“A good lawyer never gives up until he wants to, or until he gets what he wants“, said Tarun Singhal. This saying has motivated me a lot and awakened my passion for becoming a lawyer. From that saying, I can see the strong will and determination to accomplish personal goals inside a lawyer’s heart. Indeed, the lawyers’ heroic image of holding the balance of justice in the courtroom has impressed me a lot since I was a little child.
If you plan on pursuing a career in law, the first thing you may want to know is “How long does it take to become a lawyer?” In fact, the journey to becoming a lawyer includes many steps more than the above query. Now, let’s learn more about the process of becoming a lawyer, the requirements, the benefits when you work as a lawyer, and discover the legal training programs in some specific countries.
Table of Contents
Who Is A Lawyer?
When it comes to a lawyer, most of us usually direct our thought to a person who appears to be the embodiment of justice. Indeed, most people are familiar with lawyers’ image as those who stand in a courtroom, orally pleading for their clients. They always seem to deploy compelling, logical, and persuasive arguments. In general, their image is pretty cool, isn’t it? On top of that, lawyer is one of the awe-inspiring jobs sticking to humanity existence.
Nevertheless, their duties and responsibilities are not limited within the courtroom or in a trial as we often think about them. You may be surprised at the typical duties of a lawyer after looking at our precise and comprehensive definition below:
Lawyers are those licensed to practice law and apply the law to protect the interests of their clients. They have important social roles since they protect citizens’ legitimate rights and interests and build a society with justice and civilization. To shoulder those responsibilities, they have to undergo proper and formal training in laws, usually at law schools. Hence, they normally earn great respect from society and are considered law pundits.
Based on their particular works, lawyers fall into two distinct categories: solicitors (those offering clients counsel) and barristers (those arguing cases on behalf of their clients). In the US, people also refer to the term “attorney” as a barrister who acts for their clients to provide arguments and justifications in court.
Why Should You Consider Becoming A Lawyer?
Typically, people choose to become lawyers if they have a passion for it and find it suitable for their personality. Let’s find out the objective reasons as well. I bet capturing these four convincing reasons leave you no ways to hate your current career choice!
Extend Knowledge & Improve Skills
You will broaden both theoretical and practical knowledge throughout your study programs, for example, Criminology Vs Criminal Justice. To obtain a law degree is a genuinely intellectual challenge because of the demanding effort requirements. However, after working your little grey cells with many fundamental subjects, you can expand your knowledge remarkably by specialized topics.
Besides, you can have an excellent chance to hone your skills. In general, working as a lawyer is beneficial for your personal development of useful skills such as problem-solving, analytical, critical-thinking, writing skills. Through a long journey of education and work, lawyers can sharpen their skills via real practice.
- Problem-solving skills: You can look into problems with an objective viewpoint and come up with optimal and practical solutions. Also, you know how to improvise better whenever issues occur as an instinct of a lawyer.
- Public speaking skills: You grow more confident to express your thoughts and ideas fluently and coherently as you practice the law, especially when speaking on behalf of your client. In other words, your speech will become convincing and reasonable.
- Writing skills: You can be more careful and professional in writing, editing, and preparing documents as part of job requirements. Besides, you know the principles to edit and prepare texts clearly and carefully.
- Analytical skills: You can research and analyze legal texts and adopt an in-depth viewpoint on legal issues.
- Logical and Critical thinking skills: One of the essential attributes of a lawyer is thinking logically and critically. As a lawyer, you know how to organize your arguments to be rational, logical, and persuasive with concrete evidence. Moreover, you will be able to come up with reasonable ideas and arguments in discussions and debates to draw sensible conclusions.
Mastermind Development & Objective Judgment
Most of the time, law matters are polarized. It just contains only 2 extremes: right and wrong, nothing in-between. A lawyer stands up for the right and not turns your back on people at a disadvantage, helping them raise their voice against the wrongfulness.
