Law school is an institution specializing in legal education, usually involved as part of a process for becoming a lawyer within a given jurisdiction.
Do my high school grades matter when applying to law school?
Law schools do not review high school transcripts, including grades, in making decisions regarding admission. However, they do look at college grades.
What should I major in during college?
Most types of law require knowledge from other areas of study. So, in terms of a major, it depends on the type of law you want to practice. For example, if you wanted to have a career in criminal law, using your time in college to learn forensics, DNA analysis and the like may be useful to you. If you wanted to have a career in family law, business law or estate planning, a background in business and finance would be useful. In fact, as most lawsuit in one form or another deal with money, any background in money is useful. If your focus was personal injury, a background in medicine, with classes such as anatomy will be a great help. Classes which teach you to become a proficient writer and public speaker are beneficial. Of course, it never hurts to learn Spanish in Southern California, as speaking Spanish will open you up to a whole community of potential clients.
Will the college I go to affect the law school I get into?
Probably not. Law school admission is in large part based on two (2) criteria: (1) college GPA; and (2) LSAT scores. A third factors law schools consider is your life experience.
What does my college GPA need to be?
The higher it is, the better. Anything lower than a 2.5 GPA will make is extremely difficult to get admitted into an American Bar Association (“ABA”) approved law school. In fact, even with a GPA that is lower than 3.0, you will have a fight on your hands to get into most law schools. Even though very high LSAT scores can help you to overcome a lower GPA, better to work for a higher GPA than bank on doing extremely well on the LSATs.
When do I apply to law school?
Each school is different, but most law schools accept applications from the late fall and into the winter of the year before you plan to attend. Of course, each school is different, but that information can be easily obtained on the individual school’s website.
What is the LSAT?
The LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) is a test that is administered to predict success in law school. Like any test, the correlation between LSAT score and law school GPA leaves plenty to be desired, but just about every law school relies on LSAT scores in making admission determinations.
The LSAT consists of five 35-minute sections of multiple-choice questions. Four of the five sections contribute to the test taker’s score. The unscored section typically is used to pretest new test questions. However, you will not be told what section is the unscored section.
The LSAT is designed to measure skills that are considered essential for success in law school: the reading and comprehension of complex texts with accuracy and insight; the organization and management of information and the ability to draw reasonable inferences from it; the ability to think critically; and the analysis and evaluation of the reasoning and arguments of others.
When do I take the LSAT?
Usually in late in your third year of college (assuming you plan to graduate in four (4) years).
How long is law school?
Three years full time and four years part time. Of course if your law school has summer sessions, you can complete it in 2.5 years.
What do I learn in law school?
Every law school offers all the bar tested courses, which are: (1) Contracts; (2) Torts; (3) Criminal Law and Procedure; (4) Evidence; (5) Constitutional Law; (6) Property; (7) Civil Procedure; (8) Wills and Trusts; (9) Corporations; (10) Remedies; (11) Professional Responsibility; and (12) Community Property (in California law schools).
How much does law school cost?
The most expensive law school currently is Columbia University in New York. Tuition at Columbia is $55,916. Even a state school, such as UCLA’s tuition is $45,285 for in state tuition. So work hard in college to get scholarships. Also, financial aid is available.
What are the requirements to go to law school?
All ABA approved law schools do require a bachelor’s degree. However, California does have unaccredited schools where you can get admitted with no more than an associate’s degree.
Is law school difficult?
It depends on the time you want to put into it. If you work hard your first year of law school, then not so much. However, even if you are able to coast through college, don’t expect to just be able to coast through law school.
After I graduate from law school do I automatically become a lawyer?
No. Each state as well as the Federal Courts have requirements that must be met beyond law school graduation before you can practice law in that jurisdiction.
In California, to be admitted to the bar, in addition to completing law school, you must pass the State Bar Examination, the Multi-State Professional Responsibility Examination, and must be certified by that State Bar that you have the requisite moral character to practice law (as well as be current on any child support obligations) and of course pay $525.00 to the State Bar.
What is the bar exam?
The bar exam is a two (2) or three (3) day examination (depending on your jurisdiction), which tests your knowledge of the law. California currently has a three (3) day bar exam, but it is likely to be reduced to two (2) days by the time each of you completes law school.
When do I take the bar exam?
The California bar exam is offered twice a year, at the end of February and July. Most people graduate law school in the Spring and the sit for the July bar.
What happens if I pass the bar?
If you pass the bar, then provided that you have met the other qualification to practice law, you will be sworn in as a lawyer, and be permitted to practice law in the state.
What happens if I do not pass the bar?
You can retake the bar as many times as you wish. But again, remember it is only offered two (2) times per year in California.
Is the bar exam hard?
Not if you study and take a bar review course. By study, that means that you dedicate at least 8 to 10 hours a day studying for two (2) months.
Does the law school I attend affect what job I get after I pass the bar?
It could. Potential employers usual hire people they know. So if you wanted to work in California, it could be harder to find employment if you went to school out of state. The point being that while in law school, you can make contacts with potential employers by getting summer jobs, volunteering, and joining professional organizations. However, usually the bigger law firms do recruit at out of state schools.
What types of law are there?
As many as you are able to create.
How much could I make as a lawyer?
In 2013, average beginning salaries for lawyers varied the most within the Western region, where they earned the lowest salaries of $46,000 in Hawaii and highest of $76,000 in California. Those in the Midwest made $52,000 to $76,000 per year in South Dakota and Illinois, respectively. If you worked as lawyer in Maine or New York, you’d make $60,000 or $85,000, which were the lowest and highest earnings in the Northeast. In the Southern region, you’d earn the least in Louisiana and most in Washington, D.C., at $60,000 or $83,000, respectively.