Then you'll take bar exam prep class, because law school does not prepare you to pass a bar exam.
Then you'll take a bar exam.
Then, you'll be fully licensed to practice law and, like most young lawyers, almost completely unprepared ... which we know to be true because in states such as Washington, you must take ADDITIONAL LEGAL COURSEWORK before being able to practice law on your own!
You can do better!
Why not become a lawyer the same way as Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson did: not through law school, but through supervised experience!
Washington State has a program, authorized by Licensing Rule 6, that provides for any college graduate of good moral character basically to apprentice into the law. You study hard while working as a law clerk. At the end of the program, you take the same Bar Exam as anyone else and, when successful, become a lawyer (a) free of the crushing burden of law school loans, and (b) actually knowing how to file a motion at a courthouse!
You have to take responsibility for researching your options, but here's some places to start:
- Washington State's Law Clerk Program
- Washington State's Law Clerk Association: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wslca/ (Includes both clerks and alumni)
- Honest Abe's Guide to Practicing Law by Barrie Althoff, WSBA Chief Disciplinary Counsel
How to Start & Build a Law Practice, by Jay Foonberg. Read this before you even consider becoming a lawyer; it's a lot less expensive than going through law school and then discovering what law practice is about! If you are going to invest years of education and tens of thousands of dollars, you owe it you yourself to do the research first!
- Money and Ethics: The Young Lawyer's Conundrum by Patrick J. Schiltz.