Therefore, a lawyer needs to be more careful and meticulous to avoid making mistakes since they can be fatal. In addition, laws cover a variety of challenging articles, provisions, etc. That’s why your memory will be trained to be more prodigious to consume a considerable number of legal items.
Furthermore, because lawyers represent justice and social equality, they are required to be impartial, avoiding non-transparency and bias. In other words, they always maintain professional work ethics with the so-called judicial impartiality. Indeed, as a lawyer, you know how to prevent emotions from interfering in work. Plus, your views on everything will become impersonal.
Great Prestige and Respect
When working as a lawyer, you can earn great prestige and respect from society. It’s because of 2 reasons:
- Your impressive educational background: A lawyer has gone through a long time of academic study and practical internship. Moreover, a bachelor’s degree and a J.D degree (or higher) demonstrate your huge effort as well as your massive knowledge accumulation. As a result, you can gain admiration and recognition from people.
- Your heroic image while practicing as a lawyer: In everybody’s eyes, a lawyer is like an angel who always stands for and supports the right and the good. In this way, as a lawyer, you can make a significant contribution to building a healthy and low-crime society. That’s why your values deserve society’s respect.
Exciting Career Prospect & Attractive Income
Law is one of the integral parts of human life. It involves every aspect of social life and helps control human society, so the need for law jobs is evergreen. For this reason, with a J.D degree, you never have to be worried about your opportunities to take law-related jobs.
Apart from the legal field jobs, the knowledge and skills you gain from law school are still helpful to work in other fields like pedagogy, content creation, or translation. In other words, you can be a versatile employee if you want to remain open to different job opportunities.
When someone is considering a career as a lawyer, future earnings are the top concern. Lawyer is a job with a highly competitive salary. Even if you are just an entry-level lawyer, your income can still bring you a very comfortable living. This attractive income is a substantive tradeoff for the considerable amount of money you have spent on your path to becoming a lawyer.
Professional Working Environment
When entering the legal field, you can seize precious opportunities to approach and establish business connections with famous and aristocratic people. Indeed, widening your relationship and network is crucial to your career path as well as your personal development.
Besides, if you are a serious person and prefer a strict work discipline, the lawyer career is your domain. Everyone in the legal field tends to respect discipline and follow structured work processes, so there’s no room for delay and non-transparency.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Lawyer?
As lawyers take on such tremendous responsibilities, the questions most of us commonly have are “How long does it take to become a lawyer?” and “How hard is it to become a lawyer?” Honestly, the answer to the question “How many years does it take to become a lawyer?” depends on each country’s legal and educational system.
Now let’s take the USA, Canada, and Japan as examples.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Lawyer in the US?
Law is one of the most-mentioned majors to consider in the US. A law degree in the US, typically J.D (Juris Doctor), is only earned at a postgraduate program. The JD degree journey typically lasts about 7 years: 4 years for an undergraduate program and 3 more years for J.D – a professional degree.
After gaining your bachelor’s degree, you must pass the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) to be qualified for Law School. When choosing a law school, you should know whether it’s ABA-accredited. ABA stands for American Bar Association, an association setting out professional and ethical standards for those who practice law.
If you come from another country with a bachelor’s degree in any field, you only need to take the LSAT and then enter Law School. You don’t need to retake an undergraduate program in Law. However, regardless of your major during your undergraduate study, you still had better take useful courses for your future lawyer career. They include English, Public Speaking, History, Economics, Mathematics, and Politics.
After you have a J.D degree, you have to take the Bar Exam in the state you expect to practice. This exam takes you between 2 and 3 months to prepare. You’ll undergo a background check to be officially approved by your State’s Bar Association if you pass it.
Besides J.D, if you want to dig deeper into particular law areas, you can take an LL.M (Master of Law) degree. It covers many legal specializations, including tax law, commercial law, etc. Apart from studying time, you have to do your 2-year internship or practicum at a law company or a lawyer’s office.
In brief, to become a lawyer in the US is rather long and challenging, lasting from 7 to 8 years. That’s why you must be super diligent and endurable to become a lawyer.
Steps to becoming a lawyer.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Lawyer in the UK?
