Just ask a group of kids about what they want to be when they grow up, and most of them will either say a doctor, a teacher, a fireman or a chef. Occasionally though, you will find kids who will want to become a lawyer and would choose that career either because they would like to help somebody, or because they think of the money, but just what does it take to become a lawyer?
Ask many of the lawyers in good standing about why they became a lawyer, and the same reasons will be given, some started studying this career out of idealism, while others felt it would be a great career with many financial prospects. Either way, the road to becoming a good lawyer who is making a good living, is paved with many thousands of hours of studying and taking many exams in order to finally get to your goal, so you must be really sure that you have what it takes to pull it off. Are you the kind of person that is tenacious and will stick with things until you reach your goal?
You will first need your basic education, meaning finishing your college degree and go to law school for three years. After finishing law school successfully, you will be obligated to pass your bar examination in the state where you want to start practicing law. Passing the bar examination is no small achievement regardless of where you take the exam. We all can remember the record of hapless John Kennedy Jr who took the exam three times before finally passing.
Passing that examination, you are now eligible to become a member of your state bar and remain in good standing. However, if you think your study hours are over, you are mistaken. In order to remain in good standing with the state Bar Association, you will need to pass evaluations every year and follow a certain amount of course, studying new laws and material, in order to stay on top of any new developments in your field of expertise.
If you dream of life as a successful lawyer, litigating in court every day, you might want to reconsider picking this as a career. The truth of the matter is that most lawyers end up spending most of their time working in their office or law libraries, preparing their cases and doing all the investigation needed in order to find loopholes in the law, relevant rulings from the past, or any other material that can help their clients to their favor.
In fact, in actuality, it can be a long time between court dates when you actually get to strut your stuff in front of juries and judges. There are many areas of the law where court appearances are almost non-existent. Patent and some real estate attorneys rarely see the inside of a court room.
All in all, being a lawyer can be a really tough career with a lot of stress, which is why it is also one of the highest paid careers of all.