An law degree is an invaluable credential that takes years of hard work to attain, demanding both time and resources for completion. Furthermore, its success represents a risky investment.
Due to rising debt levels, an unsteady job market and general concern over quality of life issues, many young people are considering whether pursuing a law degree is worth their effort and finding an answer can be tricky.
1. Undergraduate Degree
Bachelor’s degrees are an increasingly popular form of postsecondary education that can open many career doors. Selecting an undergraduate degree that matches your career goals and research jobs available with each major can make you more desirable to employers while increasing your salary potential. When making this important decision, take time to consider all possible costs as well as any financial aid packages that might be available before selecting a program.
Undergraduate degrees can be found at universities, liberal arts colleges and community colleges. Some programs take two years to complete and can give you the skills you need for specific professions; other require four years and are more specialized. When selecting your college it’s essential that it be accredited by the National Association of Schools of Applied Sciences with courses tailored specifically to your interests; academic advising is also key in order to maximize learning experiences during this stage of studies.
To practice law in the US, a Juris Doctorate degree (JD) from an American Bar Association-accredited law school is necessary. Before you make your application, however, take the LSAT – an official examination that evaluates critical thinking and analytical abilities – then research law schools until finding one best suited to you and your career goals.
Pepperdine University’s Caruso School of Law is an outstanding law school offering both undergraduate and graduate degrees in business, global health policy, international taxation, law & society and intellectual property. This law school specializes in offering an immersive legal education that blends academic theory with real-life applications and challenges, while supporting social justice and community service through its Center for Public Interest Law. Law students enrolled at this law school take part in numerous pro bono projects to gain practical legal experience and broaden their professional networks. Furthermore, it offers online and hybrid bachelor’s and master’s degrees that enable busy professionals to continue their education without disrupting their careers too much.
2. Graduate Degree
Master’s degrees in Law can provide advanced knowledge that can benefit your career in many ways. Whether your goal is to practice as an attorney or work in another field requiring legal expertise, having this degree can keep you abreast of changing regulations and the ways they affect businesses and people globally.
Careers that intersect with law in fields like business, human resources and health care often necessitate a master’s degree. Training from legal studies graduate programs will equip you to read and comprehend complex contracts, court opinions, statutes, regulations and court decisions as well as identify legal risks associated with specific activities as well as communicate more effectively with boards of directors or organizational decision-makers.
Interested in honing your negotiation, mediation and arbitration skills for public policy, law or healthcare roles but do not wish to become lawyers themselves? Consider enrolling in the Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR). This course covers conflict management theory without the need for a bachelor’s degree.
Masters of Laws (LLM) degrees are for lawyers seeking to specialize in specific types of law, such as tax or intellectual property law. It takes two years to complete, covering specialized subject matter in your chosen law area. Universities usually offer various LLM programs with online studying options as part of this degree program.
An SJD (Doctor of Juridical Science) is the highest degree available in law and equips you to teach law to aspiring students in academic settings and conduct original research in your chosen field of law. An SJD typically takes five to seven years full-time, including extensive research, one-on-one discussions with faculty, dissertation writing and extensive field trips. Pepperdine Caruso School of Law offers various master’s degree options available at our graduate degrees – request more information today about them!
3. Legal Certificate
Legal certificates offer individuals looking to expand their knowledge in specific areas of law an excellent option for expanding their understanding. Often less time consuming than earning a law or master’s degree, certificate programs provide formal recognition of legal knowledge. You’ll find certificate programs in many fields including paralegal studies and international law.
Paralegal certificates are an increasingly popular route to entering the legal field as legal assistants or paralegals, offering individuals an educational edge to kick-start their career. Such certification programs cover basic aspects of legal work such as filing procedures, interviewing clients and researching legal cases; in addition to classes on computers in the workplace and ethics in law.
A Master of Legal Studies (MLS) degree is an ideal way for nonlawyers to develop an in-depth knowledge of legal affairs. This degree can provide great advantages to human resource specialists, compliance officers and management analysts who must deal with legal matters daily as part of their jobs. Most MLS programs require at least a bachelor’s degree as well as letters of recommendation and personal statements as requirements for admission.
An LLM in International Legal Studies can provide another route to understanding more of the legal system. This graduate-level program covers topics such as foreign law, international trade and comparative law – making this course available at multiple universities and helping professionals familiarize themselves with American legal procedures.
An SJD is the highest level of law degree available and should only be pursued by those intending to become legal scholars or professors. This graduate-level program teaches students how to conduct thorough legal research by meeting with professors one-on-one for lessons and attending seminars; it typically takes three years and requires at minimum a bachelor’s degree as prerequisites.
Before beginning your educational pursuit to become an attorney, it is wise to investigate various law degrees and their admission requirements. Also important is identifying what aspects of law most captivate your interest as well as deciding the type of legal career path you would like to follow.
4. Legal Internship
Legal internships can help you discover whether law is right for you. Internships are offered at various law schools and can either be undertaken on an unpaid or academically accredited basis. Interns assist attorneys on numerous projects, such as writing research memos and helping prepare reports or documents. Furthermore, interns assist with various case-related tasks. Atlanta Regional Solicitor’s Office hosts a dynamic intern program to give students practical litigation experience and comprehensive exposure to employment law. Interns participating in this internship have the unique opportunity to evaluate cases collected by investigators, take part in all aspects of discovery, assist attorneys with trial and hearing motion preparation and attend depositions/court proceedings as needed. Ideal intern candidates should possess an interest in workers’ rights matters while possessing strong analytical legal writing abilities along with effective interpersonal communication abilities.
A Juris Doctor degree is a three-year graduate degree that equips you to become an attorney. Before practicing law, however, you must pass the bar exam. Although Juris Doctor programs cover various areas of law, you are usually allowed to focus on any particular areas that interest you most such as tax or international law law that best suit your career goals or passions.
The Department of Labor’s Office of General Counsel (OLC) offers fall and spring semester legal internships. OLC seeks outstanding first and second-year law students who want to participate in paid academic credit-based internships with its Washington D.C. offices defending agency enforcement activities in court or administrative tribunals through civil litigation, moot court or legal competition participation, law review publication experience, extracurricular activities participation as well as previous summer or part-time employment or community service activities as criteria for selection for internship.
Master of Legal Studies degrees are graduate degrees designed for nonlawyers who desire an in-depth knowledge of legal issues without wanting to become attorneys themselves. This degree can also benefit professionals working with legal procedures and concepts within their current job responsibilities who want to advance their careers through learning more about legal procedures and concepts.