Unlike the lawyer’s educational routine in the US, becoming a lawyer in the UK doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree in another academic area. The UK’s educational system offers students a bachelor’s degree in law, which typically takes 3 years to complete.
Lawyers in the UK are classified into two types: solicitor and barrister. Each type offers a specific educational program:
Barrister: 5 years (including 3 years for a bachelor’s degree)
– The first and second year: Students participate in occupational training courses at accredited legal training centers.
– The third year: Students do their 1-year internship under the supervision of a senior barrister. The training offers students a chance to gain first-hand experience.
– 1 year for the Bar Professional Training Course (or Bar Courses from 2022). This course includes vocational and compulsory training subjects such as conference skills, ethics, mock courtroom, etc. You will find this knowledge necessary when taking the Bar.
– 1 year for pupillage in Chambers. You have to search for an opportunity to sign a training contract, known as pupillage. Your pupillage will take place in Chambers, judges’ or a barrister’s private office.
Solicitor: 6 years (including 3 years for a bachelor’s degree)
– The first stage: Students take part in training courses at accredited legal training centers.
– The second stage: Students do their 2-year internship in a law counsel company.
– Then, 1 year for a legal practice course (LPC), which provides you with the necessary skills and knowledge to enter the challenging but rewarding world of legal practice.
– Finally, 2 years for practicum or internship, which share the same goal of practicing what you’ve learned. In fact, by nature, a practicum is an observational learning experience when you’ll work under professors’ supervision. By contrast, internships are similar to full-time job positions when you do the real work most of your internship time.
Suppose you already have a bachelor’s degree in another area apart from the law. In that case, you can take a conversion course to gain a Graduate Diploma in Law. If you want to pursue higher education, you can consider an LL.M (Master of Law) degree.
In short, the answer to the question: “How many years does it take to become a lawyer in the UK?” is it would typically take between 5 to 6 years, depending on the lawyer type. For further information, you can watch the video below:
Solicitor or Barrister: Which One Should You Choose? Source: Chelsie Angeles
How Long Does it Take to Become a Lawyer in Canada?
Canada is one of the top wealthiest countries in the world with famous natural scenery, an effective educational and healthcare system, as well as a stable and robust economy. Therefore, many people choose Canada as a place for their study and work.
Amongst diverse ologies in Canada, the law study applies strict criteria for student enrollment. If you want to become a lawyer in Canada, you are obliged to study the LL.B (Bachelor of Laws) program. Those who study Ph.D. or LL.M (Doctor/Master of Law) program without taking the LL.B program are not eligible for taking the license to practice laws in Canada.
It will take you 3 years to complete the LL.B program. During this period, you will learn basic subjects about various law areas, shadow and consult senior lawyers during internships in private offices or Chambers. Moreover, by practicing in mock court, you can accumulate useful knowledge and experience in the legal field such as negotiation, interrogation, documentation and writing skills, etc.
After completing the bachelor’s program, you may consider entering higher education with the LL.M program, which lasts about 2 years. This program focuses on specific law areas that you want to dig deeper into such as tax law, corporate law, international law, intellectual property law, etc. You have to take a number of modules, partake in group-seminars, lectures, and workshops and write an LL.M. dissertation to be eligible to graduate.
In a nutshell, it takes you about 3-5 years to become a lawyer in Canada. The process is a bit shorter and quicker compared to other countries lawyers’ types that you have skimmed through. For more information, watch this video:
Law school application in Canada. Source: Humna Wasim
How Long Does it Take to Become a Lawyer in Japan?
In a developed country like Japan, the law is well-developed to maintain public order and security. Therefore, choosing Japan to study law is a sensible decision.
In Japan, the legal training program applies the “civil law”, a law system that controls the judicial discretion exercised through general abstract principles, different from case-centered and judge-centered common law. This program follows the international legal training standards (along with Germany, France, etc.). It will take you 4 years to complete: the first half (2 years) for general and basic training and the second half (2 years) for the specialized one.
