How to Become a Lawyer

How to Be an Administrative Lawyer

Administrative law deals with the activities of local, state or federal agencies.

Administrative attorneys assist clients in acting in accordance with or sometimes challenging the regulations or orders these agencies impose.

You will need to know administrative law thoroughly and have the ability to interpret it, no matter how ambiguous it sometimes might seem. Administrative agencies must obey the U.S. Constitution while also obeying the statutes that create them.

Administrative attorneys need to know about both the similarities and the differences between the ways in which different agencies operate. If you want to work as an administrative law attorney, follow these steps.

1. You need to complete your bachelor’s degree and take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The creators of the LSAT designed it especially for prospective law students, and it consists of six sections that assess your logical and verbal reasoning skills. The test costs $136 to take as of October 2010.

2. Every law school has different entry requirements. In addition to the LSAT, you will probably need to collect recommendations from teachers, write essays and go through one or several interviews before a program accepts you. Check the website of the law school to which you plan to apply to and make a list of all the requirements. Gather everything you need for the application and submit it before the deadline. If you have questions about the application procedure, contact the school administration.

3. Once admitted to a law school, you will study a broad range of topics involving law over a period of three years. Even if you know you want to specialize as an administrative law attorney, you will have to first learn the basics.

4. American law schools teach administrative law as a basic course, and these courses do not differ too much between schools and teachers. Most courses focus on federal administrative law and some touch on state administrative law—in particular state in which you take the course. Learn as much as you can from the course, as it will serve as the basis of your future profession.

5. While in school, find administrative attorneys in your area and apply for summer associate positions. You will have the chance to get some hands-on experience as an administrative law attorney.

6. Upon graduation, you will receive a JD degree. “JD” serves as an abbreviation for “Doctorate of Jurisprudence.” You need your JD degree to practice law. California remains the only state to allow attorneys to practice without a JD Degree.

7. You will have to pass a written bar exam, to gain acceptance into your state’s bar association. All practicing administrative attorneys have passed this exam.

8. Once your state’s bar association admits you, you can start practicing law. Look for a firm that deals with administrative law and secure a job as an administrative lawyer. Check the American Bar Association’s online Career Center for more information about how to find a job as a lawyer and to find a list of administrative attorneys in your area http://new.abanet.org/careercenter/Pages/careercenter.aspx.