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Steps to becoming a Lawyer

Updated on August 19, 2013
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A lawyer holds prestige in his profession. When he walks in the courtroom, he catches the attention of the audience. He can convince the crowd and make many people envy. They say many lawyers make money fast and easy while other people seem to give negative comments about them. Nevertheless, one thing is true; a person’s status is elevated once he becomes a lawyer.

But becoming a lawyer is never easy. Before they gained fame and popularity, they went through a lot of challenges and hurdles. It is a profession they worked hard for. In fact, only a few of them make it out to the legal profession. So if you are one of those interested in becoming one, here are the steps that would lead you to that path.

Step 1: It is a commitment

Studying law is like marriage. You have to be marry the books and see to it that you give ample time to them. One common mistake that law students make when they are still starting is that they rush into it, with no thinking and deliberation. Before entering law school, do not only think twice but think it over and over again. Taking a break after graduating from college would be a good idea. During the said period, consider the following questions before deciding on whether or not to go for it.

  • Is it your choice? Do you really have interest in going to law school?
  • Are you ready to let go of your free time?
  • Are you courageous enough to face insults and criticisms?
  • Are you financially prepared?
  • Do you think your skills and abilities fit in your chosen field?

If your answers in the above questions are in the positive, then you are ready to take the next step. Genuine interest in studying law and being ready to make sacrifices especially when it comes to your social life are essential considerations to take. In addition to that, financial readiness must also be considered. In law, you have to deal not only with books but with research papers, other reading materials and other possible legal activities. These will surely cause a hole in your pocket. Financial preparation is thus also a priority.

Step 2: Choosing a Law School

Studying in a competent school makes a difference. Of course this does not matter if you are really a genius. But sometimes, it pays to be in a school where professors and lecturers conduct classes regularly, where students are encouraged to be more participative and competitive as well. Stretching one’s capabilities and knowledge may need a school that looks beyond just teaching. Not everybody however has the chance to enter a law school. You have to go through the usual admissions tests or exams which may last a day or a half, depending on the requirements of the institution. Thus, though you have selected the school where you want to study, it still depends on whether or not you’ll pass the admission test and the requirements asked of you.

Step 3: Study and Participate

Once you get admitted, the tortures of law school begin. One great tip of successful bar exam passers is that even from their first year; their thinking is focused on how to pass the final exams. This means that from the beginning, develop a habit that will surely give you an advantage in the future. There is no better weapon than being prepared for the bar exams. The aim in law school is not so much of getting honors but on maintaining a passing grade, comprehending the lessons taught to you and participating in activities that can enrich your legal skills. You may have to spend a minimum of three to five years of studying law depending on your country and your chosen school. The most important part is graduating from law school.

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Step 4: Here comes review

Review is one of the crucial stages in becoming a lawyer. After graduating from law school, one has to refresh his or her mind from the lessons years ago. This will require attending review centers and programs. Getting the appropriate and up to date review materials matter in this stage. During the review, all shall be set aside as this stage plays a major role in passing the lawyer’s exam. The period may vary from country to country or state to state where you want to practice law. Some review with co-takers but other prefer to be alone. This is the time when people who yearn to be lawyers exert their full effort in preparation for the exams.

Step 5: Pass the Bar Exam

No lawyer became one without passing the bar exams. In some countries it will take one month, where sets of exams are given every weekend. In other countries, exams may take a shorter period. This is called the final stage. This exam will test what you have learned for the past years while you are in law school. The exam’s compositions depend on the country or state you belong. Normally essay questions are given especially that law can be applied in different ways and views. In some states, a Character and Fitness Evaluation is conducted while in some this is not needed. It assures that you are fit to handle such a big responsibility of legal work.

Step 6: Be a lawyer not only in Profession but also in Deed

Becoming a lawyer does not end in passing the bar exams. You have to take care of your profession, continue to learn from it, share it with others and use it in a proper way. Most of all, be careful of your actions especially that you already hold a position in the society. There are lawyers who have been disbarred for the thoughtless actions they committed. Do not use it to abuse others and take advantage of them. A lawyer also has to spend time in research and studies for law changes along with time. Remember that upgrading one’s scope of knowledge in law does not stop when an Atty. is connected to your name- it actually takes a lifetime.

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© 2013 Lanao G

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      Pharma674 2 years ago

      Very nice site!

    • profile image

      Will Jenkins 3 years ago

      My nephew is looking about becoming a lawyer. He complains that it has become overwhelming. I just keep telling to give it his all. Maybe this article will help him out. Thank you!

      Will Jenkins http://www.youdlaw.com/Practice-Areas/Personal-Inj...

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      Lanao G 4 years ago from Ozamiz City, Philippines

      @Stephen

      Your welcome...Hope this helps...

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      My former husband graduated from Harvard Law School with honors. Sometimes I feel like I attended with him because he always shared what he learned in books and in class with me.

      CLE (Continuing Legal Education) which is required of all licensed attorneys can be done on the Internet, no need to go anywhere for classes, etc. You referred to it as "Here comes review."

      Not all lawyers are trial attorneys, meaning not all practice in courtrooms. My husband was an appellate attorney and went to court before a group of Texas Appeals judges only one time. Appeals rarely go further than written briefs. Otherwise he practiced in employment law and tax problems.

      While it's true that lawyers need to keep up with the law in the area of their practice it is also true that the law is so encompassing and extensive that no one person could ever know all there is to know about it. Most lawyers are doing well to keep up with their speciality because the law is changing continually.

      The hard part that few people see is the research. An attorney needs to have a good idea what the law says about the situation he is representing someone for or s/he is likely to look foolish at best. My husband was fantastic at research and did it for several attorneys around town and even in places far from here. HLS grads are usually superior at research for some reason. He won some landmark cases as a result of his research.

      Not all attorneys make a lot of money or hold high positions in the community. As with everything else, one chooses how they will live their lives and none of these things are required.

      Often the best attorneys are the ones people love to hate because they win cases whatever it takes, but legally. The law is not always what many people would call moral. Strategy can make a lot of difference too -- like setting up a deposition on your opposition's due date for her baby. Rotten yes, but strategy can make the difference. Everyone hates the attorney who wins by whatever means, but everyone also wants that attorney representing them when they need a lawyer.

      One's ability is what really determines how difficult law school is. My husband told me the hardest thing his classmates had understanding was that the law is not black and white, but gray. It is applied according to circumstances of the case which are not the same in any two cases, and many other factors as well, none of which are cut and dried.

      There is always a loser in a lawsuit, but the winner may not always be happy either. There is all but never a situation that one can point to and say this is right and that is wrong. Everything blurs together and this concept is difficult for a lot of people to understand.

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      Lanao G 4 years ago from Ozamiz City, Philippines

      @point2make...Thank for your comment...

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      point2make 4 years ago

      Interesting hub. The commitment and hard work that is required to become a lawyer may seem daunting but, in the end, can lead to a rewarding and fulfilling profession. I have known many lawyers and to a person they all say how much the hard work and long hours in Law School has played such an important part in creating the person and the Lawyer they eventually became.