Anyone who watched the award-winning American legal drama Suits would have dreamed at least once of pursuing a career in the legal field. While you may not have a photographic memory like Mike, we can help you get an actual degree to jump-start your career as a lawyer.
For those looking to study law abroad, the U.S becomes a hugely popular choice for many.
The guide below details why you should and where to study law in the United States.
You might also be interested in:
What is Law all about?
While the law itself is a system of rules a community is meant to adhere to, the study of law has a much broader meaning. One who pursues law is not necessarily looking to pursue a career in the legal field though that may very well be the case. The study of law can prove to open many doors for a student. Be it in the media, politics or even in business, the law will come in handy.
Why should you pursue Law?
As previously mentioned, a degree or even a diploma builds a strong foundation that can open up many doors in various fields. This enables a law graduate to have the versatility that most other students will not have.
Though law is one of the oldest practices in the world, its necessity and prevalence have only increased since the days of Aristotle. Most people will need to engage with a lawyer at some point of their lives. This then ensures that the demand for a lawyer will always be there. It is also highly unlikely that we see a future of robot attorneys. Can you imagine a stoic and monotonous machine-man arguing your case against the likes of Shardul Shroff? Yeah, we can’t either.
Law can also prove to be very lucrative. Some lawyers, typically those who work for the state get a steady salary on a monthly basis much like any other worker. Most lawyers however typically charge by the hour or take a certain percentage of your award. This sum can amount to a few hundred thousand, especially if its a case that is trialed for a long time before it reaches a settlement.
Some choose law for the pure sense of satisfaction, as a service to their nation. For people who value justice and righteousness, the call to pursue law can be very strong. Since lawyers are usually very expensive, those from a difficult background may find it out of their means to hire a lawyer. Lawyers may then opt to work for the state to get their basic wage and take on cases like these pro bono.
Expected salary for Law graduates
Your salary will typically vary according to your skill, line of work and experience. At an entry-level you will be able to earn anywhere between RM 24,161 - RM 98,043. (Source: PayScale)
Also read: Salaries in the United States
Skills needed to pursue a degree in Law
1. Excellent communication skills
When your career literally rides on your ability to sell what you say, you can be sure that communication comes on the top of the list. Being in this field would require you to master communication and have the ability to present your argument in a precise yet convincing and passionate manner. Debating may get you into the practice of this.
2. A people’s person
Being a good attorney will require you to be able to socialize and interact with the people around you. This does not mean you need to be a full-blown attention-seeking extroverted bunny, however you will need to be comfortable with stepping out of your hermit shell should the occasion arise. Socializing and networking is a crucial part of any career and it is more so in a field that brings you up close with the big wigs of society. It then comes down to you to reach out and build opportunities.
3. Research skills
When handling a case, you’d be required to research, research and research! It is then imperative to master all existing research tools available to get all the information that you need. Besides that, learning proper legal citations and developing the ability to understand legal authority is also important.
4. Good time management
Time is money and this is especially true for the case of attorneys or legal practitioners who charge by the hour. This means how well you plan your time can ultimately affect how much you earn. In this field where time is so crucial you can expect to be given almost impossible deadlines. Stress on the almost. With an exceptional ability to manage and plan your time and with strong work ethics you would be able to handle the workload.
5. Able to work well in a team
No lawyer works as an island, not even independent lawyers. There is still some level of collaboration and discussion that is necessary. Therefore anyone in this field has to be able to work in a team to achieve mutual goals and benefit from each other. Cultivating relationships between clients will also need you to be a team player.
What are the entry requirements to study Law in US?
*Requirements will vary according to respective institutions. Be sure to check with the institution of your choice for their entry requirements.
Unlike most countries studying law in the U.S is much different. In the U.S law is a professional academic field, the equivalent of a graduate degree in other parts of the world. There is also no difference between a solicitor or a barrister, therefore taking a standard undergraduate degree and then taking the bar test is not an option. Law schools in the US are part of public or private universities that grant Juris Doctor (J.D.) degrees.
|Level of Study||Duration||Requirements|
|Graduate Diploma||3 years||Any bachelors degree or equivalent and adequate LSAT scores|
Top universities that offer Law and Legal courses in the United States
- Stanford University
- Harvard university
- California Institute of technology
- University of Chicago
- Yale University
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of Michigan
- Johns Hopkins University
- University of California, Los Angeles
- Northwestern University