The key isn't to become a lawyer -- that isn't too hard. It's to become a lawyer with real prospects for employment. These days, that's hard to do. That means either getting into one of the top 14 law schools in the country or graduating at the top of your class from one of the next 86 law schools.
I suggest you spend some time reading every negative article you can find about going to law school on AboveTheLaw.com. If you still think law school is a good idea after that, then go for it.
Legal Information is Not Legal Advice My answer provides information about the law based on the limited information provided in the questions asked and is not intended to provide legal advice or opinions, and does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. The answer to the question is for educational and informational purposes only. The law differs in each jurisdiction and may be interpreted or applied differently depending on the jurisdiction or situation. Accordingly, I highly recommend that you consult with an attorney to discuss the details of your problem so you can get legal advice tailored to your particular circumstances. I am licensed to practice law in California, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Law school. In all seriousness, I presume that you mean for your undergraduate degree. If that is the case, ANY rigorous accredited degree program will adequately prepare you, since there is no set undergraduate degree requirements to get into law school. What you should really consider is "what degree, when coupled with a law school degree, will make me more desirable to employers?" In that regard, an undergraduate degree in the hard sciences, computer science or engineering will be very valuable to many corporate and legal firms. Think about it -- many, many companies in the US are technology based so having a lawyer (either on staff or outside counsel) who understands and is comfortable with technology at a detailed level can be more valuable than someone with a degree in history, psych or political science.
If however, you want to be a government/regulatory attorney, then attending a college in the Washington, DC area (so that you can possibly get an intership and some experience in that type of agency) can be valuable, both because of the experience you will get and the connections you may make.
This information is intended to be general and educational in nature. It is not intended to be specific legal advice or establish an attorney-client relationship. I require a signed retainer agreement from a potential client to establish an attorney-client relationship and before I will provide specific legal representation.
Any law school can help you become a lawyer. You need to find a school that is a good match for the type of law you want to practice. I recommend asking some of your local attorneys that practice the type of law you are interested in for informational interviews. That will be much more helpful for you to gain insight about the process.
I am an attorney licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the States of Delaware and New Jersey. My practice includes employment, business and health care law. Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey or Federal law applies.
That being said, any college or university that has an accredited 4-year degree program (after which you will get your bachelor's degree) is sufficient - on paper - to meet the requirements of most law schools. The better the college/university, the better your chance of being admitted to a law school. However, a college that will provide you with critical thinking skills, language and writing skills and research experience is likely the best choice. Unfortunately, there is no one set of colleges that can do this - some people will learn these skills more thoroughly at one college, and others will learn them more thoroughly at another. Good luck.
/Christopher E. Ezold/
The Ezold Law Firm, P.C.
Employment, Business and Health Law
One Belmont Avenue, Suite 501
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
I am an attorney licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the States of Delaware and New Jersey. My practice includes employment, business and health care law. Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey or Federal law applies. /Christopher E. Ezold/ The Ezold Law Firm, P.C. Employment, Business and Health Law One Belmont Avenue, Suite 501 Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 (610) 660-5585 Cezold@Ezoldlaw.com www.ezoldlaw.com
I agree with much of what was said by the other attorneys who have responded to your question. However, I thought it may be helpful to explain that becoming an attorney involves two steps. First, you must obtain an undergraduate (four year) degree from an accredited college or university. During your final year as an undergraduate, you would normally take your LSATs and apply to law school. Here in Pittsburgh, there are two law schools at Pitt and Duquesne. There are a number of other options in Pennsylvania and nearby states. It is not necessary that you attend either of these schools as an undergraduate.
I do note that many law school graduates are finding it difficult to find jobs after law school. Therefore, the choice of whether or not to attend law school must be made carefully and realistically.
This answer contains general information only; and it is not intended as legal advice. It is not intended to and does not create an attorney client relationship. Information contained here is only a starting point and you should consider discussing your specific problem in depth with a licensed attorney.
YOU are the entity with the greatest power to determine if you will you become a lawyer.
You DO NOT need a specific college.
You DO NOT need a specific degree.
You DO NOT need a specific law school.
You DO need a plan with an end-state in mind, and the ability to execute the plan (time, money, focus, sticktoittiveness, and luck).
NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this matter.