How Long Does it Take to Become a Lawyer?

Filed in Degrees by on 27th April 2021

Read on to know how long it takes to become a lawyer. This post is for those interested in practicing law. 

How Long it Takes to Become a Lawyer
Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

This post details who a lawyer is, how many years it takes to become several kinds of lawyers, and the educational requirements to become a lawyer in the USA. 

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Who is a Lawyer?

According to the American Bar Association, a lawyer is a licensed professional who advises and represents people and institutions in legal matters. The lawyer is also an attorney, counselor, or counsel. 

Lawyers apply abstract legal theories and knowledge which they have gained from a law education. This helps them represent people in legal matters, solve specific individualized problems or advance the interest of their clients.

lawyers protect the client’s rights while upholding the law.

Below are the main duties of a lawyer:

  • Make oral arguments in courts supporting their clients.
  • Research and draft court papers briefing the court on the issues in a case before the day they will orally argue it.
  • Perform advocacy roles in administrative hearings
  • Build a relationship with their clients through intake and counseling with regard to pending litigation.
  • Provide legal advice to their clients regarding what they should do next.
  • Protect the intellectual property of their clients through patents, trademarks, and industrial designs.
  • Negotiate and draft contracts
  • Execute the intent of the deceased by drafting wills, trusts, and other documents to ensure the efficient deposition of a person’s property after death.

How Much Does a Lawyer earn?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), lawyers in the USA earn approximately $120,910 per year. In London, Glassdoor gives the salary of attorneys, as £68,171 per year and Lawyers in Melbourne, Australia as A$85,000 per year. 

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How Long is Law School?

Basically, Law School takes three (3) years to complete. However, before you get into a law school, you must have completed a bachelor’s degree that provides you with knowledge in political science, criminal justice, history,  and philosophy.

A bachelor’s degree takes three to five years to complete. However, full-time programs are shorter.

Since you must have passed through law school before you become a lawyer, it takes seven (7) years to complete the required education to become a lawyer. 

How Long Does it Take to Become a Lawyer in the USA?

The duration for becoming a lawyer in the United States is 7 years. This means that, for an undergraduate degree, you spend four (4) years, and then  three (3) years in Law School degree.

Therefore, to become a lawyer in the USA, you must follow the steps below:

Firstly, get an undergraduate degree from an accredited university or college. The bachelor’s degree must cover courses in English, Government, History, Public Speaking, Economics, and Mathematics.

Secondly, you must write and pass the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) to enter Law School. Law school takes three years to complete. Be sure you attend an ABA-accredited law school.

Lastly, prepare and write the Bar Exam in your state or the state you hope to practice in. Once you’ve passed the bar exam, you’ll need to pass your State’s Bar Association’s character and fitness review to be officially admitted to Bar. This takes a number of months, and depends on how clean your background is.

In summary, it takes 7 to 8 years to become a lawyer in the USA. 

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What is the average GPA for law schools?

For law colleges, the overall GPA is between 2.95 to 3.0. Students have higher GPAs in general than high LSAT ratings.

What is the average LSAT score?

The median LSAT score is around 150, so you should endeavor to score over 160 if you want to  gett into one of the best law schools.

Each test contains about 101 questions, and every question correctly answered accounts for one point of your raw score.

The raw score (0–101) is translated into a score varying from 120 to 180 using a formula built for that particular LSAT. Therefore,a raw score of 99 out of 101 generally translates into 180.

What subjects do you need to become a lawyer?

To become a lawyer. takes a lot of time, commitment, and smart decisions .

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you need to pass courses in English, history, economics, public speaking, government and mathematics, to become a lawyer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to become a lawyer?

It takes 7 years to become a lawyer in the USA. In the UK, it takes 6 to 7 years to become a Solicitor and 5 years to become a barrister if you follow the direct-entry path. For the non-law graduate path, it’ll take 10 to 12 years to become a solicitor, and 10-11 years to become a barrister.

How many years is law school to be a lawyer?

In the USA, law school takes 3 years for full-time education and 4 years for part-time education. In the UK, a law degree takes just 4 years to complete.

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What degree do you need to be a lawyer?

To become a lawyer in the USA, you need any kind of undergraduate degree and a Juris Doctor (J.D). In the UK, however, you’ll need a Bachelor of Law (LL.B.) Hons. to become a lawyer. You can proceed to get a master’s degree, however, if you wish to practice law globally or specialize in a type of law.

What subjects do you need to become a lawyer?

English, History, Public Speaking, Government, Economics, and Mathematics.

What do lawyers study?

At law school, lawyers study courses that include constitutional law, tort, contracts, property law, civil procedure, and legal writing. In your third year of law school, courses will be taken based on your specialization. For example, a criminal defense lawyer would take courses in criminal defense law.

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