Are you considering a career as a lawyer? Working in the legal field is not simple. In reality, lawyers are among the world’s most talented and educated individuals. To be a lawyer, you must complete extensive instruction and practical experience.
Despite the difficulties, the law is a well-liked career. It is in high demand because there is always someone looking for a local lawyer. Do you believe you have what it takes? The following guide will help you navigate your legal career as a lawyer.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
Table of Contents
- How Many Years of School to be a Lawyer?
- How to Become a Lawyer?
- What is the Most Important Skill Needed to be a Lawyer?
How Many Years of School to be a Lawyer?
It usually takes seven years to be a lawyer. To be a lawyer, you must first complete four years of university education and three years of law school.
On the other hand, you may also opt to work in the legal profession before law school to boost your application. In most cases, six to twelve months of on-the-job training shadowing an experienced attorney is also required.
You will learn about constitutional law, property law, contract law, civil procedure, and legal writing as part of your legal education. Also, you will have the option of taking advanced tax, labour, and corporate law courses.
How to Become a Lawyer?
How to become a licensed attorney? Keep reading to find out.
1. Earn Your Degree
Once you’ve determined that law is the path for you, you’ll need to enrol in an LLB programme, which takes 4 to 5 years to complete. If you want to be a lawyer at one of the prominent law firms, you’ll need to work hard from the start because grades matter in the competitive legal profession.
2. Take a Shadow Job at a Law Firm
It’s best to start looking for shadow work as soon as possible. Nevertheless, most more prominent law firms only hire students in their final year of law school for summer work. During July or December, this employment lasts typically a week or two.
On the flip side, most of the best companies provide vacation work. It’s a fantastic opportunity to work in a professional law firm and network with other lawyers. Plus, it will look good on your CV, and the contacts you create will likely help you acquire articles in the future.
3. Complete Articles of Clerkship
To be admitted as a lawyer, you must finish two years of law articles. During that time, you will work as a “candidate lawyer” in a law firm under the supervision of a seasoned lawyer. Besides, an aspiring lawyer can do a year-long full-time PLT course followed by a year of articles.
4. Prepare Your CV and Cover Letter
For the duration of your search for a holiday job and articles, your CV and cover letter will speak for you. Hence, it is worthwhile to devote some time to them and to pay them special attention. An excellent CV cannot make up for a poor academic record, and vice versa.
Maintain a professional tone and stick to the subject. Avoid using flamboyant words and refrain from sounding overly intellectual. If English isn’t your first language, get it checked by someone else. With a strong cover letter and CV, you only get one chance to make a solid first impression.
5. Undergo a PLT
Practical Legal Training (PLT) is a mandatory course in practical legal training that you must take before being admitted to the bar. The goal of the course is to teach you critical legal skills and prepare you for board exams. Some large corporations offer an “in-house” PLT course.
Everyone else should contact their local bar association. They will tell you where the course may be taken and when it can be completed. You have the option of taking either the long or condensed course.
If you enrol in the full-time programme, you will cut your articles by one year. This alternative is growing in popularity, but be aware that many law offices are hesitant to hire a candidate lawyer for only a year. Nonetheless, if the prospect of two years of articles gives you the creeps, it’s an alternative worth considering.
6. Take an Attorneys’ Admission Examination
It’s time to take your Attorneys’ Admission Examination when you’ve completed your PLT course.
Attorneys’ Admission Exams are generally taken in February and August of each year. You can choose which of the four examinations you want to take and when you want to take them.
For example, you may schedule two tests in August of your first year of studies and the remaining two in February of your second year. Some people prefer to write all four of them at the same time. Nevertheless, it is all up to you.
The bookkeeping and wills and estates exams are particularly tough for people with no accounting background. Fortunately, some private instructors provide extra classes in these disciplines.
7. Get Admitted as a Lawyer
After you’ve finished your articles and passed all of your board tests, you can petition the court to be admitted as a lawyer. This procedure necessitates the filing of a formal high court application.
A notice of motion must be filed in court, together with an affidavit, and an advocate must be briefed to move the application on the specified date. Although your law firm should handle the entire procedure for you, you can play a role in ensuring that your principal completes it accurately and on time.
What is the Most Important Skill Needed to be a Lawyer?
Lawyer skills include a wide range of hard and soft talents that are both profession-specific and transferable. To be a lawyer, you will need a variety of talents, including communication, understanding of legal procedures, standards, and laws, and many more.
Many lawyers are also technically competent, regularly using programmes and apps such as word processors, spreadsheet software, scheduling software, and technical communication tools. You will want to build numerous talents as you begin your career, including:
1. Time Management
Lawyers labour under a lot of time constraints. It is a circumstance where time is literally ticking away. They will have a court date, and they will have to gather enough evidence in that time. They cannot be people who work late or beg for a deadline extension. As a result, you will need to be able to operate under pressure and stay focused.
2. Analytical and Research
Lawyers rely primarily on their abilities to conduct extensive research into areas relevant to the cases they handle. To be a lawyer, you will also need the ability to examine details, gather information, deduce context from clients and witnesses, and perform other analytical tasks. Documents, complex data, and additional information are standard in this field. Furthermore, you will need to conduct research and think critically about what you’re doing.
Working in the legal field necessitates teamwork. Even the most successful lawyers rely on colleagues and aides for assistance. Lawyers deal with a lot of data, so they typically pool their efforts and concentrate on different aspects of a case. Even the tiniest cases are not won by a single person: they require a collaborative effort.
4. Public Speaking
To be a lawyer, you must talk in front of big groups of people with confidence. You should be able to express yourself clearly and know how to persuade others. Language is an essential aspect of the law, and the finest lawyers understand that what they say matters.
On the other hand, you could lose your credibility if you use the wrong word or mispronounce it. So, if you’re good at public speaking and can persuade people with the strength of your voice, you might have the makings of a lawyer.
5. People Skills
Lawyers work and engage with a wide range of clients and professionals. Thus, having good people skills, such as empathy and connecting with others, is hugely beneficial. When interacting with clients, lawyers frequently use skills such as reading emotions, providing assistance, and assisting in conflict resolution.