Table of Contents
- Difficulty of Becoming a Lawyer
- Timeline for Becoming a Lawyer
- Costs of Becoming a Lawyer
- Majors for Becoming a Lawyer
Becoming a lawyer requires a significant amount of schooling. It can take approximately seven years of post-secondary education to become a lawyer in the United States, depending on the state in which you plan to practice. To become a lawyer in California, for example, you must earn an undergraduate degree and then attend an American Bar Association (ABA)-accredited law school.
Becoming a lawyer can be challenging, but with dedication and hard work, it can be done. It is important to note that the amount of schooling required to become a lawyer is extensive and competitive. You must be prepared to work hard and compete with other aspiring lawyers in order to succeed.
The timeline to become a lawyer varies by state. In California, it is expected to take approximately seven years of post-secondary education. Generally, the timeline to become a lawyer includes:
- Earn an undergraduate degree, which typically takes four years
- Take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), which can take several months of preparation
- Attend an ABA-accredited law school; typically three years
- Pass the written bar exam in the state in which you plan to practice law
- Successfully complete a character and fitness review—this can take several months and involves a background check
- Pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE)
- Become licensed and practice law
The cost of becoming a lawyer can vary greatly. Generally, a law degree can cost anywhere from $75,000-$200,000. In California, the cost of law school is estimated to be around $50,000-100,000 or more. The cost of living in California can also add to your overall cost of becoming a lawyer.
It is not necessary to major in a specific area to become a lawyer, but many students choose to major in political science, history, economics, or English. Generally, any major can be beneficial for law school, as long as you have a solid foundation of legal knowledge. It is important to remember that it is not only your major that will be taken into account when applying to law school, but also your LSAT score, letters of recommendation, and undergraduate GPA.