Speak Up! - View Question #422
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Question: How long does it take and what do you have to do to become a lawyer?
After graduating high school, it takes about 7 years of college to become a lawyer. In order to attend law school a person must first have a Bachelor's degree in any subject, which usually takes about 4 years to complete. About a year or so before a person wants to be in law school, they have to begin the application process. This includes taking a test called the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). The score on the test, along with the other application materials, helps the admissions officers to decide whether to accept or deny an application for law school.
Law school is 3 years. After law school, a person must be admitted to a state bar in order to practice law in that state. A person must pass a special test called the bar exam that tests the person on their knowledge of the law. The test is usually taken a few months after graduating law school. Additionally, state bars require a person be screened for character and fitness to practice before being admitted. In Arizona, students who graduate in May, pass the test in July and pass character and fitness review are admitted to practice in October, only 5 months after they have finished their schooling. Once admitted, you can practice law. To find out more about applying to law school, visit the Law School Admissions Council online.