January 1, 2010

Preparing for a Career in Law

If you are pointing toward a career as a lawyer, you have a fairly long road ahead of you, including four years of college and three of law school.

It's never too early to start preparing for your career. Lawyers need to be able to think logically and analytically, construct arguments, and communicate effectively. Trial lawyers especially need excellent public speaking skills. You can begin acquiring these competencies in high school by studying English for analysis and communication, math for develping logic, and theatre for public speaking.

Law schools won't ask for your high school grades, but they will scrutinize your college transcripts. It's crucial to have a high college GPA. Classes in English, debate, history, civics, government, and literature can help you prepare for a career in law.

The LSAT is the standardized test law schools use to evaluate law school applicants. It tests you on logical and analytical thinking, reading comprehension and writing ability. You'll take it during or after your last year in college.

Once you've seen your LSAT scores, you'll need to apply to at least 4-6 law schools approved by the ABA. It's not a bad idea to apply to one or two "dream" schools, a few schools where your grades and LSAT scores make you a realistic to strong candidate, and at least one (probably two) "safety" schools.

While in law school, most students spend some time working in the field to help them develop professional contacts and decide which specialty area(s) are of the greatest interest to them.

The state Bar exam, which measures a candidate's knowledge of state and federal law, is the last step to becoming a lawyer. Once you pass, you're officially licensed as a lawyer in your state.

There's no quick and easy way to become a lawyer. But, there are good reasons why so many people complete the rigorous path to a career in law. In addition to relatively high earnings, lawyers enjoy the opportunity to practice in many specialties (criminal, civil, international, and copyright law, for example), to work in business, or to serve in govenment and political posts.

Daniel Z. Kane invites you to visit his websites on online colleges and online degrees.


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