How To Become A Lawyer in the USA

The US is the epicentre of Law in the world. It boasts some of the very best Law schools, often referenced in movies and TV shows as they are so iconic. Law schools in the US are part of public or private universities that grant Juris Doctor (J.D.) degrees. The J.D. program typically lasts three years for full-time students and four years for part-time students. The first year of law school is generally considered to be the most difficult because of the core classes, exams, and the Socrates method. Instead of studying Law straight out of college/sixth form, you can only study Law in America once you have already completed a degree. This could be Law, but it could also be any degree.

Top 10 Law Schools in the U.S.

According to U.S. News, here are the top 10 law schools in the USA.

  1. Yale University
  2. Stanford University
  3. Harvard University
  4. Columbia University
  5. University of Chicago
  6. New York University
  7. University of Pennsylvania (Carey)
  8. University of Virginia
  9. University of California – Berkeley
  10. Duke University

US Law School Requirements

  • To study Law in the USA you must first complete a Bachelor’s degree. It can be related to Law studies, but that is not mandatory. Law schools accept all candidates that finished a Bachelor’s degree, regardless of their former fields of study.
  • Take the LSAT – an official exam that tests your critical and analytical abilities – necessary for further pursuing a Law degree.
  • How good is your English? Some universities in America will require you to prove your language skills with an exam like TOEFL.
  • If you’re an international student, you’ll also require a student visa to study in the U.S.


During the three or four years of studying Law, you will have classes that will cover topics such as administrative law, legal theory, analytical legal methods, bankruptcy, business law and ethics, civil rights, constitutional law and much more.

Between the 2nd and the 3rd year, most local and international students in the United States engage in an internship program in order to gain practical experience that can sometimes lead to a future job after graduation. Beginning with the 3rd year, you can choose elective courses tailored for the particular Law speciality that will define your future career.

Specialisations in Law in the United States include:

  • International Law
  • Public Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Business Law
  • Patent Law

American Law degrees can mean a comfortable life and stable finances. Even graduates of lower-ranked law schools are typically making six-figure incomes within 12 years after graduation. Graduates of higher-ranking schools typically earn more than $170,000!