What Are the Educational Requirements for Becoming a Lawyer?


Quick Answer

Generally, the educational requirement to become a lawyer includes a Juris Doctor degree from an accredited legal education institution. However, since the requirements to become a lawyer are set by the bar association of each state, these requirements vary from state to state.

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Full Answer

Traditionally, individuals wanting to become lawyers must first obtain a Bachelor’s degree. After graduation, prospective law students take the Law School Admissions Test. The LSAT score is used by law schools during the admissions process.

Once admitted to a law school, students spend an average of three years to obtain their Juris Doctor degree. Upon receiving a law degree from a legal education institution accredited either by the American Bar Association or the state where an individual intends to practice, he or she can take the state bar admission exam. Upon completion of the exam and any other state-wide requirements, he or she is admitted to practice as a lawyer.

Certain states, such as California, provide alternate methods of admission into the state bar for applicants who do not have a law degree. According to the State Bar of California, an applicant may meet legal education requirements by working for four years in an on-the-job training capacity under a California attorney.

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