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How does one become an attorney?

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"How does one become an attorney?" is a common question among clients and also personal friends.  This brief video blog explains how to become an attorney from David Gerszewski's point of view.

How does one become an attorney?

The academic and practical requirements to become an attorney differ immensely throughout the world. Even among Common Law systems that developed out of English Common Law, there is still great diversity in the hurdles one must overcome before earning that license to practice.

In most countries, a law degree is a bachelor’s degree and may be followed by a sort of required internship. In the United States, however, one must earn a bachelor’s degree in any field, which typically takes at least 4 years

In the summer or fall of the final year of a bachelor’s program the aspiring student must then take a law school entrance exam. The most common of these is the LSAT, or Law School Admissions Test. And within the last few years, some law schools have begun accepting the GRE - or Graduate Record Examination - in lieu of the LSAT.

In the fall of the final year of a bachelor’s program, candidates also apply to one of the 200 accredited professional law schools in the country. There are some unaccredited law schools, primarily in California, but graduates from these schools are largely prohibited from ever practicing law in another state.

Candidates who are accepted then attend law school for three years full time to earn a Juris Doctor - or J. D., which is a professional doctorate degree in law.

Finally, after 4 years of undergraduate college to earn a bachelor’s degree, and then another 3 years of law school to earn a Juris Doctor degree, only then will successful J.D. graduates spend 12-15 hours per day, every day, for 10 straight weeks, studying for their state’s bar exam which is administered over 2 or 3 days depending on the state. If one passes the bar exam, then may they obtain a license from their state supreme court to practice law as an attorney.

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