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Employment
Ph.D. Doctorate
Education

Lawyer Education Requirements

Becoming a lawyer is a long and competitive process. A bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year university is mandatory. An associate's degree will not suffice. Your major is not important since this will not affect your chances of entering law school, but your grade point average will. Maintaining a high grade point average (GPA) throughout your four years is important.

Once you have completed your bachelor's degree, the next step is to take the entrance exam known as the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test). This is a half-day exam so preparation is important. Investing in study guides, practice tests and a LSAT prep course will help with your success. The next step is applying to a law school. Your GPA and LSAT scores will influence your chances of acceptance. Most schools minimum score requirement will decide your application being considered.

Once accepted, expect to spend a minimum of three years as a full-time student. Law school focuses on essay exams and requires formulating information in a way acceptable to your professor, so it is imperative to adopt to this style of learning early.

Next, after graduating law school, you must prepare for the bar exam. The best way to prepare and pass on the first try is to take the bar review course. The money is worth the investment because it aids in organizing your thoughts and ensures you covered all the necessary information. The last step is passing the Character and Fitness evaluation. This is an extensive and intrusive investigation into your personal history and records to decide your ethics in practicing law.

Education is not the only skill needed for this profession. The ability to articulate effectively, be persuasive, mediate disputes, and recall large volumes of legal documents and precedents are all essential.

Education History of Lawyers

The most common degree held by lawyers is Pre-Law. 9 percent of lawyers had a degree in pre-law before becoming lawyers. That is over 33 times the average across all careers. Political Science graduates are the second most common among lawyers, representing 4 percent of lawyers in the Sokanu user base, which is 3.3 times the average.

Lawyer Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming a Lawyer, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of lawyers % of population Multiple
Pre-Law 9.2%
0.3%
33.4×
Political Science 4.4%
1.3%
3.3×
English Literature 3.0%
2.2%
1.4×
Economics 3.0%
2.0%
1.5×
Foreign Language Studies 1.8%
0.7%
2.8×
History 1.8%
1.0%
1.9×
Psychology 1.8%
3.0%
0.6×
International Relations 1.8%
0.7%
2.7×
Business Management And Administration 1.6%
3.6%
0.4×
Finance 1.4%
1.0%
1.4×
Other Foreign Languages 1.4%
0.2%
5.9×
Biology 1.2%
1.6%
0.8×
Philosophy And Religious Studies 1.2%
0.7%
1.7×
Business 1.0%
1.0%
1.0×
Marketing And Marketing Research 1.0%
1.1%
0.9×
Criminal Justice 1.0%
0.5%
2.2×
Public Policy 1.0%
0.1%
7.9×

Lawyer Education Levels

76% of lawyers have a doctorate degree. 24% of lawyers have a master's degree.

No education 0%
High school diploma 0%
Associate's degree 0%
Bachelor's degree 0%
Master's degree 24%
Doctorate degree 76%

How to Become a Lawyer

Interested in becoming a lawyer? Here are your next steps.

  1. Take the Sokanu Career Test

    Would you make a good lawyer? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

    Take the free career test
  2. Get the Education

    A doctorate degree is required to be a Lawyer. A pre-law degree is preferred. Schools offering education in this field include:

    • Columbia College | Columbia, SC
      Offers: Certificate, Associates, Bachelors
    • Albertus Magnus College | New Haven, CT
      Offers: Bachelors
    • Asnuntuck Community College | Enfield, CT
      Offers: Certificate
    • Lincoln College of New England-Southington | Southington, CT
      Offers: Associates
    • University of Bridgeport | Bridgeport, CT
      Offers: Bachelors
  3. Get Hired

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    View all jobs →

    Would you like to post jobs on this career? Find the best candidates using Sokanu's new psychometric job platform. Visit employers.sokanu.com today.

Further Reading

Find your perfect career

Would you make a good lawyer? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

Take the free career test

Recommended Books

  • The Happy Lawyer: Making a Good Life in the Law www.amazon.com

    The Happy Lawyer examines the causes of dissatisfaction among lawyers, and then charts possible paths to happier and more fulfilling careers in law. Eschewing a one-size-fits-all approach, it shows how maximizing our chances for achieving happiness depends on understanding our own personality types, values, strengths, and interests.

  • The New What Can You Do with a Law Degree: A Lawyer's Guide to Career Satisfaction Inside, Outside & Around the Law www.amazon.com

    In this new, 6th edition of a law career classic, lawyers are introduced to a unique, five-part model for career satisfaction. It is based on a well-established principle that the better the fit between your career identity and your job, the greater your long-term satisfaction. The five-part model developed by Larry Richard JD/Ph.D. will help identify your career identity so that you can find lifelong satisfaction in the traditional practice of law, or through alternative work arrangements, or career choices.

  • Should You Really Be a Lawyer?: The 2013 Guide to Smart Career Choices Before, During & After Law School www.amazon.com

    As parents, advisers, professors, and the legal-industrial complex, continue to emphasize such questions as “how to succeed on the LSAT”, “how to ace law school exams”, and “how to pass the bar,” an increasing number of undergraduates and law students are asking a more fundamental question: Should I really be a lawyer? Of all the law career-related titles, “Should You Really Be a Lawyer” remains the only book that asks this question so that readers like you can make a smarter, more informed decision about whether to become (or remain) a member of the bar.

  • Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges www.amazon.com

    In their professional lives courtroom lawyers must do these two things well: speak persuasively and write persuasively. In this noteworthy book, two of the most noted legal writers of our day Justice Antonin Scalia and Bryan A. Garner systematically present every important idea about judicial persuasion in a fresh, entertaining way.

  • The Art of Advocacy: Briefs, Motions, and Writing Strategies of America's Best Lawyers www.amazon.com

    The Art of Advocacy: Briefs, Motions, and Writing Strategies of America's Best Lawyers presents more than 150 examples of masterful advocacy to show lawyers how to write winning motions and briefs. The book focuses on the strategic and substantive choices that top litigators make, drawing examples from important, timely, and controversial cases.

  • The Tools of Argument: How the Best Lawyers Think, Argue, and Win www.amazon.com

    Joel Trachtman's book presents in plain and lucid terms the powerful tools of argument that have been honed through the ages in the discipline of law. If you are a law student or new lawyer, a business professional or a government official, this book will boost your analytical thinking, your foundational legal knowledge, and your confidence as you win arguments for your clients, your organizations or yourself.

How to Become a Lawyer

Interested in becoming a lawyer? Here are your next steps.

  1. Take the Sokanu Career Test

    Would you make a good lawyer? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

    Take the free career test
  2. Get the Education

    A doctorate degree is required to be a Lawyer. A pre-law degree is preferred. Schools offering education in this field include:

    • Columbia College | Columbia, SC
      Offers: Certificate, Associates, Bachelors
    • Albertus Magnus College | New Haven, CT
      Offers: Bachelors
    • Asnuntuck Community College | Enfield, CT
      Offers: Certificate
    • Lincoln College of New England-Southington | Southington, CT
      Offers: Associates
    • University of Bridgeport | Bridgeport, CT
      Offers: Bachelors
  3. Get Hired

      Loading jobs...

    View all jobs →

    Would you like to post jobs on this career? Find the best candidates using Sokanu's new psychometric job platform. Visit employers.sokanu.com today.