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How do I Become a Securities Fraud Lawyer?

By Christy Bieber
Updated May 17, 2024
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If you want to become a securities fraud lawyer, you must graduate both from an undergraduate institution and from an approved law school within the jurisdiction where you want to practice. You generally must take relevant courses in math, accounting, statistics, economics and corporate and securities law. Finally, you must become licensed to practice law before the federal government in the United States.

The first step to become a securities fraud lawyer is to get an undergraduate degree. In the United States, this is a four-year bachelor's degree. In other countries, a college or university degree or diploma is also required. While you can technically specialize or major in any subject during your undergraduate studies, it is wise to take courses that will ultimately help you to get a job as a securities lawyer and to understand securities law. Thus, majoring in math or economics is common.

Upon graduating with an undergraduate degree, you must apply for admission to a law school before you can become a securities fraud lawyer. Generally, you will need to work with a larger and more prominent law firm after graduation, as these larger firms are usually hired to handle such cases. As a result, you will want to go to the law school with the best reputation you can gain admittance to, since large firms generally prefer to hire graduates of highly rated law schools.

While in law school, you will want to take courses in securities fraud. Few schools offer a specialization within the field, but all schools offer a series of classes you can take to learn about the subject. Since securities fraud is based in federal law within the United States and cases are tried in federal courts, you will also want to take classes that teach the federal rules of civil procedure.

Upon graduation, you must take the qualifying exam to become an attorney. In the United States, this is the bar examination. This will provide you with the license you need to practice law. You will also need to be recommended to practice before the federal court. An attorney in good standing can recommend you for admission to practice at the federal level and you will be sworn in.

Your next step is to obtain a position at a law firm that handles securities fraud cases. You cannot generally become a securities fraud lawyer without having worked at such a firm, since you will need to gain experience and build your reputation. Once you have sufficient experience working as a securities fraud attorney for a firm, you can begin to recruit your own clients or pursue employment with the Securities and Exchange Commission to prosecute those accused of securities fraud.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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