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Do You Need a Degree to Be a Lawyer?


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There are several ways to become a lawyer, including completing an undergraduate degree and law school. Many students also pursue graduate degrees in law, which can include a Juris Doctor (JD), a Master of Laws (LLM) or a Doctor of Jurisprudence (DSJ). These programs focus on the study of a particular area of legal practice.

Getting a JD from an American Bar Association (ABA)-accredited law school takes three years and culminates in the awarding of a juris doctorate. This degree is the foundation for a career in the field of law and allows students to specialize in a

specific area of law such as family law, criminal law or real estate law.

The traditional route to becoming a lawyer is to earn an undergraduate degree, take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), obtain a JD from an ABA-accredited law school and pass the bar exam. It can be difficult to get into law school, so candidates often apply to a variety of schools.

Some students do not want to spend the time required to complete a degree, but may still wish to pursue a career in the law. In these cases, some states allow potential lawyers to pursue apprenticeships as a substitute for law school.

In most states, law apprentices must complete a minimum of 18 hours a week and five of those hours must be under direct supervision by an attorney. The exact rules are different in each jurisdiction, so it is important to choose the state you want to work in carefully before you enroll in an apprenticeship program.

California, Vermont and Virginia are among the few states that do not require law school as a prerequisite for taking the bar exam. Instead, you must study for four years under the direct supervision of a supervising attorney at a law office in the state. Recommended this site car accident attorneys wilkes barre pennsylvania .


Washington is another state that requires an apprenticeship as a prerequisite for the bar. This apprenticeship involves spending four years working in a law office with a supervising attorney who has at least five years of law practice. This requirement can be a good way to gain some practical experience in the law without having to commit to years of college study.

A few other states, such as Maine, allow you to complete an apprenticeship while pursuing your law degree. You need to complete at least two years of law school and one year in a law office to qualify for the Maine apprenticeship.

While you are in law school, you will learn how to think like a lawyer, analyze legal problems and write convincing arguments. The skills you develop in law school will be invaluable throughout your legal career, regardless of the type of law practice you decide to enter.

There are some exceptions, however, and some states do require a law degree to be eligible for the bar exam. These requirements vary by jurisdiction, so be sure to check with the bar in your state for any additional information you may need.

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