How To Become A Lawyer In The US: For International Students


All aspirants wishing to become lawyers in the US are required to follow the standardized procedure for law school admission. These have been briefly highlighted here for your ease of reference.

Step 1: Get an undergraduate degree

Almost all US law schools require the completion of a prior four year BA or BS degree as a formal criteria for law school admission. So students wishing to become lawyers in the US would have to go to a university and complete either of these two degrees.

Step 2: Take the LSAT exam

The LSAT is the standardized law school admittance test. The LSAT comprises of five sections which include legal reasoning, analytical reasoning, reading comprehension, an unscored experimental section and the essay. You have to do fairly well on the LSAT to gain admission to US law schools. Law schools have different scores for admission. 

Step 3: Apply to an ABA accredited law school

At this point you have to apply for admission at any ABA accredited law school of your choice where you LSAT scores meet the set score for admission. Other factors that may be taken into consideration in granting admission include work/life experience, the completion of a compulsory entrance essay, recommendation letters and diversity. As an international student, you will have to get a student visa from your countries embassy. Lastly, your school transcripts are required in the law school application process.

Step 4: Complete a 3-year full-time JD program

The Juris Doctor (JD) is the US equivalent of an LLB degree in other jurisdictions of the world. The JD degree program usually takes 3 years to complete and 4 years for the evening program. The JD degree is required for eligibility to take the US bar exam. During your last year of law school, you will be required to complete an application to take the bar exam in the state you desire to practice law. 

Step 5: Take the bar exam

The US bar exam is a multiple choice test on the law and an essay exam on the law of the specific state. The bar exam is offered twice a year, usually in the months of February and July. In certain states of the US, it is offered once. Once you pass the bar exam you are automatically a lawyer provided you take continuing legal education throughout your career.

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