The Educational Requirements of a Lawyer

Posted January 27, 2011 by

If you are entering college with the idea of going into the practice of law for an entry level job, what educational requirements will you be expected to meet?
Before you ever get your first entry level job as a lawyer, you will be required to attend a minimum of seven years of post high school education in most states. This includes a four year college degree and three years of law school. Though there are no officially sanctioned pre-law classes, the legal student would do well to be proficient at writing, speaking, reading, research and logical thought as these skills are employed on a daily basis by those in the legal profession. It is additionally recommended that your college studies encompass a broad range of interests including foreign languages, public oration, historical studies, government, mathematics, economics and philosophy, as all of these areas fall under the scrutiny of the law and will prove useful to you in your career field. For those seeking entry level jobs or internships in specific areas of the law, attending specialized courses in those areas of study may be helpful as well.
When your four years of college is over, prepare for intense competition to be accepted into almost any law school. The sheer number of applicants to these schools has forced many of these schools to turn away promising law students merely because there were not enough openings for them. To increase your chances of acceptance to the law school you want, apply early, have strong marks in your undergraduate education and use internships to gain work experience.
During the first year and a half of law school expect to spend much of your time studying the core concepts of law and its functions while attending clinics to further your education or being invited to participate in internships. After the first year and a half, the opportunity for specialized law studies becomes available and you may choose to hone your skills in tax, labor or corporate law. For those seeking a further education, an additional year of law school will confer a joint degree that can be specialized to the field of law you wish to pursue.
In addition to these education requirements, the majority of U.S. states require lawyers to attend continuing education courses to stay current with changes to the laws.

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