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How To Become A Lawyer?

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Edited By Izabela Krasnicka and Magdalena Perkowska

The present publication collects the contributions of the colloquium «How to Become a Lawyer in Europe», which took place on June 4, 2010 in Andorra la Vella – within the frame-work of the 15th annual meeting of the representatives of the Network of European Universities in Legal Studies.
We gathered articles concerning not only many European countries but also the United States and a special contribution is made to the system in California (USA). Each part is a unique guide through internal regulations leading to different legal professions. The articles present the academic education system in the field of law and also special requirements and professional exams giving the right/permission to perform legal professions. The reader will see the differences and similarities especially in the European systems of the presented countries.

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CHARLES F. SZYMANSKI - THE PROCESS FOR BECOMING AN ATTORNEY IN THE UNITED STATES 147

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The process for becoming an attorney in the United States Charles F. SZYMANSKI157 Introduction While the legal profession in the United States has come under in- creasing criticism over the past 20 years in public opinion surveys, becoming an attorney has still remained a desirable – and highly com- petitive – career choice for many students. Thus, while parents may on one hand criticize lawyers at a dinner party, at the same time they often encourage their children to become a lawyer. Becoming a licensed attorney in the United States is a three-step process: 1) meeting the requirements for entering law school, 2) suc- cessfully completing law school, and 3) obtaining a license to practice law. Each step will be explained in more detail below. Requirements to enter law school For the vast majority of individuals seeking to become a lawyer, ad- mission into an American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law school is the first prerequisite. While non-accredited law schools do exist (particularly in California), graduates of such schools are often not eligible to sit for many states’ bar examinations, and consequently have limited prospects to obtain a license to practice law upon gradua- tion. 157 Professor, Vytatuas Magnus University, Faculty of Law, and licensed attorney, State of Michigan, United States. 148 Charles F. SZYMANSKI In order to eligible to attend an ABA accredited school, the applicant must have successfully completed at least a bachelor’s degree (in the U.S., a four year course of study) in any subject, and have taken the...

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