After graduation with a bachelor’s degree, you have to take the bar examination. If you pass the test, you will continue studying at the Legal Research and Training Institute under Japan’s Supreme Court management. It’s a 12-month requisite judicial training program and you have to pass the final examination to enter the legal profession.
In closing, the answer for “how many years does it take to become a lawyer in Japan?” is 5 years, including 4 years for a bachelor’s degree and 1 year for an apprenticeship at the Legal Training and Research Institute.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Criminal Lawyer?
Criminal lawyers are in charge of legally representing individuals or organizations who face accusations of a criminal offense. Also, criminal lawyers can be known as public defenders after being employed by the government.
The educational journey is not smooth. One who wants to become a criminal lawyer is required to have a bachelor’s degree first, in whichever major, then study with a major in criminal defense, and finally, pass the state bar exam to be eligible for working as a criminal lawyer.
At this stage, you should accumulate and practice such useful skills as research, investigation, analysis, and communication skills. It takes about 4 years to complete your undergraduate program.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree, you have to take the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) before enrolling in a law school. You will then spend 3 years studying to earn the J.D (Juris Doctor) degree in your chosen law school. Finally, you have to pass the state bar exam to get a license to practice as a criminal lawyer.
In sum, it takes you 7 years to become a criminal lawyer. This process will definitely put your patience and diligence to a real test.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Corporate Lawyer?
Corporate lawyers learn business and finance law. From there, they will have a full understanding of the theories and expand their applications to solve business’ and corporations’ problems. In other words, their job consists of 2 main functions: to represent businesses legally or give them legal advice.
Similar to the criminal lawyer’s educational path, it takes you 7 years to become a corporate lawyer. First, you need to study at an accredited university or college to gain a bachelor’s degree in a business-related major like economics, business, or finance.
After completing your bachelor’s degree, you have to do 2 things: submit your academic transcript and take the LSAT to enter the corporate lawyer career.
If you want to be an international corporate lawyer, you need to take an LL.M degree (Master of Law degree). Obtaining this degree requires you to spend two more years studying.
Overall, to become a corporate lawyer, it will take you about 7 to 9 years, including 4 years for undergraduate school, 3 years for law one, plus 2 years for LL.M (optional).
How Long Does it Take to Become a Family Lawyer?
A family lawyer can be a great help to you when it comes to family issues, such as divorce, adoption, property, and asset divvying up, etc.
So how long does it take to become a family lawyer? Like other types of lawyers in the USA, a family lawyer typically spends 4 years taking an undergraduate degree in any area of expertise, plus 3 years for law school.
Suppose you decide to become a family lawyer. In that case, you must take courses such as criminal law, property rights, and constitutional law during your first year in your chosen law school. These courses are closely linked with family and marriage issues, so you must take them seriously as a solid foundation for your future career.
Subsequently, as a sophomore or junior at law school, the courses you take will be specialized and advanced about family laws, including marriage, divorce, and custody. Moreover, you will have chances to participate in mock court proceedings to gain valuable and practical experience.
In summary, the educational journey to a family lawyer typically lasts 7 years, including 4 years for a bachelor’s degree and 3 years at law school.
How Long Does it Take to Become an Immigration Lawyer?
More and more citizens of underdeveloped or developing countries tend to immigrate to developed countries to live, work and study. For example, according to the Pew Research Center’s statistics, there were 44.8 million immigrants in the US in 2018 and this foreign-born population is likely to continue increasing.
In this context, there is a significant demand for immigration lawyers to deal with immigration issues. They will represent individuals, families, and businesses in administrative courts, or give them consultation related to legal rights and immigration obligations. This area is complicated because the legal immigration area may affect and intersect with other legal ones such as criminal law, family law, business, etc.
The journey to becoming an immigration lawyer in the US is the same as that of other types of lawyers in the US. In other words, you need to complete a 4-year bachelor’s degree at an accredited institution. Typical courses for law students include mathematics, history and public speaking that are well-suited to prospective immigration lawyers.
