How Long Does It Take To Be A Lawyer In The USA? (Explained With The Skills Required!)

Lawyer In The USA

It will take you 7 years to become a lawyer in the USA. After high school, you need to go for undergraduate law studies, and it takes 4 years to complete. However, life does not stop there as you will need to spend another 3 years in law school. Thus, making it 7 years to become a lawyer in the USA.

Some people argue that going to law school isn’t compulsory. However, many states in the USA make it compulsory for lawyers to go to law school after getting a bachelor’s degree. The idea is to become Juris doctors, to be well-grounded in the profession. 

 Some Careers In Law

Below Is A Table Showing Some Careers In Law And The Number Of Years It Takes To Become An Expert In That Field. 

ProfessionNumber of years
Family Law7 years
Criminal Law7 – 8 years
Paralegal7 years
Corporate law7 – 9 years

Skills Needed To Be A Lawyer In The United States Of America 

Skills Needed To Be A Lawyer In The United States Of America 

To qualify as an efficient lawyer, here are some skills you need:

Ability To Work Under Pressure 

Writers are not the only professionals who have to meet deadlines, as lawyers are also on the same level. Lawyers usually work with tight deadlines to deliver, which builds up pressure. Therefore, only those who can work under pressure can be successful lawyers. 

The best way to go about it is to handle the tasks one by one. If you decide to do it all simultaneously, you will get confused. Aside from that, you will get overwhelmed, bringing you down mentally. 

Also, you could have personal timelines that differ from the ones that your company gives you. The idea here is to work with your deadline, ensuring that you complete the task before the main deadline.

They say that little drops of water make a mighty ocean. So, do not be too hard on yourself when you discover that you aren’t meeting up with deadlines. However, make sure that you take online courses that will help you return you build your speed to finish in recent times.

Once you can figure out how to work under pressure, the journey of being a lawyer will be easier and more enjoyable.

Excellent Communication Skills

Yes, everyone talks, but not everyone communicates. The idea behind having excellent communication skills is not just to talk but to understand that people understand what you are saying.

And as a lawyer, you must have excellent communication skills. Else, how do you expect to defend your clients in court? How will you relate with your clients and fellow solicitors? If you do not have excellent communication skills, you will fail at being a lawyer.

People usually say that lawyers are confident people. However, we want you to know that it stems from their communication skills. If a lawyer doesn’t have excellent communication skills, they cannot be confident when defending their clients in court. Thus, no one would want such a lawyer as their representative. 

Communication skills for lawyers entail both spoken and written communication. After all, a lawyer is usually involved in drafting letters and legal documents. Therefore, a lawyer should pass information in a well-detailed and understandable manner through writing.

In addition, a lawyer also needs to have active listening skills as it also tries to communication skills. Having listening skills helps the lawyer get clear information from their client and know the correct information to use when working.

Unfortunately, we see that many people assume that they have communication skills even when they do not. You must harness your communication skills if you want to be a lawyer. To improve your confidence level, you should try communicating within friendship groups. 

Team Spirit 

You cannot succeed as a lawyer if you do not have a team spirit. It should be common knowledge that a lawyer would always work with many people. Therefore, you must be open to teamwork. 

Asides from your colleagues, you will also work with the court staff, clients, and much more. And, you will always have constant clashes with these people if you do not have a team spirit. 

Also, there are cases when are not the only lawyer involved in a case, and you will work with other lawyers. So, if you cannot work in a team, how do you expect to win the case?

In addition, once other lawyers see that you do not have a team spirit, they will not want to be on their team. Thus, you will always be sidelined, and we know you do not want to experience such. 

Therefore, you must have a team spirit and be open to working with many people. The goal is a conducive working environment, which only happens when everyone agrees. You must note that the goal is to win the case for your client. So, always put away individual differences. 

Commercial Awareness

As a lawyer, you must have knowledge of various areas; it is what commercial awareness entails. 

Typically, lawyers need to be well-read and knowledgeable as you can never predict what case would land on your table. And, it would not make sense to keep rejecting clients because you are not well-informed. 

Understandably, one may argue that it is impossible to know everything, and we agree with this claim. Now, we are not saying that you should be a walking encyclopedia. However, it is best to try and know bits from different areas. It is what will set you apart from other lawyers. 

Knowing current affairs should be one of your top goals as a lawyer should that nothing will take you unaware.


Some frequently asked questions are:

How Long Does It Take To Be A Criminal Lawyer?

Becoming a criminal lawyer takes the same number of years as becoming a lawyer. So, you will spend 7 years in total if you want to become a criminal lawyer.

Do Lawyers Need Written Communication?

Of course, lawyers need to have excellent written communication skills. Lawyers usually have to prepare legal documents and more. Therefore, their written communication skill will come to play.

Final Word

If you are looking to be a lawyer in the USA, keep in mind that you will spend 7 years in total before becoming a professional.