What Education Do I Need to Be an Attorney?

If you're interested in becoming a law attorney, then you'll need about seven years of postsecondary education. To become an attorney, you must have a bachelor's degree, take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), complete three years of law school and pass the written bar exam. Schools offering Legal Studies degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Law Attorney Career Overview

Law attorneys, or lawyers, represent clients in legal disputes. In this career, you'd conduct legal research, advise clients on legal issues, prepare legal documents and argue on behalf of your clients in court. You could work in a number of different specialties, such as family law, corporate law, criminal law or tax law.

Undergraduate Requirements

Individuals interested in working as law attorneys must earn a 4-year undergraduate degree in any subject, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). You need strong writing, speaking, reading and analytical skills in order to prepare for law school admission tests. You should also take courses that can strengthen your critical thinking skills, such as:

  • English
  • Public speaking
  • Philosophy
  • Political science

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

As an undergraduate, you should prepare to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The BLS states that all law schools approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) require students to take the LSAT. Entrance into law school is competitive, and acceptance depends on an applicant's undergraduate coursework and grades, LSAT scores and a personal interview.

Law School Info

Law school takes about three years to complete, if attending on a full-time basis. You'll learn about legal writing, constitutional law, torts, civil procedure, property law and contracts during your first year of law school. You'll gain legal experience with practice trials that are supervised by professional lawyers and judges in your program's legal clinics. You'll also get to study specialty courses, such as corporate, education or tax law. After completing your law school education, you'll receive a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree.

Licensure Info

Law graduates with a J.D. are eligible to take the written bar exam. You must pass the written bar exam for the state in which you intend to practice. Once you pass the bar exam, you belong to that bar and are licensed to practice law in that specific state.

Some states permit candidates to take the bar exam without a J.D. degree. In these states, you may prove you are qualified to take the bar exam through alternative means.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

Popular Schools

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    Online Programs Available

  • DeVry University

    DeVry University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at DeVry University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online and Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Anywhere: Online Campus
    • Arizona: Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix
    • California: Alhambra, Anaheim, Bakersfield, Colton, Daly City, Elk Grove, Fremont, Fresno, Long Beach, Oakland, Oxnard, Palmdale, Pomona, San Diego, San Jose, Sherman Oaks
    • Colorado: Colorado Springs, Greenwood Village, Westminster
    • Florida: Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Miramar, Orlando, Tampa
    • Georgia: Alpharetta, Atlanta, Decatur, Duluth, Stockbridge
    • Illinois: Addison, Chicago, Downers Grove, Elgin, Gurnee, Naperville, Tinley Park
    • Indiana: Indianapolis, Merrillville
    • Maryland: Bethesda
    • Michigan: Southfield
    • Minnesota: Edina
    • Missouri: Kansas City, Saint Louis
    • North Carolina: Charlotte, Morrisville
    • New Jersey: Cherry Hill, North Brunswick, Paramus
    • Nevada: Henderson
    • New York: New York, Rego Park
    • Ohio: Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Seven Hills
    • Oklahoma: Oklahoma City
    • Oregon: Portland
    • Pennsylvania: Fort Washington, King of Prussia, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh
    • Tennessee: Memphis, Nashville
    • Texas: Austin, Fort Worth, Houston, Irving, Richardson, San Antonio, Sugar Land
    • Utah: Sandy
    • Virginia: Arlington, Chesapeake, Manassas
    • Washington: Bellevue, Federal Way, Lynnwood
    • Wisconsin: Milwaukee
  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • ITT Technical Institute

    ITT Technical Institute responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at ITT Technical Institute:

    • Associate Programs

    Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Georgia: Atlanta, Duluth, Kennesaw
    • Illinois: Springfield
    • Pennsylvania: King of Prussia, Levittown
  • Penn Foster Career School

    Penn Foster Career School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster Career School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Sanford-Brown

    Sanford-Brown responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Sanford-Brown:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Campus Locations:

    • Minnesota: Brooklyn Center
  • University of Phoenix

    University of Phoenix responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at University of Phoenix:

    Online and Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Anywhere: Online Campus
    • Arizona: Mesa, Phoenix, Tempe
    • California: Bakersfield, Bonita, Costa Mesa, Diamond Bar, El Centro, Fresno, Gardena, La Palma, Lancaster, Murrieta, Ontario, Palm Desert, Pasadena, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Marcos, Visalia, Woodland Hills
    • Colorado: Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Westminster
    • Florida: Jacksonville
    • Hawaii: Honolulu
    • New Mexico: Albuquerque, Santa Teresa
    • Nevada: Henderson, Las Vegas
    • Virginia: Arlington

 More Schools