Have you ever wanted to become a lawyer? You are not the only one. Plenty of people wish to be lawyers in order to defend innocent victims at court or put criminals behind bars.
It’s a noble profession, as attorneys strive for the greater good and sometimes even take up pro-bono cases, free of charge, in order to help people who are financially incapable of hiring a good attorney. However, there are lawyers who defend criminals or wealthy people who are just after money and no justice. It means that they are not always on the good side.
There are attorneys who have their own offices and work for themselves. Also there are corporate lawyers who work for law firms such as Caldwell Kearns in Harrisburg.
Regardless of the type of an attorney you choose to be, you need to consider couple of things prior to becoming one.
Long education process
The first thing you need to be prepared for is the number of years you’ll have to invest in becoming an attorney. The education process is long-lasting and consists of several phases.
Firstly, in order to enroll in law school, you need to have a Bachelor’s degree in any field, which is essential for the application. Another thing which is required from you is to pass LSAT, the Law School Admission Test. This test is considered to be very important part of your application as it assesses the skills which you need to possess in order to become a lawyer.
The importance of accreditation
After passing these two obstacles, the next one is deciding which law school to go to. While making the decision, you need to consider the location of the school, the type of accommodation you’ll stay in, the tuition cost and its reputation.
Each factor plays a significant role in the decision, but the reputation of the law school is the vital one. You need to choose an accredited school, with an excellent reputation. Visit this page to see the list of approved law schools by the American Bar Association.
Don’t apply to a school which is not certified by any institution as it will affect your future career in a negative way. Those students who visited accredited schools of law, have higher chances of being hired than the ones who didn’t. Naturally, just choosing the right school is not enough. You need to have a good score on LSAT as well as good grades on faculty if you want to be admitted.
After being accepted, you should aim towards getting a Juris Doctor degree, which takes three years of specializing in a certain field. It is best if this field is related to your Bachelor’s degree, for instance, if you have Bachelor of Science, it’s logical to become an environmental lawyer. Therefore, choose your BA carefully in order to be helpful for you in the process of law specialization.
Believe it or not, there is one more thing left before you can call yourself an attorney. The final task for you is to pass the bar examination. It’s a test which assesses your knowledge, but also your practical skills. When you become a member of the bar, you are able to practice law at last.
Plenty of students are not discouraged from going to law school, just because of the multiple years they need to spend in studying. Another more discouraging reason is the education fees. Almost every law student has taken a loan in order to go become an attorney. The only way for middle-class students to get in law school is by getting in debt.
The loans are usually paid back after graduation when students start working and earn good sums of money. But what happens to those students who take a loan, but don’t graduate? The risk is enormous, you need to be sure of your abilities and motivation.
Take a look at the following link: https://www.earnest.com/blog/how-much-does-law-school-cost-in-2019/, to see the approximate cost of law schools in 2019.
Self-confidence and excellent communication skills
Knowledge can certainly help, but being a good orator is the only way to present it. As a lawyer, you need to be had self-confidence; to believe in your skills but also to be confident when representing your clients. It’s the only way to persuade the judge and jury of what you’re saying.
Normally, you need to be a fluent orator in order to present all the information and evidence well. Sometimes the communication skills are enough to change the course of events and win the case.
Time management and working under pressure skills
A good attorney needs to have excellent time management skills and to employ them in creating an efficient schedule. Having plenty of cases means planning your time in a way that you manage to do everything, but still have a little time for yourself.
Cases usually involve deadlines, so you need to have good skills in working under pressure. Some cases will prove harder than others and you need to keep a clear head, not showing your frustration or anger in front of your clients or in court.
Being an attorney is not as fancy as it seems. It requires plenty of time, nerves and studying.
Make sure you know both the positive and negative sides before you embark on the journey of becoming one.