Getting admitted to the bar is the beginning of almost all professional careers for lawyers. This achievement is extremely important to young lawyers, as it is a statement of their ability and fitness to practice professionally. In many regions, obtaining bar admission is a lengthy and complicated process that requires years of preparation and study. Understanding basic tips for bar admission can help give an aspiring lawyer a good chance at success.
One of the most important tips for bar admission is to carefully take note of local standards for the bar. How a person gains a license to practice law varies enormously from region to region, making it critically important to know the standards going in. Almost all regions require a law degree, some in addition to a regular undergraduate degree, some in lieu of one. Most require some sort of examination that may be oral or written. Many regions also require a period of apprenticeship before a license is conferred.
Some regions insist that lawyers meet character standards and have a clean criminal history. It is important to find out if this standard applies to a region a person is studying in, and if any youthful indiscretions may cause automatic refusal from bar admission. It may be wise to attempt to gain citizenship and study in a region that does not have these regulations if they will prohibit a person from obtaining a license in his or her home country.
If a bar examination is part of the bar admission process, start studying early. Study guides, tip sites, and even whole books on bar exams are available. Consider forming study groups with other law students to help keep studying from becoming mindlessly boring. After deciding when to take the exam, set up a detailed study plan to ensure the best possible preparation.
If a bar admission exam includes an oral section, practice as much as possible. Some people are absolutely terrified of oral examinations and may be afraid that they will freeze up during the test. Have friends hold practice sessions in which everyone asks the hardest questions imaginable. Knowing the material backward and forwards can help give even a shy person more confidence in an oral exam.
In regions where an apprenticeship is required, try to make contacts within the legal industry as early as possible. Grades and good reviews may be important, but many people are able to land internships and apprenticeships through personal contacts. Go to legal society events, volunteer at a law office over the summer, and try to make friends with older students and recent graduates. Getting started on this process early can give an ambitious student a foot in the door at many firms.