To become a legal advisor, a range of skills and knowledge is required to be successful in this potentially lucrative career. In the United States, for example, any legal expert needs to finish law school, which requires at least a bachelor’s degree and passing score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) to be admitted. When students receive a juris doctor degree (J.D.), they can continue their education, work as an intern or law clerk, and pursue additional training such as an apprenticeship. Prospective legal advisors must then become licensed and certified before looking for a job at a law firm, private corporation, or government agency that hires or seeks the consultation of advisors.
Before one is to become a legal advisor, preparation for a career begins even before going to law school. Reading, writing, decision making, and persuasive skills are important for someone to have if they are considering a career as a legal advisor. One should study English, public speaking, economics, and even mathematics in college before going to law school. Computer science, history, and foreign languages also help a student to become a legal advisor with skills to pursue and advance their career. The interpersonal skills lawyers need to be successful are also developed through debate teams or participation in the school government.
There are no specific courses that are typically needed to get into law school. An applicant has to pass an entrance exam before even applying to a law school to become a legal advisor. A separate exam, however, can usually qualify applicants that have completed some college courses over a two year period. Graduates must then pass a regulatory exam before moving licensure, and can then seek out apprenticeship programs and internships to gain experience in a professional environment. Additional certifications and licensing, which can vary depending on the region one intends to practice in, may also be required.
Once the required education and credentialing is completed, which can take up to seven years, finding a job is the next step for someone to become a legal advisor. Online directories and legal magazines provide a means to look for work, as do recruiters and networking strategies through the job seeker’s social and professional network. Legal advisors can work in law firms as attorneys or work for other agencies that employ lawyers, such as banks, insurance companies, real estate firms, and manufacturers. One could also become a legal advisor for an agricultural, health care, or construction company.