After getting the law bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to pass the LSAT to pursue a 3-year Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. For the J.D. program, you’ll learn courses in court procedures, professional ethics and immigration law, human rights law, refugee and asylum law, etc. During your J.D., you may have to participate in clinical work, internships with law firms, and other kinds of practical application.
Upon J.D. graduation, you need to take the American Bar Association exam and the state’s bar exam to be licensed to practice law.
In short, it takes you from 7 to 9 years to become an immigration lawyer, including a 4-year bachelor’s degree, a 3-year Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree, and time to get a license to practice law.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Real Estate Lawyer?
Real estate, also known as realty, is the property in the form of land and buildings. Whenever you buy and sell real estate, or you want to claim your possession of these properties, you may need to find a real estate lawyer.
Real estate lawyers, specializing in real estate law and issues, are responsible for drawing up contracts for property transactions, writing and revising legal provisions in real estate contracts for sales, leases, or mortgages.
Conventionally, the path to becoming a real estate lawyer takes roughly 7 years, including 4 years for undergraduate education, plus 3 years at an accredited law school. The first year at law school will provide you with a solid foundation for your future career as a real estate lawyer. However, not all law schools offer highly specialized real estate law courses. Hence, you should figure out whether a school enables you to specialize in this field or not.
On the whole, it takes you 7 years to become a real estate lawyer – 4 years for a bachelor’s degree in any academic area and 3 years for a J.D degree.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Prosecutor Lawyer?
In court, prosecutor lawyers represent various government departments and levels: local, state, and federal. Their duties include witness and victim interrogation, police report assessment, and the conduct of legal research to initiate a prosecution for a case.
The required education level to become a prosecutor lawyer in the US is similar to other lawyers’ types. Suppose you want to practice law as a prosecutor lawyer. In that case, it will take you 7 years in total (4 years for a bachelor’s degree and 3 years for a J.D degree).
In order to become a prosecutor lawyer, you’d better take undergraduate courses to enhance useful skills like reading, writing, analytical, and critical-thinking skills. After gaining a bachelor’s degree, you should select a reputable and accredited law school and try to pass the LSAT with an impressive mark.
During law school time, you can then absorb useful knowledge in business laws or civil procedure. You can opt for your specialization in the final semester at law school. Amongst required courses, criminal law is what you should study to be well-prepared for your future career as a prosecutor lawyer since you will apply much of the subject’s knowledge during the prosecutor career.
The next step you have to do after you gain a J.D degree is to sit for the Bar Exam to acquire the license to practice in your state.
All in all, you will spend 7 years to become a prosecuting lawyer – 4 years for a bachelor’s degree, plus 3 years for a J.D degree.
What Does a Lawyer Do?
Firstly, lawyers are the bridge between their clients and the law. Lawyers are in charge of applying the law into practice to satisfy clients’ demands. Clients need help and advice from lawyers due to their incapacity and lack of time to research and undertake law-related issues. Specifically, they may ask legal counsel on legal document preparation, their respective rights in disputes, or how to avoid possible legal problems when conducting business activities.
Secondly, lawyers work as legal representation for their clients, especially in trials or court proceedings. As mentioned earlier, lawyers will help clients to raise their voice as regards legal issues. In any case, lawyers will work in the best interest of their clients.
If their clients, usually plaintiffs, gain legal advantages over the defendant, lawyers will put forward good arguments to help their clients win the lawsuits. On the defendant’s side, the lawyers will find a way to help their clients obtain an acquittal or a commuted sentence (a less severe penalty).
Thirdly, lawyers are also responsible for preparing legal documents or contracts and facilitating negotiations between the parties with respect to local law and regulations. With this role, lawyers are similar to impartial referees in determining right and wrong, therefore avoid disputes.
Interestingly, every fresh graduate holding a Bachelor or Law degree can land a wide range of jobs. Get out of your comfort zone and strive to be the best.
What Are Different Law Specializations?
