As you might imagine, there is a huge demand for lawyers in the USA. Despite this, there is still an enormous amount of competition within the legal sector with more graduates competing for the best jobs. With such lucrative salaries on offer, this comes as no surprise, and more young people than ever before are looking towards the law as their dream career path.
There are several directions in which you can go when considering a career as a lawyer in the USA. You could follow a path as diverse as becoming a legal aid lawyer or defence attorney or becoming a corporate counsel. You may want to specialize in a specific area like tax or family law. You may even have your heart set on becoming a judge.
If you’re keen to find out more about how to become a lawyer this article will help you to find out what you need to know.
Will I Need An LLM?
An LLM may not be a necessary requirement if you’re keen to enter a law career in the USA, it is an extremely good way to develop the skills you need to be successful. You should certainly consider taking an LLM program if you’re serious about this career path.
There are numerous skills which are essential to a legal career. These include a good vocabulary, impressive reasoning skills, a strong memory, excellent listening skills, good oral communication and an ability to apply law to the case facts. If you think you have these skills, read on and find out more about the next steps to take.
The Steps To Gaining A Law Qualification
The very first step to becoming a lawyer in the USA is to complete your bachelor’s degree. There are several subjects which can be beneficial in preparing you for life at law school. English, political science, economics and history are all ideal subjects to study and will help you to get a good idea of the areas of law you’re particularly interested in pursuing.
Before you can gain entry to law school, you will need to take the LSAT (law school admission test). This is offered 4 times per year and is a test of your verbal reasoning and reading skills. Once you have passed this test, you can then enrol in a law school. This may be easier said than done.
The requirements to get into law school are demanding. You will be shortlisted depending on your LSAT score, your GPAs and your statement of reason as well as your performance during your Bachelor’s degree. If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need good TOEFL scores.
Be Prepared For Life At A US Law School?
Getting to law school is only the first step on a long journey. Life at law school in the US is incredibly demanding. There are around four hours of classes every day from Monday to Friday, however that doesn’t take into account the extra time required to read papers and prepare for every class. There will also be extra information sessions as well as group activities between your classes. After class, you don’t get to rest. Instead, you need to carry on reading and preparing for the upcoming classes. Of course, don’t forget the networking that you’ll need to do. Most law students try to network by attending events hosted by local law firms and bar associations in the evenings to make useful contacts to further their career.
A lot of students struggle to find time to socialize with their friends, or even to eat. More than one law student has had to look for quicker and easier ways to prepare food so they can carry on with their work. Microwave meals become a go-to and more than one law student has hurriedly checked a list of the best air fryers to find one that can prepare their food in minutes so they can get on with their research! The good news is that some law schools actually offer free lunches along with midday lectures, and there is a wonderful sense of camaraderie among students.
While all of this sounds like a lot of effort and hard work, it is well worth it. You learn the tenacity and work ethic that you need to become a successful lawyer in the USA today. And, of course, when you finally achieve your dream position you’ll reap all of the benefits of your years of hard work.