Those who are at that stage in life when they need to decide what career path to take, face a lot of confusion. They may want to become a lawyer, but the question – How to Become a Lawyer, boggles them. The truth is that becoming a lawyer can be a time taking process, as many other professions are.
Most people generally follow the traditional path to earn their bachelor’s degree and then spend three years in law school. However, there are other factors to consider before being too sure about how long does it take to become a lawyer.
Completing the Undergraduate Degree
The first step to becoming a lawyer is to complete the 4-year undergraduate college or university. At this stage, it is not important to focus on undergraduate studies or a major. What is important is to earn a bachelor’s degree. It is a requirement of most law schools accredited by the ABA (American Bar Association) that students complete the bachelor’s degree before attaining admission. You may easily get into a law school, but what is difficult is getting into one of the top law schools.
Most law schools require applicants to take the LSAT exam. Your score will play a significant role in your law school application. You will have to prepare well for the exam. Dedicate enough time to it and work hard. At this stage, you need to understand that worrying about how long does it take to become a lawyer is not your priority. Your priority is to make sure you create a great impression. Usually, students pursuing the undergraduate also do the LSAT at the same time. If you are not happy with your initial score, and you complete your bachelor’s then retake the exam. Invest more time in preparing for the LSAT.
Going to Law School
If you can enroll in the law school for a full-time course, then you can complete the law school within three years. You can attend the law school on a part-time basis, but this means that you will have to study for four more years, and not just 3 years. In some states, e.g. Colorado, you do not need to attend law school after the bachelors. In most states, however, you must attend the ABA-accredited law school.
Write the State Bar Exam
At this stage, if you are wondering how long does it take to become a lawyer, then you are counting it to be between 4-8 years. However, you also need to write the bar exam. It is best if you do this soon after graduating from law school. This will take an additional two to three months. You need to prepare well, so give this your best shot. The results take another few months so; you may be looking at an additional five to six months.
However, keep in mind that even if you pass the bar exam, you will need admission into the bar association. Without this, you cannot hold yourself as a qualified lawyer. Your test will include a character analysis, and fitness review conducted by your bar association. This process involves the bar’s conducting a thorough criminal, financial, employment, and residential history. The time this would take depends on how clean your background truly is, but you can expect it to take some months.
Summary of How Long Does It Take To Become a Lawyer
To give you an accurate answer to how long does it take to become a lawyer, you need to know that it takes about 9-10 years. It depends on the requirements of your state. If you do not need to go to the law school after a bachelor’s degree then you can become a lawyer in 6 years. If you have to do a bachelor’s before law school, then you should be ready to dedicate some time to it. Other exams like the LSAT and bar exams are also very important. When you take them, will also save your time or increase it. Besides, becoming a lawyer is not that easy. You must keep room for some failures and retaking exams.
In the end, becoming a lawyer is worth it.