Lawyers are highly skilled and well-paid professionals working in a diverse set of legal fields. Becoming a lawyer is by no means easy. There are rigorous testing standards to meet and lots of hoops to jump through. Here is a basic outline of the steps that prospective candidates need to take in order to become qualified lawyers.
Almost all law schools require applicants to have completed an undergraduate degree. It is not usually too important what that degree is actually in, so long as it helped develop reasoning and research methods. If, however, you want to become a property lawyer, you will need some background in science or mathematics. This is because prospective property lawyers have to sit for the patent bar as well as the regular bar. Although the patent bar exam does not test technical knowledge, that knowledge is a prerequisite for sitting the test.
A Law School Admissions Test – or LSAT for short – needs to be taken before a candidate can begin studying for a bar exam. The Law School Admissions Test is designed to challenge the verbal and logical reasoning of candidates. It is not the greatest indicator of eventual success in law but is capable of weeding out bad candidates. All attorneys working for reputable firms like Horst Shewmaker Lawyers will have successfully completed an LSAT. Very few law schools allow candidates to enter without completion of this test.
It is at this point that a candidate’s study begins in earnest and becomes very intense indeed. The candidate must complete a law degree at a specialist college. Usually, this takes the form of a Juris Doctor Law Degree. Law School requires three years of full-time study to complete. Part-time students may take up to five years. This period is where a prospective lawyer picks up all of the practical skills necessary for operating successfully in the legal world. The more prestigious a law school is, the more selective it will be about a candidate’s previous qualifications.
The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination is an ethics exam that all prospective lawyers must pass before being allowed to sit a bar examination. Being a lawyer is a huge responsibility, and examining bodies need to make absolutely sure that candidates know the ethical standards to which they are bound as attorneys. The exam takes two hours and consists of sixty questions.
The final stage of lawyerly training is the taking of the bar examination. The bar examination is by no means easy. In some states, the pass rate is only forty percent. The examination consists of both multiple-choice and essay questions designed to challenge the knowledge of and detailed analysis of the law. Once a candidate has passed the bar, they are legally allowed to practice law in the state they have passed in. If a lawyer is found guilty of unethical conduct, they can have their bar qualification stripped and will need to take the examination again.
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