A qualification in law is ideal for paralegals, legal assistants and entry-level lawyers who want to take their career to the next level, as well as non-legal professionals who want to dive into the legal field.
Regardless of your specific circumstances, choosing to further your career with a qualification in law is undoubtedly a sound decision. With a legal education, you will not only have the opportunity to practice law, but also the flexibility to move into other professions such as teaching, advocacy and business.
Let’s have a look at some law qualification you can acquire.
See Also: Top 10 Reasons to Become a Lawyer
1. College Programs
Bachelor of Law (LL.B)
This credential is ideal for legal assistants, paralegals and legal secretaries who are looking to become lawyers. If you are in this category, then all you need to find an approved law school and pursue your Bachelor of Laws.
Some of the best law schools include:
- Yale Law School, Connecticut
- Harvard University, Massachusetts
- London School of Economics and Political Science, London
Graduate diplomas or certificates are ideal for people with a bachelor’s degree in fields other than law. In most cases, this credential will not enable you to practice law in courts. However, you will gain the legal knowledge to be a legal advisor or even compliance analyst. So if you are a business manager who wants to learn how to improve the business’s adherence to relevant laws, this is the credential for you.
Institutions offering these graduate diplomas include:
Masters of Laws (LL.M)
This credential is suitable for ambitious lawyers who want to scale the heights of the legal profession. If you want to be a judge, associate lecturer, or even the chief justice, an LL.M is a must have. The laws schools listed above also offer competent LL.Ms.
2. State Bar Qualification
In most US states, lawyers are required to obtain the state bar qualification before starting to practice law in courts. In general, this involves passing the state’s bar exam and meeting other academic and experience requirements.
As an ambitious lawyer who wants to serve clients from any part of the country, you should obtain bar qualifications in as many states as you wish. So if you currently hold the New York Bar qualification, you can go for the Washington Bar qualification to be able to practice law in Washington courts.
3. Professional Certifications
There are many legal specialties. You can choose to specialize in immigration law, property law, civil law, family law, criminal law or constitutional law. The best way to demonstrate your mastery of a certain legal specialty is to obtain a professional certification.
The following list highlights some of the professional organizations offering specialty certifications for lawyers:
- American Board of Certification (Business and consumer bankruptcy, creditor rights)
- American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys (Legal and medical Professional Liability)
- National Board of Legal Specialty Certification (Civil, family, disability and criminal law)
- National Elder Foundation (Elder Law)
- National Association of Counsel for Children (Juvenile law)
- Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (Patent law)
- Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (for legal executives in the UK)
Many of these associations also offer membership opportunities, which you should seize to access training workshop and seminars that award certificates of participation.
See Also: 7 Books for Law School Success
So these are the legal qualifications that can help you advance your career. If you have any questions regarding any of these qualifications, don’t hesitate to post in the comments section below.