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Lawyers and Lawsuits

Becoming a Lawyer

What does it take to become a lawyer?

Lawyers must possess a degree from a law school and then pass a difficult test known as the bar exam to receive authorization to practice law in the state in which they pass the exam. Most law schools are either three or four year programs. Virtually everyone entering law school must have a college diploma and take a pre-entrance test called the Law School Aptitude Test (LSAT).

After graduating from law school, applicants must then take the bar exam, which is a two-day test in most states (in some states it is three days). Most aspiring applicants take a preparation course, as the bar exam tests person’s knowledge in at least 20 different areas of the law. The test features a difficult 200-question multiple choice exam known as the Multistate exam. This exam—national in scope—tests knowledge of six core areas: (1) contracts; (2) torts; (3) property; (4) constitutional law; (5) criminal law; and (6) evidence. Most states also feature an essay portion of the exam, which focuses more on state law.



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