How Long Does It Take to Become a Lawyer?

How Long Does It Take to Become a Lawyer?

This article will answer your question about How Long Does It Take to Become a Lawyer?, From Law School to the Real World, With a Step-by-step guide on how to start your career as a practicing lawyer.


Any lawyer can tell you that the path from law school to the real world can be long and complicated. You may spend years trying to get your first job and even then, it may be tough to find something that suits you perfectly. In this article, we’ll break down what it takes to become a lawyer and how long it might take you to reach your dream job if you’re just graduating from law school today. Before we move further, let’s understand how long and what to consider before choosing a career in law.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Lawyer

The answer to this question is subjective as it depends on the individual’s personal situation, such as their level of education, previous work experience, and the type of law they want to practice.

Some people who are interested in becoming a lawyer often wonder how long it will take them to become a lawyer. The answer to this question is subjective because it depends on the person’s personal situation such as their level of education, previous work experience, and the type of law they want to practice. Read further to understand the types of lawyers and their various practices.

Types Of Law Practice

This section will cover the types of lawyers as well as types of lawyers practices:

  1. Administrative law   
  2. Admiralty law   
  3. Animal law   
  4. Aviation law   
  5. Civil and political rights   
  6. Commercial law   
  7. Competition law   
  8. Constitutional law   
  9. Consumer protection   
  10. Contact Law   
  11. Corporate law   
  12. Criminal law   
  13. Environmental law   
  14. Family Law    
  15. Health law   
  16. Immigration law   
  17. Insurance law   
  18. Intellectual property   
  19. International human rights law
  20. International law   
  21. Labor law   
  22. Property law   
  23. Tax law   
  24. Tort Law

1. Administrative Law    

Administrative lawyers may also be called government lawyers, public interest lawyers or regulatory lawyers.

An Administrative Lawyer is a lawyer who specializes in the law that regulates what administrative agencies can and cannot do. They are experts in the laws that govern how administrative agencies make decisions, enforce their rules and carry out their functions.    

2. Admiralty Law    

Admiralty law is a body of law that governs maritime disputes. It is the oldest and most mature branch of the law of the sea.

Admiralty law is traditionally divided into three branches: 

  • Marine Torts
  • Navigation
  • Salvage

Marine Torts are concerned with unlawful interference with another ship or its cargo, such as collisions and oil spills. 

Navigation involves rights to use waterways and passage through straits, channels, and ports.

Salvage deals with rescuing ships that have been lost at sea or damaged by storms or other accidents.

3. Animal Law

Animal law is the body of law that relates to the protection and treatment of non-human animals. Animal laws govern everything from animal welfare, animal cruelty, and anti-animal fighting to hunting regulations.

4 Aviation Law

Aviation law is a specialized area of law which deals with all legal aspects of aviation, including the regulation of civil aviation and military aviation.

There are three major areas of study in the field:

  • Aeronautics 
  • Air traffic management 
  • Aerospace engineering.

Aeronautics includes aircraft design, construction, maintenance and operation; Air Traffic Management includes flight operations, air navigation systems and airport management; 

Aerospace Engineering includes spacecraft design.

ALSO SEE: Everything You Need to Know About Personal Injury Lawyers

5. Civil and political rights law  

Civil and political rights lawyers are lawyers who specialize in civil and political rights. They work to ensure that the government does not violate the rights of its citizens and that people are treated equally under the law.

Civil and political rights lawyers can work in a variety of settings. Some work for non-governmental organizations, while others work as public defenders or represent clients at trial.

6. Commercial Law    

Commercial law is the body of law that governs transactions and other dealings between individuals, companies, and governments.

Commercial lawyers are professionals who provide legal advice on a range of commercial activities. The legal advice covers a wide range of day-to-day business operations and can include advising on employment contracts, the sale of goods or services, intellectual property rights, real estate transactions, and many others.

7. Competition Law

Competition law is a body of law that regulates anti-competitive conduct in markets. It is designed to ensure that trade and commerce remains fair by preventing practices such as price fixing, monopolies, and the abuse of dominant market positions.

