How Long Does It Take to Become a Lawyer?

Becoming a lawyer is indeed a great career choice for you, but the question of how long does it take to become a lawyer can become daunting for you. It is a bitter truth that every year, millions of aspiring students think to choose this career path, but many of them fail to get good guidance to become lawyers on schedule. It is natural that after deciding to choose this career path, every individual wonders about the timeline after which his/her education will start paying back to them.

Here we will provide you with brief information, on how long it takes to be a lawyer in the USA. Before we jump into that one thing, you must understand and prepare for the education from the Law board and passing a bar exam.

What Kind of Practice Does a Lawyer Do?

As per the American Bar Association, which is the largest association of lawyers in the USA, a Lawyer is a professional who holds a license to practice as an advisor and representative of people in legal matters, including medical negligence solicitors in Ireland.

A lawyer is also called an attorney, counsel, or, counselors so never confuse you with these alternative names. A lawyer must complete his law education to gain the expertise and knowledge of state and federal laws. 

  • Providing legal solutions to the clients for what they can do next.
  • Supporting clients with drafting and negotiation of contracts
  • Ensuring the proper disposition of property by becoming executor of their wills and trusts
  • Performing the role of advocate during court hearings and making the oral argument to support the client’s case.
  • Protecting the intellectual properties of clients using patents and trademarks
  • Providing counselling to the clients about ongoing and pending litigation

How Many Years of College to Be a Lawyer in the USA?

As per studies, there are more than 1.32 million lawyers in the USA but, the interesting thing is that more than 50% of people who have a childhood dream of becoming a lawyer drop the idea due to long durations for becoming a practicing lawyer. If you wonder how long the course is to be a lawyer, then the educational requirements of 7 years to become a lawyer in the USA will make you rethink. 

To understand how many years of college to be a lawyer, you can break the educational requirements into an undergraduate degree of four years and a law school degree of three years. The below steps will help you to get more clarity about the path of becoming a lawyer:-

  • Earning the undergraduate degree – First of all, you need to get your undergraduate degree by undertaking studies with any accredited university. It is not compulsory to undergo a specific study area to become eligible for law school.

Subjects such as Political Science, Criminal Justice, English, and Sociology are common in law studies, so it will be good for you to indulge in study areas that include the related subjects. Earning your degree to qualify for law school will take around four years.

  • Entering the Law School – After you get your undergraduate degree, you can apply for admission to popular law schools and colleges in your area. You should pass the Law school admission test to join any of the law institutions in the country.

Once you clear this test you can choose your college and the duration of completing your course will be around three years. While you select the Law institution, make sure that your college is ABA-accredited. You will get a chance to study subjects such as constitutional law, immigration laws, contracts, real estate law, civil procedure, and legal writing.

After earning their law degree and obtaining their license, lawyers must stay updated with the latest legal changes and advancements by meeting the CLE requirements set by their jurisdiction.

  • Admission to Bar – It is necessary to qualify for the bar exam of the state where you want to practice as a professional lawyer. After completing Law school studies, you can prepare for the Bar exams, and it usually takes less than a year for a person to qualify for these exams.

Once you clear this exam, you will get an entry to the bar after passing the State Bar Association’s character and fitness review. The Character and Fitness Review can take time, depending on your background. Bar Association can reject your candidature on the following grounds:

    • If you are found guilty of academic or employment misconduct
    • If you are facing any types of felony convictions
    • Violation of the orders by the court
    • If you furnish wrong information to the Bar association
    • Showing signs of emotional or mental instability
    • If you have a history of substance dependency
    • Providing false statements to the Bar Association
    • If you are not stable mentally and emotionally

Is Becoming a Lawyer is Good Career Choice?

Yes, becoming a lawyer is indeed a great career choice. We can justify this fact with the study of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This study shows that the annual average salary of lawyers in the USA is around $122,960.

If you have enough capabilities and passion for your profession, you can reach the top 10% club that earns up to $300000 per year. Your ability to earn while practicing as a lawyer can depend on several things such as the types of law you practice, the area where you practice, and your skills to solve the client’s problem. Y

ou can also choose to become a corporate lawyer to understand, defend, and uphold business matters related to businesses and corporate affairs or a family lawyer to handle divorce, custody, adoption, child abuse, child support, and domestic abuse. Apart from the individual practice, you also have an option to join one of the law firms such as Freel Sparks and James H. Brown and Associates as an attorney or lawyer.

Interesting Related Article: “What does a civil lawyer do, and what are 3 ways they can help your case?