The typical path to practicing law requires about seven years of education. To become a lawyer students must first complete a bachelor's degree (typically 4 years), then earn a Juris Doctor (J.D) from an ABA approved law school. After law school, students must pass the Bar Exam, to legally practice law.
Preparing for Law School
Being “prelaw” is a statement of mind, rather than a formal track. It is one’s intention to go to law school. Students can become prelaw at any time before, during, or after their undergraduate career. While there is no set major required to apply for law school, one should focus on developing the skills necessary to be a successful law student and lawyer through a variety of coursework, extracurricular activities, and experiences. These skills include, but are not limited to:
- Problem Solving
- Critical Reading
- Writing, Editing, Research
- Oral Communication/Listening
- Public Service/Promotion of Justice
Doing well in your courses is a critical part of preparing for law school. Your GPA is one key component of the law school application. While you are in your undergraduate career, you have the most control over your GPA. Try to focus on doing well in your courses and building connections with your professors.
Below is a sample 4 year plan of a prelaw student: