Steps to Becoming a Lawyer in Georgia

The Georgia Board of Bar Admissions requires those who wish to take the bar exam to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school before a person can be considered for admission. The U.S. Department of Education lists them in the Database of Post-Secondary Institutions and Programs. There is also another second way to be admitted. That’s through a non-accredited institution, but you’ll need to pass the Georgia bar exam, two of the four College Level Entrance (CLEP) exams in the in two of the following studies. Those are in the Humanities, Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Social Studies and History.

Degree Options

There isn’t a particular course of studies in obtaining a four-year prelaw course. For that reason, just about any pre-law course will do. Admission offices will be looking at grade point average, reasoning skills and logical thinking. Then, they will be looking at your major. That might be anything from accounting to zoology. Finally, they’ll be looking at your Law School Admission Test Scores (LSAT).

The LSAT Scores

You’ll be required to take the Law School Admission Test before any accredited law school lets you in. It’s offered four times per year in Georgia. It consists of reading comprehension, analytical thinking and logical reasoning. The current cost is $215. This service puts applications, other materials and LSAT scores together, and forwards them to the law schools that you apply to. It’s not that easy for most people though. That’s because the Law School Admission Test weeds out may students who never come back to take it again. A low score is 120, and a high score is 180. The average score is about 156.

Getting Ready for the LSAT

Nearly everybody who takes the LSAT is ill advised to take it without first taking a preparatory class. There are many types of such services, and you’ll know which service to take to give you the best chance of achieving the score you desire. As this test has noting to do with the practice of law, this preparation is of the utmost importance.

The Law School Admission Process

You must be approved by the Georgia Office of Bar Admissions. The Application for Certification of Fitness must also be submitted separately at a different time. Remember that Georgia law schools require you to graduate from an accredited Georgia state law school. To date, there are six of such law schools. Those are the following;

  • The Atlanta John Marshall School of Law.
  • Emory University School of Law.
  • University of Georgia School of Law.
  • Georgia State University School of Law.
  • Mercer University – Walter F. George College of Law in Macon.
  • Savanah Law School in Savanah

Internships and Externships

Participation in internships or externships from accredited law schools is typically required. You’ll be evaluated for these programs along with faculty.

Taking the Bar Exam

After having taken your LSAT boards and completed three years of an ABA accredited law school, you’re eligible to take the Georgia State Bar Exam. You must also certify to the character and fitness application. It’s routine for most people. Applications must be completed by the December of the next following year though. Upon being notified that you’re good to go, you can take the bar exam. Finally, you must submit your transcripts to the Board of Bar Examiners by January 15, for the first bar exam and June 15, for the second exam.

Preparation for the Bar Exam

You’ll want to take another preparation test, specifically geared toward the bar exam. You stand a much higher chance of passing it. Around your third year of law school, as test preparation facilities. You’ll easily locate the best one or two. After that comes the exam. There is a first and second day of the exam. Its format follows:

Day One: The format consists of four Georgia MPT questions and two longer questions in the afternoon session.

Day Two: The second day consists of 200 BGE multiple choice questions. There will be 100 of them in the morning, and another 100 of them in the afternoon.

You must also pass the Professional Responsibility Exam before you’re admitted to law school. A passing score is 75 or above.

You’ll be receiving your pass or fail within about months from taking the exam. At that time, you’ll be instructed on where to attend for swearing in. If you’re not sworn in, you’re not a lawyer. Note that if you’re sworn into the Georgia bar, you’re required to complete a Mandatory Transition into Law Program. There is no opting out on this either. After all requirements have been met, you’ll be eligible to practice in the various trial and appellate courts in Georgia.