How To Become A Lawyer In The U.S?
Have you grown up watching reruns of Law & Order or Boston Legal and looked with awe towards the smartly dressed, having-an-answer-to-everything lawyers? Well then, looks like you are interested in becoming a lawyer. But before you think of becoming a lawyer in the U.S you need to be aware of certain points.
Becoming a top lawyer in a country like U.S is no piece of cake. You have to start early. As early as school. To be able to discuss and argue your points convincingly, you should be able to put forward your ideas clearly. Try to take part in debates and declamations. Develop good reading habits, read far and wide and be in touch with the happenings around the world. Along with all this, you have to study very very hard. Good colleges are very choosy when it comes to accepting students for undergraduate programs.
When choosing the subjects in the undergraduate program, you have to be careful and pick subjects which will help you maintain a good overall GPA. This step is very important because many students remain under the impression that tough subjects will help in getting admission into a law school. In general, the law school will be more concerned with you GPA rather than focusing on the fact that you chose tough subjects and got a low GPA. But at the same time, you should pick subjects like Public Speaking, English, History, Government, and Philosophy courses. These will help you develop logic, clarity of thought, analytical and improved reading and writing skills. A special note here to students interested in sitting for the "Patent Bar". For this, you will definitely require a degree in the a technical subject like Science or Math.
After you finish up with 4 years of your undergraduate degree, you have to go through 3 years of law school. All law schools that are accredited by the "American Bar Association" accept candidates only through LSAT. LSAT stands for the Law School Admission Test.
The LSAT is standardized comprehensive exam somewhat similar to the SAT and GMAT, but it is designed to test you for the hardships of a law school. There are five 35-minute sections to the test, four of which count toward your final score: reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, and two logical reasoning sections. To clear the exam, you have to answer all the sections expertly. It gives marks on a scale of 120-180. This exam is taken 4 times a year, generally in major universities. The score obtained here is sorted and accordingly sent to the different universities by the LSAC (Law School Admissions Council).
Apart from the marks obtained here, the standard of the applicant's undergraduate school & prior work experience (if any) also play a major role. Some law schools even require a personal interview. But the weightage given to each of these varies from place to place and depends solely on the discretion of the school involved.
So, now you have finally graduated from a top law school and are raring to go. Not so soon! Before you can be termed as a certified lawyer, you have to sit for the Bar Exam. Pass the Bar Exam the summer after which you graduate from Law School. Congratulations! Now you are a certified lawyer in the U.S!