How to Become a Lawyer

How to Be a Civil Lawyer

Civil law refers to the contracts between different parties, be they persons or businesses, and includes everything that does not pertain to criminal law.

Civil lawsuits generally don’t end with criminal convictions but instead involve litigation that results in financial compensations. A civil attorney represents clients, individuals or businesses in lawsuits involving infringement upon the rights of individuals. A civil attorney deals with a great range of cases, from invasion of privacy to infliction of physical injury to medical malpractice or wrongful death. To have a career as a civil lawyer, you have to go through the following steps.

1. Enroll in a college or university and study for four years. You can choose any major you want, but you will need a Bachelor’s degree to apply to law school. Take your studies seriously, as your GPA will prove an important part of your law school application.

2. Law schools want to make sure you have the necessary skills to make a quality law student; therefore, you will have to pass the LSAT—an examination similar to the SAT that includes questions especially designed for prospective law students.

3. Choose a law school. Asses your chances realistically and apply to a law school where you have realistic chances admission. Pick a law school approved by the American Bar Association. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, choose a school close to home to save on housing and living expenses. You can find a list of law schools and their entry requirements on the Law School Admission Council’s website (http://www.lsac.org/).

5. Get into law school. Life as a law student does not always prove simple. You will have to study a lot to pass exams. When possible, customize your curriculum to include courses in which you have an interest. As a civil attorney you will need a background of civil law, contract law, tort law, personal injury law and medical malpractice law, among others. Choose the courses that will help with your future career.

6. Contact any civil attorney in your area and inquire about the possibility of a part-time job. Offer to help them with their cases and don’t ask for too much in the way of salary. Remember, you have as your primary goal to gain realistic field experience.

7. Graduate from law school and contact the bar association in your state. Ask about the dates for next bar examination and start studying. You will have to review everything you learned during law school. The bar examination will have general law questions as well as questions about the specific legislation of your state. Pass the bar examination to become a lawyer.

8. You might find it difficult to find clients in the beginning. Consider using Internet directories for lawyers in which you can put your name onto a civil attorney list. Many people look for lawyers on the Internet, so this tactic might help you drum up business.