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Planning for Law School

There are many paths to choose when deciding on a law school: the large school with a well-known name and a highly competitive environment, or the smaller, lesser-known school where personal relationships are emphasized? Public or private?  Regardless of which path is chosen, the law school curriculum is designed to develop the legal skills essential for all successful lawyers. Law school education in the U.S. typically involves three years of intensive, full-time academic work (some law schools offer a part-time program, which typically takes 4-5 years to complete).

While attending law school, your analytical, logical, and creative thinking will be sharpened, and your reading and debating skills will be also be developed. As a law student, you will read case law (i.e. legal decisions by judges).  Students learn to make logical legal connections and to assert or refute legal arguments in specific areas of the law. 

Typical law courses include Contracts, Torts (personal injury), Constitutional Law, Criminal Procedure, Civil Procedure, Commercial Law, Family Law, Environmental Law, Tax Law, Labor Law, and Trust and Estate Law.Law school is an intense educational process during which students work hard and learn much.  The course workload is generally heavier than that found at the undergraduate level, and the amount of material covered is usually immense (some have quipped that law school is like drinking water from a fire hose).

Once individuals have passed the rigors of legal education, they then may sit to take the bar exam. The exam broadly tests a lawyer's knowledge of the law. Upon passage of the bar, individuals may obtain a license to practice law. The exam is administered by the state in which a lawyer desires to practice. Students who graduate from an American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law school any where in the U.S. may sit for the bar exam in all 50 states. Those who graduate from non-ABA accredited schools may typically practice law in the school's home state, but their ability to practice in other states may be limited.

Important steps to consider before committing to a career in law:

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