How to Become a Lawyer: A Step-by-Step Guide J.D. ), lawyers may use a variety of other specialized software to manage their work effectively. Popular majors for prospective lawyers include … Identify Law Schools and Complete Applications, Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) or Doctor of the Science of Law (JSD), What to Consider When Selecting a Law School, Components of a Successful Career as a Lawyer, © 2020 LearnHowToBecome.org, a Red Ventures Company, Draft litigation documents, correspondence, and motions, Keen understanding of contracts, trusts, wills, and employment agreements, Knowledge of rules of discovery in civil proceedings, Understanding of objectives and processes in civil transactions, Ability to interpret the Constitution and apply it to modern day law, Understanding of the three branches of government and the role of a lawyer within the legal system, Ability to articulate legal rules in tort area of practice, Understanding of negligence, strict liability, and intentional wrongdoing. For example, some dual programs--such as the JD/MPH program at the University of Minnesota--allow for a majority of non-law coursework to be completed via online learning. If you were admitted to a top tier law school, congratulations—your elite education will be recognized throughout the country, and you will be challenged daily in order to prove that you earned it. Students must hold both a JD and an LLM from ABA-accredited institutions. The SJD degree is a research-focused program designed for students interested in performing legal research and writing in preparation for leadership roles in public positions or legal scholarship. After finishing an undergraduate degree, some students choose to forego further education, while others gain professional experience in other fields prior to enrolling in law school. There are plenty of resources to help you make the most of your time in law school. The Juris Doctor/Master of Laws in Taxation can usually be completed in 3-4 years of full-time study. Use the map below to compare salary estimates for lawyers by state: According to the 2015 Robert Half International Salary Guide for the Legal Field, 56% of companies surveyed revealed it is difficult to find skilled, qualified legal professionals today. Some of the most common dual and joint degree programs include the following: In these programs, students earn a Master of Business Administration to complement their Juris Doctor degree. Between Your Junior and Senior Years of College, Study for and Take the LSAT. real estate law, environmental law) are not barred from practicing in that field. The LSAT measures candidates’ skills in critical areas of future legal work, including reading comprehension, information management, analysis and critical thinking, reasoning, and argumentation. A diverse, wide-ranging industry, legal services offers prospective students a wealth of career opportunities that diverge from the actual practice of law. One of the most rapidly growing specialties in law, intellectual property is concerned with trademarks, patents, and copyrights. Universities and law schools recognize that the field draws upon different areas. Lawyers may also pursue further education at both the master’s and doctoral levels. Prospective lawyers must undertake a series of steps to practice law, including completion of undergraduate and graduate degrees, examinations and licensing processes. Coursework during the second and third years consists almost entirely of electives, allowing students to fashion a specialized program of study. Prospective students should have knowledge of the faculty, areas of study, tuition, and curriculum prior to applying. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum educational requirement for admission to law school. This is a ton of information to take on at once, especially if you're at the beginning of this process (or even if you're still unsure about becoming a lawyer). Prospective students need to ensure they are getting the right return on their investment by finding a law school that matches both their educational needs and career goals. While fully online programs do not exist, some universities and law schools may allow students to complete some coursework via online learning formats. Depending on your skills and preferences, you could end up on an international stage, at the Supreme Court, or even be the president of the United States. It deals with numerous statutes, from the Clean Water Act to the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act.
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