How long does it take to become a lawyer

How long does it take to become a lawyer?

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Before we go into details answering the question; how long does it take to become a lawyer? let’s take a look at who a lawyer is?

According to the American Bar Association, a lawyer is a licensed professional who advises and represents people in legal matters. The lawyer is also an attorney, counsel, or counselor. So whenever you hear these alternative names, you still know who the person is referring to.

To be able to represent people in legal matters, lawyers apply abstract legal theories and knowledge which they have gained from a law education. Through the application of this knowledge, they solve specific individualized problems or advance the interest of their customer.

If you have chosen law as your future profession, the next question on your mind will be, how long does it take to become a lawyer? You will like to know how long does it take to become a lawyer so that you can plan and have an idea of the duration of study before you can become a lawyer. The duration of study before you can become a lawyer varies from 6 to 7years.

How long does it take to become a Lawyer?

Most people who aspire to a career as a lawyer take the conventional path of earning a bachelor’s degree followed by three years of law school. The amount of time this actually will take you depends on whether you attend school full-time and pass the bar exam on the first try.

However, not every country or state has the same requirements, so choosing to practice in one country over another can affect the time it takes to become a lawyer.

Prospective lawyers must go through a series of processes before they can be qualified as a lawyer. Prospective law students need to spend about 7years in school before they can be qualified as lawyers.

Let’s go into details of, how long does it take to become a lawyer?

The first step to becoming a lawyer generally is four years of study as an undergraduate at a college or university. It isn’t necessary to focus your undergraduate studies in a legal field or in any particular major for that matter – just as long as you earn a bachelor’s degree. Most law schools that are accredited by the bar association require you to complete a bachelor’s degree to be admitted.

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How long does it take to become a lawyer?

After completing high school or secondary school education, prospective students will need to complete a bachelor’s degree, this bachelor’s degree usually takes four years but from country to country, the duration varies but the average duration for a bachelor’s degree is four years.

There is no specified field for the bachelor’s degree, but there are certain fields that will act as an added advantage for a successful acceptance into law school. Courses like:

  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Economics
  • History
  • Business
  • English

How does it take to become a lawyer? can also depend on the educational structure of your country or desired location of study.

For example, let’s take the United States as a case study.


How long does it take to become a lawyer in the United States? 

In the United States, the educational requirements for a prospective law student take up to years, which is sub-divided into two parts of an undergraduate degree program (bachelor’s degree) of 4 years and a graduate law school degree of 3 years.

Most of the law schools in the United States require applicants to take the Law School Admission teTestor LSAT, as it is commonly referred to. Your performance on the LSAT plays a key role in your law school applications and you’ll need to spend time preparing for it.

However, students who are pursuing an undergraduate degree usually take the test while in college, so preparing for the LSAT doesn’t normally require additional time.

If you fail to meet up with the required score or you already completed your bachelor’s degree, retaking the test or finding time to study for it can increase the amount of time it takes you to become a lawyer. You can check out LSAT

After both programs, there are still some examinations and certifications along the line before one can be certified as a lawyer.

How long does it take to become a lawyer? It can take longer than usual if you are a non-graduate student.

For non-graduate prospective lawyers, you would first, complete a 3 years undergraduate degree program or course.

Then you will proceed to complete a 2 years graduate diploma in law before can now proceed to law school for the main 3 years program.

After which you take the bar exams.  All lawyers must be academically qualified and licensed to perform their professional roles academic qualifications are a prerequisite to taking a state’s bar examination.

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How long does it take to become a lawyer
How long does it take to become a lawyer?

How does it take to become a lawyer?

Soon after graduating from, law school, you will need to take the bar exam in your state of study r in the state where you choose to practice law. Studying for the bar exam will likely take 2 to three months of your time and it will take an additional few months to get the results. But even if you pass, you still can’t hold yourself out as a lawyer until you are officially admitted to the bar.

To be admitted, you must pass a character and fitness review or test by your state’s bar association. This process includes a thorough background check of your financial, criminal, mental, residence and employment history. The amount of time this requires will depend on how your background is and the availability of information about you,  but you can expect it to take several months cause of the numerous checks by the bar association.

Also note that another factor that can determine the duration it takes to become a lawyer is the type of law degree you choose, let’s take a look at the types of law degrees available.

Types of Law Degrees

This can determine the length of time to become a lawyer, the first thing is knowing the type of degree you wish to pursue. Here are the most common law degrees:

  • Juris Doctor – Referred to as the origin of law degrees, this is for students who want to work as licensed lawyers.
  • Master of Legal Studies – This is for individuals who want a solid understanding of the law but don’t wish to become a licensed lawyer.
  • Master of Dispute Resolution – This non-JD degree program is for individuals who want to work for various businesses and deal with negotiations and resolutions.
  • Master of Laws – This degree is for individuals who already have a law degree but want to specialize in a certain area of law, such as intellectual property, family law, or immigration to name a few.
  • Doctor of Judicial Science – This high-level degree is for individuals who have already earned the Juris Doctor and the Master of Laws and wish to pursue careers in research, academia, or as a legal scholar.

Finally, based on law specialization, some kinds of law will require you to get a master’s degree in Law. 

Also, check out our article 16 Cheapest Law Schools in California | Rankings, we hope you will find it helpful.