The requirements to become an attorney can vary widely among jurisdictions. Within the United States, the path one must follow in order to become a consumer bankruptcy attorney requires years of education and study. Anyone who aspires to become an attorney must first complete a bachelor's degree. The next step is to complete law school and obtain a juris doctorate degree. Attorneys must then become licensed in the state where they plan to practice law. Finally, anyone wishing to become a consumer bankruptcy attorney must gain practical experience with a firm that focuses on bankruptcy law.
With very few exceptions, California being one of them, states require anyone applying for a law license to have completed a bachelor's degree first. In addition, most law schools require completion of a bachelor's degree to be admitted to the law school program. Contrary to popular belief, there is no "pre-law" major in undergraduate school. Applicants from all undergraduate majors will be considered for law school; however, popular majors include Political Science, English, and Philosophy.
After completing undergraduate school, the next step required to become a consumer bankruptcy attorney is to study law for three years culminating in a juris doctorate degree. While in law school, advanced courses in bankruptcy law are recommended. Often, summer internships or paid positions are available to law students. Anyone who aspires to become a consumer bankruptcy attorney should pursue these opportunities.
Upon graduation from law school, all attorneys must decide in which state, or states, they wish to practice law. Each state has its own requirements for licensing; however, there are commonalities. An applicant must pass the bar examination and the multi-state professional responsibility examination. A character and fitness interview or background check is also frequently part of the licensing process. Once all the examinations have been successfully completed, the applicant will be sworn in by the state Supreme Court and be licensed to practice law.
For a licensed attorney who wishes to become a consumer bankruptcy attorney, the last step is to obtain employment with a firm that focuses on bankruptcy law. Bankruptcy is a very specialized area of the law, and most firms that handle consumer bankruptcies devote a large portion, if not all, of their practice to representing clients in the bankruptcy process. Most attorneys begin their career by learning the practical aspects of being a lawyer under the guidance and supervision of seasoned attorneys in a larger firm.