how to become a lawyer

How To Become A Lawyer: Lawyer Step By Step Career Guide

CAREER IN LAW Criminal Justice Career Guides Criminal Justice Degree

How To Become A Lawyer: Lawyer Step By Step Career Guide

You Need a Strong Appreciation of the Law and Desire for Justice to Succeed as a Lawyer

To become a lawyer, you not only need extensive education, but you also require a firm understanding of your career ambitions in order to choose an appropriate section of law to concentrate on, as well as other professional attributes such as passion, dedication, and diligence. It can be a challenging and gruelling position that can be stressful and time-consuming, but helping someone in need or representing a worthwhile cause can make it very rewarding. The US Bureau of Labour Statistics expects that the industry will grow in a similar capacity as most other criminal justice careers, with a projected increase of about 13%. However, with proper education and experience, you could be eligible for salaries ranging from $78,000 to as high as $163,000, so it is a worthwhile field to go into.

Required Education

law-degreeBeing trained as a lawyer is a lengthy process because you first need to obtain a 4 year bachelor’s criminal justice degree to be eligible to attend law school for an additional 4 years. Your bachelor’s degree can be in almost any major, and although some pre-law bachelor’s degrees exist, it is more common for students to achieve degrees in areas like political science, criminal justice, accounting, international relations, or business. These subjects can also be taken online at reputable schools like the University of Phoenix Online or Kaplan University. Once you have earned a bachelor’s degree, you can then take your Law School Admission Test (LSAT) to hopefully be accepted into law school to attain your Juris Doctor Degree (JD) in 3-4 years. What that is fulfilled, you can study to take the BAR in your state to be licensed to practice law.

Job Duties

lawyer-in-courtWith training in civil procedures, criminal and constitutional law, contracts, and legal writing, you will be skilled for many specializations in law, but the general duties are the same. You will give people counselling, investigate claims, and present cases before the court to be judged. You can choose to concentrate in a myriad of areas like family law, labour law, health care, personal injury, environmental, bankruptcy, tax, or intellectual property, and each domain will require you to focus your talents in a different direction. You may have to represent the state using laws to fight corporations, you could argue on behalf of a child or a couple undergoing a divorce or a custody hearing, or you could have to defend a suspect accused of a violent crime, all depending on which area you choose to go into. Therefore, it is essential that before becoming a lawyer, you assess your strengths and convictions to know what area you are best suited for.

How long is Law School? 

Joining law school may be the dream of many. There are heaps of students who fancy themselves in a company of intelligent, composed, and professional people. Many students tend to join law school without working out how long it will be or how tough it can be. Joining law school is no joke.

In this article, we will cover what exactly is needed and how to become a lawyer.

How much longer does it take to become a Lawyer?

Usually, you need three years after a bachelor’s degree to get a law degree. However, the time depends on how early you can achieve a said degree and how much time you are willing to spend on studying law.

Every state has its requirements for the degree. Moreover, you can choose any state to pursue a degree according to your convenience.

How to achieve a law degree? 

In order to achieve a law degree, you need to:

Earn An Undergraduate Degree First

  • Initially, you need four years of an undergraduate degree from any college or university to further pursue a law degree. Although some states like California accept a two-year undergraduate degree for law studies, most institutions accept four years’ bachelor’s degrees. You can earn a bachelor’s degree in any field. “Law-related” studies are not compulsory in bachelor to achieve a law degree further. You can choose any major according to your choice. The American Law Association accredits law schools.


Pass the LSAT Test

  • lsatYou will need to pass the LSAT to get admission into law school. Most students prepare for the LSAT during their undergraduate degree, so they may not require additional time to get ready for the test. However, if you have not prepared earlier or are not satisfied with the score, you will need more time to prepare, and the time it takes to achieve the degree will be extended.



Going To Law School

  • Once you have been accepted into law school, Best of luck for the next three years. You will be going through the thick and thins of law. Here you will study all that you need to become a lawyer. If you are attending law school part-time, some schools offer flexible timings, but most schools ensure that your attendance is up to the ABA attendance mark.


State Bar Exam 

  • law-licenceAfter graduating from law school, you will have to attempt the state bar exam in whichever state you want to practice law. It usually takes three to four months to prepare for the test. The results are the exam becomes available usually a couple of months after. Following this, you will be required to pass the character review, get a fitness certificate. Along with this, an extensive background check will be conducted looking for any past criminal activities. This whole process usually takes a couple of months.

How long does it take to get a law degree Part-Time? 

If you want to pursue a law degree part-time, you will have to get flexible hours. Some institutions providing an opportunity to get a part-time law degree do not even require any attendance. Nevertheless, most law schools need an ABA-approved attendance mark level. Some students may get their degree in four years due to the time spent studying. In the end, it all comes down to how much time you are willing to spend to achieve this coveted degree.

 Masters in Law Degree 

People who want to study more, and become more advanced in their field, go for a master’s degree (LLM) in law.

The master’s program usually takes one year to complete and provides specialized knowledge in the law field. Whatever major you choose, you can pursue that further.


Top Ten Universities In The US For A Law Degree 2021

Columbia University

New York, NY

No 3 in National Universities



University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

No 6 IN National Universities (tie)



Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

No 9 In National Universities



Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

NO 10 In National Universities (tie)



Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH

No 12 In National Universities (tie)



Brown University

Providence, RI

NO 14 In National Universities



Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN

NO 15 In National Universities (tie)



Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

NO 17 In National Universities (tie)



Rice University

Houston, TX

No 17 In National Universities (tie)



Washington University in St. Louis

St. Louis, MO 

No 19 In National Universities


Source US NEWS


Cost of Attending Law School

According to the annual survey report and American news, most private law schools costs $43,500 approximately, and public law school can cost $26,000 – $39,000 approximately depending on in-state and out-state resident students.


Top Ten Affordable Law Schools 

Here is a list of the top 10 most affordable law schools in the USA:

  • University of Montana
  • Florida agriculture and Mechanical university
  • The University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  • University of Nebraska- Lincoln
  • Brigham Young university
  • University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
  • Southern University
  • University of North Dakota
  • Queens College, CUNY
  • University of California


Average Salary of Lawyer

The average salary of a lawyer in the US is $107,549 per year. This is a national average salary. Furthermore, the salary also depends on which state you are practicing law. Different states pay different amounts. Your majors, expertise, experience, extra certifications, and education level also significantly impact what you earn as a lawyer.


What can you do with a law degree? 

After earning a law degree, you have to choose a specific career as a lawyer. You can practice in any field that interests you and matches your education level and experience.

  • Arbitrator

  • Barrister’s clerk

  • Barrister

  • Company secretary

  • Costs lawyer

  • Detective

  • Chartered legal executive

  • Solicitor

  • Paralegal

Expected job growth

More than a quarter of professionals working in US are law associates. The job demand is expected to increase significantly in coming years.


Bureau of Justice

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)


How To Become A Lawyer: Lawyer Full Career Guide
How To Become A Lawyer: Lawyer Full Career Guide
Joining law school is be the dream of many. There are heaps of students who fancy themselves in a company of intelligent, composed and professional people. Many students tend to join law school without working out how long it will be or how tough it can be. Joining law school is no joke.
CJUSJOBS Team Member