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How many years does it take to become a lawyer?

Chula Vista, CA |

I am interested in becomeing a family lawyer but I'm not sure what I should major in college or how to go about looking for a law school afterward.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Your major is not as important as developing good communication skills, including writing. Law school is normally 3 years for day students and 4 years for night students. The most expensive law schools are not necessarily the best investment. Los Angeles has numerous law schools beyond the "big names" (UCLA/USC) such as Southwestern and Loyola, and all produce fine lawyers.

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.


  2. Any college major would do, but if you have a hard time deciding, you could major in Political Science. You should take life one step at a time, instead of planning your entire life at once. Things will change with time, and you'll need to adapt to the changes. Before you look for a law school, you'll need to check your finances to determine what you can afford, determine what law schools your undergraduate grades will qualify you for, whether you want to go to a local law school or a law school in another state, and what quality of law school you want to go to. Ask lawyers, teachers, friends, and family about what law schools they recommend and why. Then apply to a number of law schools, because admission is not guaranteed.

    Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is fact specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.


  3. If you are particularly interested in Family Law, psychology or even systems theory will come in handy. The problem is many many family lawyers are solos so finding a firm to work in as an apprenticeship may be tricky at best.

    I'd see if you can find a friend or family member who might give you an unpaid internship before you eve apply, so you can see if this really is a fit. Be aware there are a high number of unemployed law school grads out there.

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  4. Too many to be worth it! :) Kidding. 4 years for college and 3 years for law school. The most important thing you should be concerned with are your grades in college and your LSAT score, as those will be extremely important in which law schools accept you, and also how much money they will give you to attend their school. Remember that it is a cost-benefit analysis. You may decide to go to a lesser ranked law school because they are offering you grant money to attend, or you may go to a top-ranked law school and be in debt for the rest of your life! :) It all comes down to the money, if you ask me. Law school is very expensive. Given that new graduates are coming out of law school with $150,000 in student debt, you need to be very careful and strategic in where you decide to go. Good luck to you!!! I think it is a worthy endeavor. I love being a family law attorney, and hope you will too.

    If you found this answer helpful, let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button or "Best Answer" at the bottom of this answer. By answering this question, the Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton does not intend to form an attorney-client relationship with the asking party. The answers posted on this website should not be construed as legal advice. The Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton does not make any representations about your family law matter, but rather, seeks to provide general information to the public about family-law related matters. You should consult with an attorney to discuss the specific facts of your case. Thank you.