Do you find the topic of law appealing? Would you like to help stop crime – or protect people? Then becoming a lawyer might be the right career for you. It is a respectable and demanding profession – and it also pays quite well.
In this article we will explore the way to becoming a lawyer. We will look into what a lawyer actually does for a living, and what a normal day looks like. We will also answer common questions like:
- How many years does is take to become a lawyer?
- Can I take the bar exam without going to law school?
- How long does it take to become a lawyer in the UK, US & AU respectively?
- How can I become a lawyer fast?
What does a lawyer actually do?
As a lawyer, also referred to as a counselor, attorney or attorney at law, you will work with activities such as:
- Act as a legal representative for your client
- Advise other people in relation to the law
- Find justice within the limits of the law
- Prepare documents for legal work and proceesing
- You will be the link between the law and person, and thus help society work
- On a typical day a lawyer interprets laws and rulings, does administrative work and performs management functions.
- A lawyer is most likely specialized in a specific area such as criminal justice, personal injury or corporate law. In this way the lawyer can be an adviser with precise and detailed knowledge
- A lawyer can work in a law firm, be self-employed or work for a prosecuting office or even a private company.
How to become a lawyer
An education to be a lawyer requires the right education.
- Learn about the field of being a lawyer. You might discover a certain interest within law that you want to pursue
- You need to have a high school or similar background.
- Then you need to take an undergraduate study, which takes about 4 years to complete.
- Then, you should take a law degree from a university to complete your law degree. This takes about 3 years. Many types of degrees are possible.
- So in total, it normally takes about 7 years to become a lawyer
- After having obtained your degree, you need to pass the bar exam to be a licensed attorney. Note: Only 4 US states allow aspiring lawyers to take the bar exam without going to law school.
- You can then start seeking employment, gain experience through apprenticeship and slowly advance in the legal system, eventually possibly becoming a partner in a law firm.
- You can also specialize in new types of law or start your own law firm.
A lawyer is almost certainly guaranteed a high paying job. You can start off around 100.000$ yearly, but can advance to 2-500.000$ salaries and even more. The average annual salary is 140.000$ (2018).
Areas of law
There are many areas of law to study. You can specialize in areas such as bankruptcy law, business (corporate law), civil rights, criminal law, entertainment, real estate, environmental law, family and health. There are also lawyers in fields like immigration, intellectual property, international law, labor (employment), personal injury and tax.
- Law schools and careers (Learnhowtobecome)
- Factors to consider (balancecareers)
- How to become a lawyer in UK, USA, Australia and Canada
- Steps to becoming an attorney (Legal career path)
- Law degrees (Wikipedia)