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Law School Degree - How to Earn a Law School Degree in the United States

complete your undergraduate studies apply to several law schools choose a focus find the right internship

Earning a law school degree can be a time consuming process, but it is something that anyone with the proper skills and ambition can achieve. There is more to earning a law school degree than just getting good grades in your law school classes, however. Law school involves several aspects of legal training outside the classroom as well as inside the classroom. It can take three to four years to complete a law school degree program.

Complete Your Undergraduate Studies

The first step toward earning a law school degree is to successfully complete your undergraduate studies. Undergraduate work requires at least four years at an accredited college or university. The field of study that you choose for your undergraduate work does not need to correspond directly to legal studies, but it is recommended that you pursue a degree that would be helpful with your later legal studies. Many people who intend to pursue a law school degree will earn undergraduate degrees in political science or government studies, which are both good introductions to law school topics.

Apply to Several Law Schools

The number of people who apply to earn a law school degree makes the application process very competitive. If you intend to study law and eventually earn your law school degree, you need to begin completing and submitting law school applications during your final year of undergraduate work. The earlier your application is submitted, the better your chances of having someone consider it carefully. Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to complete the application. Many law schools require lengthy written applications that should be approached with care. Your application should reflect all of your best qualities so that the school will be interested in having you as a student. Submit applications to several schools so that you increase your chances of being accepted into one of them. Even if you do not make it into the school that was your first choice, you will still be able to pursue a law school degree from another school.

Choose a Focus

When you are accepted into a law school degree program it is time to begin thinking about what type of law you would like to go into. There are several fields to choose from. You could become a criminal lawyer, a trial lawyer, a corporate lawyer, or one of many other types of attorneys. Every law school degree program provides you with the basic foundation for a career in law. It is up to you to choose the specific field that you would like to work in and make sure that you take the courses that you will need to focus on your chosen field. Each law student has some flexibility in the overall focus of his or her program toward a specialized field that will be their emphasis once they graduate and are out working with the public.

Find the Right Internship

Most law school degree programs require that their students spend a specific amount of time working as interns. These internships could involve working directly with trial lawyers as assistants. Legal interns also work in law offices performing research and completing drafts for the lawyers they work for. An internship is a way to explore the legal profession in a hands-on manner without having to be directly responsible for the outcome of the cases that you work on. You get to be part of the process of being an attorney in the real world, which provides valuable experience for your first few years after graduation.

Pass the Bar Exam in Your State

Every state in the United States requires that attorneys pass the bar exam before they can practice. Before you earn your law school degree, you will attend several courses to prepare you for the bar exam. Though the exam is usually extensive, it requires the same general legal knowledge that you receive while you are earning your law school degree. To earn a law school degree requires several years of intense study. Students need to have excellent reading, writing, and cognitive skills to be successful. Law school students are generally very disciplined and organized, which helps them stay on track as they move through the law school program.

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