How to Become a Lawyer

How to Be a Securities Lawyer

A securities attorney deals with cases related to insider trading, hostile takeovers, shareholder deception and fraud.

Securities lawyers check how entities deal with finances and investments and make sure that everything stays within legal boundaries. People hire a securities attorney when they encounter disputes regarding investments and anything the law considers assets. The laws governing the finance world are intricate and complex, and a securities attorney has to be an expert in the field to offer counseling and effectively settle disagreements.

1. Law schools accept applicants with diverse backgrounds. You can follow any major in college and still gain admission to law school. However, for a future as a securities attorney, most law schools highly recommend a major in business. You will need to have a good understanding of the stock market, investments and everything that has to do with money and assets. Though a major in art might get you into law school, you will have a hard time specializing as a securities lawyer.

2. Earn your Bachelor’s degree and take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Similar to the SAT, the LSAT gives law schools an idea about your verbal, writing and reasoning skills. Visit the Law School Admission Council’s website (http://www.lsac.org/) to find out more about the LSAT and take the free online preparation test. It will cost you $136 to register for the test.

3. Though most prospective law students dream of going to prestigious law schools, understand that you can become a successful lawyer through hard work and not necessarily by graduating a certain law school. If you apply to only one law school, make sure you have a high chance of getting in. You will usually face a lot of competition to get into law schools and can never know for certain if your first (or only) choice will accept you. Therefore, you should apply to at least two or three law schools.

4. Law schools offer basic legal training in the first year and allow students to focus on their specialization in the second and third years. Take all the courses that deal with laws governing the finance world and make a habit of reading finance journals on a daily basis. It will take only a few minutes to go through the news, but in time it will build up into strong financial general knowledge.

5. After you graduate from law school, contact the bar association in your state and register for the next bar exam. Take a preparation course and buy prep materials. The bar examination often proves difficult, and many lawyers have to take it a few times before passing.

6. Launch your career as a securities attorney. Some law firms specialize in securities matters. Send in your resume and contact them personally—either by phone or by paying them a visit—to discuss the possibility of a full-time job. You might get only a small salary in the beginning, but if you prove yourself in a few years rewards will start showing.