Becoming a lawyer in the USA
Law is the foundation of democratic society and lawyers are the engines of the law. Lawyers play a very important role in the present complex system. They protect the innocent and ensure that everyone gets a fair trial according to the rights given to us by the constitution. Lawyers guide us through the complexities of the legal system and help us out of our problems. If your aim is to become an attorney in USA, here are some things you should know about legal studies in USA, the educational qualifications you need and the best law schools in USA.
Prospective lawyers need to complete four years of college with good grades and then attend a law school for 3 years to get law degree in USA. Law schools accepts students from different majors. So select a major that interests you and excel in it. Different majors help you in different specializations in law school. For example, you can choose to specialize in constitutional law if your major in college was history. You also need to develop your analytical skills before going to a law school.
In order to get into a law school you need to have a college degree with high Grade Point Average (GPA) and you need to clear the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) with a relatively good score. However, just getting a degree from a law school will not allow you to practise law. In order to practice law in a particular state, you need to get admitted into the state bar. You can do that by passing the bar examination. Once you clear the bar examination you are officially allowed to practice law in that state.
There are many law schools present in the country. But in order to have a promising career as an attorney, you need to be admitted into a reputed law school. A good law school provides you with a lot of opportunities and fine-tunes your intellectual capability. You learn how to separate facts from opinions which will help you to work efficiently. Also graduating from a reputed law school will increase your employment opportunities drastically. Some of the best law schools in USA are Yale University, Harvard University, Stanford University, Columbia University, University of Chicago and New York University. A law degree from any of the schools mentioned above boosts your career.
The cost of law education depends on the school you are attending. The tuition fee in Yale University is $50k per year, whereas it is $45k per year in Harvard University. Obviously, tuition fees are much lower in state schools. However, the complete cost of law education, including all the costs such as tuition, housing, food and transportation can easily exceed $150,000 in top-notch schools. Fortunately, legal education can be financed with the help of state and private loans. You can also apply for subsidized or unsubsidized federal loans through FAFSA. There are also many scholarship programs and grants that students can apply in order to finance their education.
Becoming a lawyer demands a lot of hard work and commitment from the student. However, the career prospects for lawyers in USA are very promising. There are ample opportunities for skilled lawyers and the career provides plenty of intellectual stimulation.