studies should include a broad range of different subjects to help prepare for a law career.Best Pre-Law Schools and Majors
A history major can be ideal preparation for a law career. Studying history enables a student to learn about the historical development of the legal system both domestically and internationally. An English major would prepare a student with analytical and thinking skills.Legal Services Guide (PDF)
Everyone has the right to legal representation in the justice system. A lawyer who chooses to practice as a legal service attorney is committed to providing legal assistance to people who cannot afford it. Low-income people often need legal representation, but they cannot afford standard legal fees. Typical areas of practice include family law and consumer law.So You Want to Be a Lawyer? (PDF)
All lawyers must graduate from high school and college before graduation from law school. After earning a law degree, the graduate must satisfy state requirements, which generally involve passing a written state bar examination. During undergraduate studies, the student should focus on getting good grades because this will help with acceptance into law school.Pre-Law: What Do Lawyers Do?
Lawyers may practice law in court, advocating for clients. However, the frequency with which a lawyer goes to court depends on the type of law practiced. A litigator may spend significant time either preparing for court cases or going to court to represent clients. A transactional lawyer generally assists clients with contracts for either personal or professional issues, and this type of legal representation generally does not involve many court appearances.Preparing for a Career in Law in the 21st Century (PDF)
Although practicing law generally enables lawyers to earn a comfortable income, this career can be demanding and stressful. Many lawyers work long hours, which can include evenings and weekends. Getting into law school will be one of the first hurdles for a student. Law schools assess applicants based on a variety of factors, including undergraduate GPA, LSAT score, work experience, and college activities.Preparing for a Career in Law Professions
Undergraduate studies must be rigorous to enable successful admission into law school. Generally, a law school wants students who show that they have pushed themselves in their undergraduate courses, seeking to learn about a wide variety of subjects. Resist the urge to focus only on law courses before law school because this may not provide enough exposure to different subjects.High School Preparation for Law School
High school is not too early to begin preparing for a career as a lawyer. Students should focus on learning how think analytically, how to write effectively, and how to research. Courses that teach research and investigation into history, psychology, sociology, and philosophy will be beneficial for a person with legal aspirations.Preparing for Law School
A student wishing to enter law school should take classes that teach about various cultures and social processes. Understanding psychology and human behavior is also invaluable for a pre-law student. The ability to apply logical reasoning to solve problems is a critical skill.Basic Tips on Preparing for Law School
Before entering law school, a student should explore personal interests. A law career that centers around personal interests will usually be rewarding. The undergraduate major should be challenging to demonstrate skills and dedication.Preparing for the Most Common Types of Law Firm Interviewers
Interview skills will be crucial for the success of a lawyer. Law students learn about typical law firm interviewing styles to help them prepare for the application process. Law students often practice for this process by participating in mock interviews.Preparing for the Interview
Effective interview preparation enables the applicant to demonstrate self-confidence. Preparation also leads to knowledgeable answers, astute follow-up questions, and impressive conversation during the interview.Skills and Values Needed for Law School
Lawyers use language extensively in the practice of law. To prepare for this career, students must have both language comprehension and expression skills to enable effective communication.