Steps to Becoming a Lawyer in Delaware

Although it has a population of less than one million residents, Delaware has one of the highest per capital rates of lawyers in the state with nearly 3,000 attorneys who are licensed to practice there. That’s because the state is the corporate law center of the United States, and that’s one of the reasons why being a lawyer in Delaware pays so well. The mean annual income for lawyers in Delaware is currently about $159,000 a year. If your objective is to become a lawyer in Delaware, the following details what steps you’ll need to take.

Earn an Undergraduate Degree

The first step in becoming a lawyer in Delaware is to earn a four-year undergraduate degree. This is required by both the American Bar Association (ABA) and the Delaware Board of Bar Examiners. The ABA accredits law school throughout the United States. It requires a law school candidate’s undergraduate degree to be from a law school that is accredited by an agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education. There is no such thing as a pre-law degree, so just about any bachelor’s degree that a person earns will be considered by a law school admission committee. The candidate’s grade point average will be a strong consideration, so it’s recommended that he or she earn their degree in a field that they enjoy. That’s because when a person enjoys their field of study, their grades are generally higher.

The Law School Admission Test

In their final year of attendance at an accredited college or university, a person becomes eligible to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Most candidates for admission to law school elect to take the test after graduation. Every ABA accredited law school in the United State requires candidates for admission to have taken the LSAT. The test lasts for a half of a day, and it’s given four times a year. It has little or nothing to do with the actual practice of law. It primarily focuses on analytical skills, logical skills and reading comprehension. Anybody who intends on taking the LSAT should be aware of the fact that he or she is competing on a national level. On that basis, taking a preparation class for the LSAT is strongly recommended. There are a number of such classes that are available that can be taken in person or online. They primarily teach valuable strategies on how to take the test. Many aspiring lawyers find these preparation courses to be invaluable.

Sitting for the LSAT

The LSAT is administered by the Law School Admission Council. Online registration is available, and the cost to take the test is $215. Tests are scored at a low of 120 and a high of 180. Test takers will receive their scores about three weeks after taking the exam. After that, they can begin applying to law school.

The Law School Application Process

Delaware requires every candidate for admission to the bar to have graduated from an ABA accredited law school. There are more than 200 of them in the United States, so don’t limit yourself geographically. When applying, you’ll be required to go through the ABA Credential Assembly Service. All necessary and supplementary documents for ABA accredited law school admission are forwarded to this service. Those documents along with the admission candidate’s LSAT scores are then forwarded by CAS to the law schools that they apply to. The cost of the Credential Assembly Service is $195 with a $45 charge for every law school applied to. These costs can be paid online.

Admission to Law School

A person who is admitted to and attends an ASA accredited law school will be required to successfully complete a minimum number of credit hours in mandatory courses such as torts, contracts, criminal law and civil procedure. For law students with special interests, a wide range of elective courses are available. For purposes of being considered for the practice of law in Delaware, a candidate must satisfy a five-month clerkship program. Upon satisfactory completion of a three-year law school program, the Juris Doctor degree is conferred upon an individual.

The Delaware Bar Exam

After graduating from an ABA accredited law school, a person becomes eligible to take the Delaware bar exam. As opposed to other states, this exam is only offered once a year. The exam is administered by the Delaware Board of Bar Examiners, it consists of five three-hour segments over two and a half days. The first day of the exam consists of eight essay questions that are specifically focused on Delaware law. The second day involves two essay questions from the Multistate Performance Test. Then, 200 multiple choice questions from the Multistate Bar Examination must be answered. The 2021 pass rate for first-time test takers was just over 71%.

The Professional Responsibility Exam

After passing the bar exam, lawyers have another four years to complete the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam. This exam lasts for two hours, and it consists of 60 multiple choice questions, 50 0f which are scored. This exam if given three times a year. The current cost is $150. The passing score is 85 or above. Character and fitness evaluations are performed after passing the bar exam. Bar exam passers must also attend a two-day pre-admission conference.

All requirements for admission to the Delaware bar must be completed by December 31 of the year that a candidate for admission passed the par exam. Swearing in ceremonies are scheduled in accordance with the court’s calendar. Taking the oath of office is mandatory. After that, the new lawyer is licensed to practice in all Delaware trial and appellate courts.