Do you have dreams of one day standing in the courtroom as an intellectual mercenary who instills fear in the hearts of all who stand before you? Alright, so maybe I made being a lawyer sound cooler than it actually is, but alas: if you are curious about how long it takes to become a lawyer, I invite you to read on. I promise I’ll be serious.
Generally, one needs a four year bachelor’s degree and three years of law school at 864 credit hours per year to earn a juris doctor. Further, one needs to obtain a license by gaining admission to the bar in the state one wishes to practice in by sitting for and passing the bar exam of that state.
The bachelor degree does not necessarily have to be law related and can actually be any degree. However, most students choose criminal justice or political science as these degrees act as stepping stones to ease the transition into law school. Further, although one can complete the bachelor’s degree in only two and a half years I highly recommend taking your time to finish so that you can maintain a high grade point average, something that is very important when applying to law school. Try build meaningful relationships with your professors and stay in their good books because you will need letters of recommendation from them to add weight to your law school application. Moreover, it is very important to start preparing for the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) early on because, again, the score you receive on this test is very important when applying for admission to a law school. With the excessive amounts of competition that exists these days every extra point you get is of utmost importance and you should fight tooth and nail to get it.
Alright, let’s assume you’ve completed your undergrad, came out on top with a 4.0 GPA, sparkling letters of recommendation and have gotten into a top 10 law school because that’s how you roll, how long do you have to stay here? Let’s find out! Normally, a law degree takes around 3 years to complete if the student carries a full credit load, which is something you should be doing because come on, it’s not that hard.
Once you have passed out of law school it is time to appear for and pass the bar exam of the jurisdiction of your preference. Most students give the exam a few months after completing their law school. Having passed this, you can begin practicing law as an attorney. All in all, it takes about seven to eight years of education, exams, and hard work to become a lawyer.