Before we go to academic qualifications that you need to undertake, it is very important to know that academia alone will not guarantee that you will be a good lawyer. If you want to be a successful solicitor, you first must be comfortable when speaking to large groups of people including, clients, judges, juries, opposing counsel, and witness among others. Secondly you must have excellent communication skill both oral and written. Words are tools of trade of a lawyer and to be a successful one then you must ensure that you like words. Thirdly you must possess logical reasoning and critical thinking skills. Whether you are structuring a million dollar deal or developing a trial strategy, you must poses skills that will enable to always make the right decisions.
The route to qualification is lengthy and it requires hard work and determination. Once you have completed your A levels studies, you need to join higher learning institution and enroll in law school. You will be required to take a bachelor’s degree in law doing course work for a period of four years and then spend 3 more years in law school. Before attending to law school, you will first be required to take the law school admission test (LSAT) so that both your reading and analytical skills are tested. You must ensure that you only join a law school that is approved by the American bar association (ABA). This will signify you have been trained according to the standard needed. Not all law schools have been approved by the American bar association and attending a non-ABA approved institution can significantly hinder your chances of getting employed or being licensed to practice as a lawyer.
If you would wish to specialize in specific concentration of law, you will be required to enroll in a master’s degree in law. This program usually lasts for one year and it usually focus on specialization. You may specialize in fields such as business law, international law, criminal law, industrial law among others. The requirements for enrollment may vary according to law schools but you must pass your undergraduate degree program or have years of work experience so as to enroll to a master’s degree program.
Bachelor’s degree usually take 3 years full time study or 4 years part time study to complete. During the first year of your study, you will mainly focus on general law courses such as contracts, legal writing and criminal law. During your final years, you will begin to specialize in courses such as labor law so as to get better understanding of what they entail. You will also be required to go for internship so as to put into practice what you have studied in class.