Competition law aims to protect the consumer by ensuring that they can make a free choice among goods or services offered by competing suppliers. Competition law also ensures that market forces do not result in unfair prices or an inefficient allocation of resources.

8. Constitutional Law

Constitutional law is the body of law which defines the relationship between the state and its citizens. It includes both written and unwritten laws, along with legal principles and case law.

Constitutional lawyers are lawyers who specialize in constitutional law. They help to interpret the constitution, advise governments on constitutional matters, represent people in court cases involving constitutional issues, and draft new constitutions for countries emerging from conflict or dictatorship.

9. Consumer Protection Law

Consumer Protection laws are meant to ensure that the consumers are not taken advantage of by the sellers. The law is also meant to protect them from any unfair trade practices.

It protects people from unfair trade practices. It also ensures that people who buy products have rights when they buy goods or services.

10. Contact Law

Contact law is an area of law that deals with the rights, liabilities and obligations arising from the social contract between individuals. In other words, contact law deals with the rules of conduct. It governs all aspects of contact between people and their interactions with one another.

11. Corporate Law 

Corporate lawyers are the ones that make sure that a company is following the state and federal laws. They also help the company to make sure they are in compliance with these laws.

A corporate lawyer can be involved in various aspects of a company’s life. They could be helping to form an entity, advising on mergers and acquisitions, drafting contracts, or even assisting with bankruptcy proceedings.

12. Criminal Law

Criminal lawyers are attorneys who specialize in criminal law. They can be employed by public defenders, government agencies, or as private attorneys.

Criminal lawyers represent defendants in criminal cases and advise them on legal rights and obligations. They also provide legal advice to clients and assist them with civil litigation.

13. Environmental Law    

Environmental law is a branch of law that deals with the protection of the environment.

Environmental lawyers are knowledgeable in environmental regulations, how to protect the environment, and how to make sure that businesses follow environmental regulations. They can help with issues like pollution and natural resource depletion.

14. Family Law     

Family law is a legal term that refers to the law that deals with matters related to the family. It includes areas like divorce, child custody, adoption, and domestic violence. In general, family law is about protecting children and families from harm.

15. Health Law

The health law is a branch of law that deals with the intersection of private law and public health. This is a relatively new field, which has been developed in response to the growing number of medical malpractice cases.

The main duty of a health lawyer is to represent doctors, nurses, hospitals and other medical professionals in court. They would also represent patients who are suing for medical malpractice damages.

16. Immigration Law

Immigration law is the body of law that governs the rights and duties of non-nationals with regard to entrance, residence, or citizenship in a country. 

Immigration lawyers are experts in immigration law. They help people with legal problems related to immigration such as advising on visas and work permits, naturalization or citizenship, deportation and removal proceedings, asylum applications, family-related immigration issues such as marriage or adoption.

17. Insurance Law

The main job of an insurance lawyer is to make sure that the company’s interests are protected by looking at the legal aspects of insurance contracts.

In the US, there are two types of insurance lawyers: 

general and life. 

General Insurance Lawyers work on all types of insurance cases, 

Life Insurance Lawyers deal with cases relating to life and disability policies.

18. Intellectual Property

Intellectual property law is a set of laws that protect the rights of creators and inventors. IP lawyers are specialized in these laws and provide legal advice to those who need it.

19. International Human Rights Law

International Human Rights Lawyer is an individual who specializes in international human rights law, the study of how states and non-state actors can be held accountable for violations of international human rights law, and the development of remedies for victims.

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20. International Law

International Lawyer or Public International Law are lawyers who specialize in international law and deal with cases that involve two or more countries. They may also represent a country in an international court or tribunal, such as the International Court of Justice or the International Criminal Court.

21. Labor Law

Labor law is the body of law that deals with employment and workers’ rights. It covers a wide range of topics, including minimum wage, overtime pay, child labor, what constitutes sexual harassment, and more.

A labor lawyer is a lawyer who specializes in representing employees and unions in court cases. They also represent them in negotiations with employers over workplace policies such as wages and working hours.

