Being a lawyer involves being in legal defense, an attorney or prosecutor. They can represent individuals, corporations or the government in lawsuits. They can also initiate lawsuits by themselves or serve in advisory positions in the various sectors of the economy. At the peak of their careers, lawyers may run to become judges.
There are various areas where lawyers can practice. Some of them include:
- Bankruptcy law
- Business law
- Civil rights law
- Criminal law
- Environmental law
- Family law
- Health law
- Immigration law
- Intellectual property law
- Employment law
- Personal injury law
- Real estate law
- Tax law
It is for you as a plaintiff to know the area of practice where your legal issues lie. For example, divorce lawyers in Joplin can help with anything pertaining to family law.
So, what does it take to become a lawyer?
- Complete a bachelor’s degree
Completing a bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement needed to facilitate admission to law school. The best thing is that the American Bar Association has no particular field of study recommended for one to get into law school. This is the reason why you will notice the varying undergraduate majors for prelaw students.
- Identify law schools
The next step after completing a bachelor’s degree is to identify a law school to join. However, make sure the law school you identify is accredited by the American Bar Association.
As a resident of Missouri, some of the accredited law schools include and not limited to:
- Anthem college – Maryland Heights
- Avila university
- ITT Technical Institute – Earth city
- Central Methodist University – College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
- University of Central Missouri
- Crowder College
- Missouri Baptist University
- Rio Hondo College, Whitter
After identifying a school of your choice, complete the necessary applications and wait for a response.
- Earn a Juris Doctor Degree
To practice law in the United States, earning the Juris Doctor (JD) degree is mandatory. To take on this exam, you should be well-conversant with the faculty, areas of study, as well as the curriculum.
Students first select a specific area of practice to concentrate on. It can be in criminal law, real estate or any of the other categories mentioned earlier.
The Juris Doctor degree can be completed in 3 years of full-time study.
- Pass the bar examination
Passing the bar examination is one of the most important things if you want to be a certified lawyer.
Most states in the US require a lawyer to have graduated from law school and also, passed the state bar examinations. The law school should also be ABA-approved.
Various guidelines should be met prior and while undertaking the bar examination. These testing guidelines vary from one state to the other. However, under normal circumstances, the bar examination is a two-day process. On the first day, examinees complete the Multistate Bar Examination and write examinations that cover various legal matters on the second and final day.
It is good to note that, prior to being offered certification as a lawyer, the state board of bar examiners also take into consideration the candidate’s educational background as well as other things such as competence levels, character, and ability to represent others properly.
After passing the bar examination, candidates can now start practicing law.