The legal field exists in every aspect of life. It covers a wide range of specializations. Let’s list down some major types of law specializations:
- Administrative law: a branch of law that researches every aspect of society and life from the perspective of state and government’s legislative. Through this specialization, this specialization will go over and analyze governmental methods’ strengths and drawbacks. Some graduates from this specialization can choose to become public notaries.
- Corporate law: study relationships, rights, and responsibilities between/of businesses, corporations, and workers.
- Commercial law: study the law regarding international trade, terms, and negotiations of foreign-trade contracts, etc.
- Constitutional law: focus on the state apparatus, the impact of constitutional law on citizens, etc.
- Criminal law: provide knowledge and information regarding criminal justice, criminal procedure, types of sentence and penalty, etc.
- Environmental law: cover a wide range of issues and laws regarding environments: environmental pollution, conservation, hazardous waste, biological diversity, etc.
- Family law: specialize in issues and laws regarding marriage, adoption, custody, divorce, etc.
- Healthcare law: study regulations in medical consultation and treatment, etc.
- Intellectual property law: go over the owners’ rights over their intellectual property, etc.
- Tax law: provide tax-related knowledge on managing tax in businesses, academies, how the government levies taxes on businesses, personal incomes, goods, etc.
How Much Does a Lawyer Earn?
As said before, when someone is considering a career as a lawyer, future earnings are the top priority. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a lawyer’s annual median salary in 2019 was $122,960. A lawyer can earn $59.11 an hour.
Compared with the average salary of other jobs, lawyers’ income is considered high-paid and above-average. If you become a lawyer, how much money you can earn still depends on various factors, such as:
- The location where you practice
- The category of law you practice
- The reputation of your law school
- Your experience level
To illustrate, let’s take a look at the table below for data in 5 countries: Japan, the US, the UK, Canada, Australia. (According to the latest statistics produced by US news, salary explorer, neuvoo, prospect, and lexology.)
|The UK *
|Average (per year)
|Intern: $60,000Official lawyers: $98,000 – $116,000
|$31,000 – $51,000
|2-7 years of experience
|$51,000 – $116,000
|$87,000 – $126,000
|7-10 years of experience
|$116,000 – $155,000
|10-15 years of experience
|More than 15 years of experience
|15-year experience + partners of businesses (in Sydney):$200,000
* Exchange rates are applied by 2021 January.
For further reference, watch this video:
How Much Do Lawyers Make | (Average Lawyer Salaries!)
What Does it Take to Become a Lawyer?
In general, to pursue a law career path, you have to comply with requirements concerning education and license, often including:
- A bachelor’s degree in any academic area.
- A high score to pass the LSAT
- An accredited law school
- Passing The Bar Exam
- An application to the Bar Association
What is the Average GPA for Law Schools?
To gain admission to law schools, ensure your GPA is at least over 3.0. Top-ranked law schools tend to admit students with a near-perfect GPA (at least 3.7).
Suppose your GPA is not high. In that case, it all comes down to the result of your submitted essay or your LSAT score. Whether you gain admission to law schools or not depends mainly on these criteria.
What is the Average LSAT Score?
LSAT, held 4 times annually, is essential to enter Law School. Some students view this test as a way to compensate for their modest GPA. Surprisingly, some students with a gap in knowledge of the legal field can still pass the LSAT as it mainly focuses on testing students’ universal skills like reading, writing, and analytical skills. Students have to go through 4 sections in the test, including logical reasoning, analytical reasoning, reading comprehension, and essay writing.
The marking scale for LSAT ranges from 120 to 180 points. The top law schools tend to enroll students with nearly-perfect scores, for instance:
- Harvard: 173
- Stanford: 171
- New York: 170
For this reason, if you want to enroll in reputable and famous law schools, you must try your best to achieve a high score in the LSAT.
What Subjects Do You Need to Become a Lawyer?
You are not required to study any pre-requisite subjects before coming to law school. Nevertheless, what you learn in your bachelor’s degree program will facilitate your journey to become a lawyer. Also, they can equip you with valuable background knowledge.