22. Property Law

A property lawyer is a specialized lawyer who deals with the rights of ownership and use of property. They can advise on buying, selling, renting, leasing or transferring land or buildings

23. Tax Law

Tax law is the set of rules and regulations that governs the assessment, collection and distribution of taxes. Tax lawyers specialize in this area and advise people on how to spend their money in a way that will avoid or minimize taxes

Tax lawyers are professionals who are qualified to provide advice on tax-related matters such as filing returns, preparing tax returns, dealing with audits by the IRS, representing clients before state and federal courts, negotiating agreements with taxing authorities, advising clients on transactions that could be subject to taxation and representing them in disputes with taxing authorities.

24. Tort Law

Tort law is the body of law that deals with civil wrongs.

A tort is a wrongful act, not criminal in nature, that causes injury to another person or their property. Torts are considered a civil wrong and are usually dealt with by the civil court system. Types of torts include negligence, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and battery.

The purpose of tort law is to provide compensation for those who have been injured by another’s negligence or intentional misconduct. This type of lawyers are also known personal injury lawyers.

Types of Requirements to Become a Lawyer

There are several requirements that one needs to meet in order to become a lawyer. 

In order to become a lawyer, One must first earn their undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university, which can take four years depending on the course load. 

Then, they need to attend and graduate from an accredited law school, which can take three years if they are taking full-time courses or six years if they are taking part-time courses. After graduating from law school, people need to pass the bar exam for the state or jurisdiction where they want to practice law and finally be admitted into that state’s bar association in order to begin practicing there as a lawyer.

The Process of Becoming a Lawyer

Becoming a lawyer is not an easy task. It takes years of schooling and training, and even then it’s not guaranteed that you’ll pass your state’s bar exam on the first try. The process of becoming a lawyer begins with law school, which can take anywhere from three to six years for a full-time student. 

After law school, you’ll go through at least one year of apprenticeship before taking your state bar exam. If you don’t pass, you have to repeat this process again until you do. If this sounds like too much work and sacrifice, there are other career paths in legal fields such as paralegal or legal assistant.

The Length of Time it Takes to Become a Lawyer

Becoming an attorney usually takes between three and seven years of study at an accredited law school. However, there are also professional degree programs in law that can be completed in two years. 

The length of time required for becoming a lawyer varies depending on which school you go to, what program you choose, and whether or not you attend full-time or part-time. Each year of law school is composed of three semesters, totaling nine months each. 

Thus, students will have attended 3 semesters by the end of their first year; 4 semesters by the end of their second year; 5 semesters by the end of their third year; and 6 semesters by the end of their fourth year. At this point, they will have fulfilled all requirements for earning their Juris Doctorate degree from whichever law school they went to.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Law School

Choosing the right law school is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when you’re thinking about becoming a lawyer. The length of time that you’ll spend in law school is one factor that will affect how long it takes for you to become a lawyer, but there are others, too. 

When you graduate from law school, you’ll need to pass the Bar exam and get your license before being able to work as an attorney. Some states have mandatory residency requirements, which means that after graduating from law school and passing the Bar exam, if you don’t live in that state for two years, then you can’t take your bar exam and get licensed. 

Other factors like how many hours per week do I want to work and what kind of law am I interested in practicing all play a role as well.

The Reality of Working as a Lawyer

If you’re considering law as a career, you’ll want to know what you can expect from your first job. On average, lawyers start out making about $65,000 per year in their first jobs after law school. If they work hard and are ambitious, they may be able to earn up to $100,000 per year within 10 years of starting their careers. 

What Else Should I Know? 

In order to become a lawyer, you need at least three years of post-secondary education. There is no way around this requirement; law degrees are not awarded for less than four academic years worth of study.


It takes about three to five years for someone to become a lawyer, depending on what type of law degree they pursue and whether or not they attend an accredited law school.
The time it takes to become a lawyer depends on the type of law degree you have. If you have a Doctor of Jurisprudence(JD), then it will take three years to complete your degree. If you have a Masters of Law (LLM), then it will take two years. Finally, if you are pursuing a Doctor of Juridical Science (JSD), then it will take five years in order to complete your degree.


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