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How does one become a lawyer in the USA?
Whether large law firm, boutique or individual lawyer, employment law, commercial law or criminal law: in Anwaltsblatt Karriere everything revolves around the legal profession. But how do you become a lawyer elsewhere, and can you gain a foothold there with your German edu...cation? Anwaltsblatt Karriere takes a close look at the legal training abroad.
For American students, the path to the legal profession leads through law school. You apply there with a college degree in any subject. In order to be accepted, one must pass the "Law School Admission Test" (LSAT). Education
Graduates of the Law School complete their studies with the "Juris Doctor", or J.D. for short. In order to become a lawyer, one must then pass the "Bar Exam" of the state in which one wishes to practice. In some states this test even includes a character or aptitude test. A college degree and time at law school usually take 3 years each. There are private preparatory courses for the Bar Exam - similar to the revision courses in Germany.
And for us?
Foreign law students can obtain a "Master of Laws", known as LL.M., at almost all American law schools. This is expensive fun: you should apply for a scholarship to cover the tuition fees. Some American states such as New York or California then allow students to take the Bar Exam without a full law school degree. There, it is sufficient if you have studied for a certain time under the supervision of a court or in a law firm.