The subjects you may need to learn include:
- English: Especially when you study in English-speaking countries like the US, English becomes an indispensable communication tool. Besides, there are plenty of legal documents and materials written in English, so it’s normal to have an English course, especially for non-native students. This course helps them improve their English to practice law in places where English is the native language.
- Public Speaking: Lawyers, especially barristers or attorneys arguing for their clients in front of the public orally, need to be confident and have sharp public speaking skills. Indeed, lawyers with good public speaking skills will find it easier to express their ideas logically and confidently to convince people.
- History: By learning history, you can realize the connections between law and social life and the law’s changes so far. As a result, you can analyze law development, then point out what needs developing and amending. Moreover, you may come up with new ideas to adjust the law to adapt to the current society.
- Economics: To become a lawyer, you should learn about the economy. A better understanding of economics helps you better understand how society operates and the legal system design that supports the economy’s functionality.
- Mathematics: At first sight, it seems unnecessary for your future career as a lawyer. However, a lawyer has to be logical and rational in speaking and writing as mathematics requires a considerable amount of logic. This can serve as a supplement to develop students’ logic capability.
What are the Difficulties when Becoming a Lawyer?
In order to become a good lawyer, you need to be aware of the drawbacks of your job. Besides the benefits a lawyer job offer you, you may prepare for some disadvantages of this job:
Tough Educational Journey
The educational process of becoming a lawyer is quite long, which requires you to concentrate on study and practice. Some people think this journey is time-consuming as it takes a long time – about 5 to 9 years. However, a bright and promising future is a reasonable exchange for your patience and sacrifice in youthful times.
Costs and Expenses
The amount of money you spend on your study to become a lawyer is considerable. Besides the educational expenses, you may have to bear living expenses such as accommodation or travel expenses throughout your studying process. Therefore, some students choose part-time programs to work and study simultaneously.
Besides these costs mentioned above, there is a type of cost named “opportunity cost”. It means that you can go to work to earn money or try some projects instead of studying for law degrees.
Although a lawyer’s salary is ranked top amongst jobs, not all lawyers have a stable income, especially freelance lawyers. They have to work relentlessly to hunt for clients.
You may think that working freelance and independently is somewhat carefree thanks to the elastic working time. However, it’s not easy for freelance lawyers to satisfy clients’ demands and retain their existing clients in the fiercely competitive market. Indeed, many have to compete with other lawyers to make their living.
On top of that, to some extent, freelance lawyers’ rights are not protected by any organizations. Consequently, they may fail to receive their salary due to fraud, especially for those working online. Also, they have to struggle to build up their good reputation for a long time. In contrast, those working for a company can rely on their company’s established reputation and regular clients to earn money.
Heavy Work Pressure
Lawyers, especially barristers, are frequently under stress when they have to stay in the middle of disputes. In some cases, they work to support one side’s benefits, thus being hated by the other side. For criminal lawyers, they have to interrogate criminals and suspects in a strained atmosphere. More complicatedly, sometimes criminals and involved individuals force the lawyer to distort the truth and deviate from justice.
Moreover, a lawyer has to deal with so many papers, principles, regulations, patterns. This immense volume and intensity of work may make you tired. Some lawyers, especially lawyers in civil service (government, people’s procuracy, police office, etc.), have to work on the night shift.
To sum up, each job has its perks, and being a lawyer is no exception. Learning how to overcome difficulties and withstand pressure is what you should do to pursue a law career. Dealing with a sheer volume of work, stress, and disputes will train you to adapt to a high-pressure working environment. You will get used to the pressure and become stronger.
In conclusion, the answer to the question, “How long does it take to become a lawyer?” or “How many years does it take to become a lawyer?” is more situational than it first seems. To be eligible to work as a lawyer, you must go through a long road with many obstacles. It requires great effort as well as concentration on studying and practicing.
Nonetheless, your passion, positive attitude, and perseverance are all you need to uphold your will and strengths. A strong will can guide you through any difficulties that you might encounter in your path to success. Whenever you lose it, just think about one reason that makes you decide to embark on this journey.