Lawyers fight for their clients, whether they’re a medical malpractice lawyer or a tort lawyer. Lawyers are filled with the knowledge of the law and use their knowledge to fight for people who have been wronged and can’t fight for themselves.
So, you want to become a lawyer? Between the bond you build with clients to a stable salary, it’s no wonder you have ambitions to move forward into a career as a lawyer.
We’re not going to lie to you. It’s a difficult and long process to be able to fight in a courtroom. But the rewards of making it outweigh the long time spent in classrooms and lecture halls.
We hope this article helps you on your way to becoming a great lawyer. We’ll go over the education process and even different salaries for different types of lawyers.
The Steps to Becoming a Lawyer
Step # 1 Get Your Bachelor’s Degree
When you’re picking out what college you want to attend for your bachelor’s degree, you’re going to want to apply to schools that have a pre-law program. A pre-law program sets you on your path to becoming a lawyer and gives you a leg up.
To be clear, you’re not required to have a pre-law major to continue your education at a law school. It’s just highly recommended.
So, if you’re already in college with a different major and other degree programs, you can still set out to furthering your education in law.
Maintain a high GPA throughout these four years so you’ll look great on a law school application for admission.
Step # 2 Study, Study, Study!
By the time you hit your junior year into gaining your bachelor’s degree, you can take the Law School Admission Test (a.k.a. the LSATs). You can also take this test your senior year if you want extra time to study.
Be prepared before you take the test. Study, study, study. It’s your score on the LSATs and your GPA that’s going to make you stand out to an admissions officer.
The LSAT exam tests you on a variety of information, including reading comprehension and critical thinking.
Step # 3 Apply to Law School
Once you have your LSAT score, it’s time to apply to law school. Make a list of the top 5 law schools you’d love to attend and apply to every one of them.
Do your research before applying. You want a law school that’s accredited by the American Bar Association. You should also make sure that the schools you apply to let you study in the area of law you want to focus on.
Step # 4 Get Your Juris Degree
You’re going to have to spend some more time in a classroom but remember; all this hard work is worth all the studying.
You’ll be required to take several different law focused classes, so you have general knowledge in most areas. With your elective choices, you can take classes that pertain to practicing your law focus.
Keep your GPA up at all costs so you can earn your Juris Degree (JD) and have a shining resume when you head out to the workforce.
Step # 5 Take a Clerkship/Internship
After your first year in law school, it’s recommended to take on a clerkship at a law office. It’s not required, but you’ll thank yourself later on for the work experience.
Taking on a clerkship not only looks great on a resume but also gives you great experience in the intricacies of the law.
If you love the law firm you’re working for and they notice your hard work, you may even be offered a job once you pass your bar exam.
Step # 6 Pass the MPRE
The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (a.k.a. MPRE) is an exam you have to pass before taking your bar exam. Almost every state in the U.S. requires you to pass this exam.
The MPRE is an ethics exam that determines you know the difference between right and wrong, including what’s right for your client.
Step # 7 More Studying!
With your JD in hand, it’s time for your final step in pursuing a career in law. This is the hardest step of all. You need to pass the bar exam.
Passing the bar exam is not an easy task. It’s going to require that you spend most of your time studying. There are also great test preps to help you pass.
Different Types of Lawyers
The career possibilities in law are infinite. There are lawyers for anything you imagine. To help give you an idea for what type of law you should study, we’re going to go over the top types of lawyers.
- Civil Rights Lawyer: A civil rights lawyer defends the human and constitutional rights of an individual. They defend clients in discrimination cases and much more. The yearly salary of a civil rights lawyer ranges from $45,000-$145,000.
- Corporate Lawyer: A corporate lawyer works with businesses in contracts and protecting their rights. A corporate lawyer’s yearly salary ranges from $30,000-$100,000.
- Contract Lawyer: A contract lawyer works in the area of contracts. There are several sub-types of contract lawyers based on what type of contracts they work in. A contract lawyer’s yearly salary ranges from $56,000-$171,000.
- Criminal Lawyer: A criminal lawyer defends someone who’s being accused of a criminal offense. A criminal lawyer’s yearly salary that ranges from $49,000-$200,000.
- Family Lawyer: A family lawyer ranges from covering divorces and custody battles to helping with adoption. A family lawyer’s yearly average salary is $70,000.
- Patent Lawyer: A patent lawyer is a big sub-type of a contract lawyer. They deal in contracts regarding receiving patents for inventors. A patent lawyer’s yearly salary ranges from $76,000-$171,000.
- Personal Injury Lawyer: A personal injury lawyer helps a client bring a lawsuit against a person or company that was negligent. This negligence resulted in a personal injury to someone. A personal injury lawyer’s yearly salary average is $73,000.
- Tort Lawyer: A tort lawyer that defends the rights of someone who’s been civilly wronged by someone else. They work in civil courts. A tort lawyer’s yearly salary is at an average of $96,000.
The world needs more lawyers to protect the wronged. It’s a lucrative career, and there are many fields of law to choose from. Good luck on your path to becoming a lawyer!