Steps To Becoming A Lawyer In Alabama

As of 2021, there were a total of 18,370 lawyers who are admitted to practice law in Alabama, according to the Alabama State Bar. Of those, 14,739 or 81.2% were lawyers with offices with their principal office in the state. Another 3,631 or 19.8% were lawyers who are admitted to practice law in Alabama but have their principal office in another state. A total of 100 new admittees with 59 Alabama in-state lawyers and 41 out-of-state lawyers were admitted to practice. On the gender of practitioners in the state, 65.9% were males, while the balance are female.

Getting Admitted To Law School In Alabama

A candidate for admission into an American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law school must first complete a bachelor’s degree program in the major of his or her choosing. No single major might influence an admission decision, but an applicant’s undergraduate degree must be from an accredited college or university.

The two primary criteria for gaining admission to an ABA accredited law school are the applicant’s undergraduate grade point average and his or her performance on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Letters of recommendation and a strong personal statement might separate an applicant from the pack.

LSAT Preparation

Those who sit for the LSAT are competing nationally against some of the brightest aspiring lawyers in the country. The test consists of three sections. Those are reading comprehension, analytical reasoning and logical reasoning. Although the LSAT website offers preparation materials at no cost, it’s strongly recommended that those who intend on sitting for the exam take a private preparation course. These not only prepare candidates for the test, but they also teach them how to approach it. Information on such prep classes is easily found online. For purposes of reference a low LSAT would be 120, and a high score would be 180. The University of Alabama School of Law ordinarily accepts applicants with an LSAT score of 163. The LSAT score isn’t determinative on admission though.

Law Schools In Alabama

There are five law schools in Alabama, but only three of them are accredited by the ABA.

The accredited programs are at:

  • Cumberland Law School
  • Thomas Goode Jones School of Law
  • The University of Alabama School of Law

Unaccredited law schools in the state include

  • Birmingham School of Law
  • Miles Law School

It isn’t mandatory in Alabama that a bar exam candidate be a graduate of an ABA accredited law school. Assuming the graduate passes the bar exam, job seekers will quickly learn that employers look at ABA accredited law school grads more favorably.

Over recent years, about 74.6% of all accredited Alabama law school graduates pass the state’s bar examination on their first attempt. The numbers were substantially lower for graduates of the state’s two unaccredited law schools.

For jobs, potential employers are far more likely to look favorably on graduates from ABA accredited law schools. If you’re able to obtain admission to an ABA accredited law school, take advantage of it.