Many applicants wonder how to become a lawyer in the United States. All because a lawyer in the United States is not just a profession. In America, it is a special trend that enjoys special respect and prestige. According to statistics, it is in this country legal professionals are the highest paid. But to work as a lawyer in America a brilliant knowledge of theory is not enough. You need a license to work, and without practice and a degree in your specialty in the U.S., they won’t give it to you.
The main goal for international law students in America is to stay and work in the USA. Statistically, 78% of young people who received a law degree in the USA achieve their goal. They get a job in American companies, and after a few years they get a green card and then become citizens of the United States of America.
The profession has gained a lot of popularity because of the good earnings:
The average income of a lawyer with four years of experience is about $7,000 per month;
And a specialist with more than 4 years of practice, the salary increases by 35% and reaches 10 thousand U.S. dollars.
In most cases, students who have been studying to become a lawyer in the United States for at least 9 months have the opportunity to start working. But it will be temporary employment for up to 1 year. It is possible to get a permanent job only after receiving a diploma of graduation from an American law school.
How to Obtain a Law Degree in America
Given the fact that a Russian law degree in the U.S. will not work, ambitious high school students enroll in American law schools. It is possible to do so immediately after graduation from high school, as well as with a bachelor’s degree obtained in the home country.
The fact is that in the United States there are no bachelor’s degree programs in law. A student needs to study a bachelor’s degree in any other field; the specialization previously obtained is not important to law schools. But many high school students, while still thinking about becoming a lawyer in the United States, consciously choose the following majors:
Studying these fields will come in handy for a lawyer in his or her professional life. With a bachelor’s degree in hand, a student enters the Juris Doctor program. It is a special program, the graduates of which get the initial doctoral degree in law. The program is designed to provide a thorough study of American law, as well as a hands-on understanding of the legislative and judicial system.
You can get a narrow specialization in the education of a lawyer in the USA with a one-year Master of Laws course. It provides study only of specialized subjects in a particular field of jurisprudence, not including the general credits. By the way such option of education attracts many foreign applicants who want to succeed in this field in their native country. Master of Laws has no emphasis on the study of American law.
The most prestigious law schools in the United States
The best universities to study at are considered to be:
Yale Law School, an institution of higher learning located in New Haven, Connecticut. A small but prestigious institution of higher education has been at the top of the U.S. rankings for many years. Each year Yale University admits a limited number of students and offers a unique education in several courses for future servants of the law.
Harvard University – the law school at one of the most famous universities in the United States needs no introduction. This oldest school has the most impressive library of legal literature in the country. Barack Obama, Bob Graham, Matthew Nimitz, and other famous lawyers and politicians graduated from it.
Stanford University – Stanford Law School is one of the three most important schools for lawyers in the United States. Statistically, this institution of higher learning has the highest percentage of graduates who later work as federal judges.
University of California at Berkeley – To study law in the United States at “Boalt Hall” (that has long been the name of this law school) has always been prestigious. After graduating from this institution, 97% of graduates find high-paying jobs in elite corporations within a year.
Columbia University – since 1858 has trained brilliant lawyers, including U.S. Presidents Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt, 9 judges, senators, and presidential advisors. Today, the law school is highly respected in America for its unique teaching methods and various types of student financial aid.