Getting a law degree is certainly not a cakewalk! It requires a lot of prior preparation and continuous hard work once you’ve secured admission into law school. The sooner you begin your preparation, the better position you will be in, to secure a law degree. This article tells you how…
1. Early preparation: Choosing to become a lawyer/attorney is a decision you must make while you are in high school itself. The law field is highly competitive and the number of seats available across law schools limited, with a huge number of candidates applying each year for admission.
2. Aptitude and skills: Lawyers are required to demonstrate the following aptitude and/or skills:
(i) Articulateness, both verbally and in writing;
(ii) A clear and logical thought process;
(iii) Skills in critical analysis, looking at all sides of an issue and the ability to come up with solutions which are in line with legal principles as well as common sense;
(iv) A good foundation in English, some knowledge of Latin, a sound understanding of current legal and political issues.
3. Graduate degree program: To become eligible for admission to a law school, you will first need to complete a four-year graduate degree program. While this can be in any subject, courses related to the legal field, such as government, political science, etc will provide some basic foundation. It is important to maintain a high Grade Point Average (GPA) throughout the degree program if you want to attend law school.
4. Clear the LSAT: A prerequisite for law school admission is clearing the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) with a good score. This is a grueling half-day test, comprised of multiple-choice and essay questions. The total LSAT score is 180 and a high score is a must if you want to join the top law schools in the US.
5. Law school admission: Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, NYU, University of Chicago and Cornell are among the top law schools in the US. Law school admission is primarily based on you GPA, LSAT score and the admission essay/presentation; the higher the scores, the better your chances of gaining admission into a good school.
Once in law school, you will be spending a further three years on a full-time course to earn the degree of Juris Doctor (JD). While the first year of law school will cover basics such as civil, criminal and constitutional law, you will need to pick your area of specialization and spend the next two years getting an in-depth education in that area. There is no time for slacking-off and you need to continue to work hard and maintain top grades in every term. Once you pass out of law school with your JD, don’t think that the process is by any means finished! You will then need to prepare for a state-specific bar examination and only once you’ve passed this exam can you expect to start practicing as a lawyer!