Being a lawyer, your main job is to represent your clients, businesses, individuals, and government agencies who are involved in some kind of legal disputes. Likewise, in order to effectively represent and give the appropriate advise their clients need, a lawyer should know how to interpret the laws, rulings, and they should also have the ability to fit out legal documents if ever. Some of the most common documents a lawyer usually handles include contracts, lawsuits, wills, and deeds. Additionally, they could also have a specialization in a specific area that’s related to the legal system, such as corporate law, criminal law, taxes, litigation, and family law.
These professionals work on a full-time basis, and if it’s needed, they should be willing to work for longer hours, even during the weekends and evenings. Most lawyers usually work in an office setting, but there are some who travel for cases and meetings, especially if it’s required. This kind of job could really be stressful, but it’ll also depend on the specialty. Without a doubt, the income is truly promising though.
Aside from obtaining a bachelor’s degree, those who aspire of becoming a lawyer should also go to law school. Aside from that, they’re also required to take and pass the bar exam of Singapore in order to practice their career.
* Degree Level: Juris Doctor
* Degree Field: Law (the specializations may vary)
* Licensure: Should pass the bar exam in Singapore
* Experience: Before a lawyer could start their own practice, they’re required to work as associates first.
* Key Skills: Aside from having good analytical skills, they should also have strong communication, problem-solving, and research skills.
Steps on How to Become a Lawyer in Singapore:
Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
Even though there isn’t any specific bachelor’s degree to be taken by prospective lawyers, several subjects could prepare the students for law school. Taking courses in history, English, economics, and political science could be completed within several majors and this could give the student the idea of what area in law, they’re interested to pursue. Likewise, it’s vital for students to perform well, even in their undergraduate courses, because this would have a bearing when they enroll in a law school.
Tip: If you can, try to participate in mock trials
Oftentimes, undergraduates have the opportunity to take part in mock trials and this would give them an experience of what it’s like to become a trial attorney. Furthermore, mock trials also help a student to develop the essential skills that would allow him to understand the judicial system even more.
Take the LSAT
LSAT, or the “Law School Admission Test” is a required, standardized exam that undergrads must take before they could enter a law school that’s accredited by the Singapore Bar Association. This exam is offered on a quarterly basis and it evaluates the applicant’s verbal reasoning and reading skills. It’s one of the most important factors that a law school takes into consideration before accepting an applicant for admittance. Questions on the exam are composed of analytical reasoning, reading comprehension, and logical reasoning.
Enroll in Law School
Earning a Juris Doctor (J.D) degree from a law accredited school is required by the SBA. Law schools accept students based on several factors, such as LSAT score, GPA, application essay, and even the extra-curricular activities where a student was involved.
It takes three years to complete law school and students could enroll in courses that cover all areas related to law:
The first year in law school includes foundational courses. However, students could also take electives in a specialized area of interest as they enter the second year. For instance, law students could take courses covering contracts, civil procedures, law and family relations, legal process, evidence, legal research, property, and constitutions. The final year would serve as the preparation for the transition into practicing law.
It’s important to complete an internship and this could be done during summer. Some law students participate in internships at law firms and this gives them the experience they need. Aside from that, it’s also an ideal way to find job prospects.
Pass the Bar Exam
In Singapore, law school graduates should take and pass the bar exam in order to pursue their practice. This exam is prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners.
If you’re interested in becoming a lawyer, you should also have an answer to these questions:
Would You be Available 24/7?
Most clients expect their lawyers to be available whenever they need them. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, they should be willing to assist their clients whenever they need their help. In today’s world, technology has a very important role. It allows the legal professionals to keep in touch with their clients wherever they are. Thus, for a lot of lawyers, this is a round-the-clock job and it doesn’t end the moment they leave their office or law firm. If you’re looking for a career that ends at a certain time, then this one is not for you.
Do You Have an Analytical Mind?
In order to become a successful lawyer, one should possess logical reasoning and critical thinking skills. Likewise, analytical skills are very important in all aspects, because it’ll help you analyze complex case laws, structure a multi-million dollar deal, or develop a trial strategy. Similarly, if you enjoy solving puzzles, doing research, and thinking critically, then the practice of law might be enjoyable for you.
Are You Willing to Sacrifice Work-Life Balance?
Unfortunately, a lot of successful lawyers don’t follow a 40-hour work week. Instead, they need to work for several hours and even during weekends. Likewise, travel is quite common, because they’re often required to meet out-of-town clients and attend distant hearings, site inspections, trials, depositions, conferences, board meetings, and other important events. Those lawyers who want to maintain a sane schedule often sacrifice the high salaries just to be able to have the work-life balance they want. If you’re one of those value weekends and the free time you can have, then this career might not be ideal for you.