Becoming a divorce lawyer can be boiled down to two simple steps: go to law school and pass a state bar exam. But before you decide to pay that application fee and get enrolled, it is essential to research the education and career requirements and learn the substantive practice areas within the umbrella of divorce law, as well as determine whether you have the interest and appropriate personality to manage emotional and distraught clients.
Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of becoming a divorce attorney as well as the steps required to be an official divorce attorney.
- High Salary (National average in 2018: $82,000)
- Freedom to be your own boss, or apply at the plethora of firms across the U.S.
- You get to help people with very personal and important issues
- Gain a keen understanding of the law
- Divorce has been occurring since before the creation of the U.S.A. and population is at an all-time high; therefore, the career field is a dependable one.
- Travel is included (sometimes)
- Education requires multiple years to obtain
- Schooling is expensive
- Job availability depends on the economy
- Trials can cause stress
- Longer hours
Step #1: Once you’ve decided you want to move forward and pursue a career as a divorce attorney, the first step is obtaining a bachelor’s degree. While there is no required major for law school acceptance, the American Bar Association suggest students obtain a multi-disciplinary degree.
Step #2: You’ve graduated with your bachelor’s! Next stop, the LSAT (or the Law School Admissions Test). This multiple choice assessment challenges student’s abilities in reading comprehension and reasoning. Prospective students must receive a minimum LSAT score to gain acceptance into most law schools.
Step #3: Congrats! You passed your LSAT with flying colors! You are officially halfway to becoming a divorce attorney. Now you need to earn a law degree from a postgraduate program approved by the ABA. Typically, a law degree takes about three years of schooling to obtain.
Step #4: Now that you have all the required education to become a divorce attorney, every lawyer must first pass a state’s bar exam before being able to practice law legally. According to the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), it isn’t until after completion of bachelor’s degree and law school that a bar exam can be taken. Few states allow students to take the exam before graduation.