Steps to Becoming a Lawyer in New Hampshire

Job opportunities for lawyers continue to grow. Right now, the mean salary of a lawyer in the state is a little over $100,000. Lawyers practicing in Manchester make about $114,000, and lawyers in the Portsmouth New Hampshire/New England area sear about $130.000. If you want to learn how to make that kind of money or even more in the quiet serenity of New Hampshire, read some more about it.

Your Pre-Law Major

The American Bar Association (ABA) requires a four-year degree from anybody who attends an ABA accredited college or university. It doesn’t matter where you go, so long as you’re accredited by the U.S. Board of Education. The college or university must be sanctioned by the Database of Post-Secondary Institutions and Programs. As there is no such thing as a pre-law degree, law schools don’t particularly care about what type of degree that you have. You’ll suit yourself well though by earning a degree in English, political science, western civilization, history, communications or business. Those skills will also be integral to your success in law school.

Taking the LSAT in New Hampshire

Before you take the Law School Admission Test in New Hampshire, it’s important that you take a preparatory class. It’s not for purposes of learning to take the test. It’s for purposes of learning how to take the test. Ask around, and you’ll get a consensus of opinion. Then, take that class. Even if it only gets you up five or ten points, those five or ten points can make a world of difference. The LSAT has little to do with the practice of law, but it does have a lot to do with characterizing you as a law student. It determines how you will do in law school and in practice. If you do well on the LSAT, you’ll not only gain admission to the University of New Hampshire. Doors will open up for you throughout the surrounding area.

LSAT Content

Sections of the LSAT are intended to measure your ability to comprehend what you read, reasoning verbally and analytical reasoning. You’re also called upon to create a writing sample, but it isn’t scored. That writing sample is sent the law schools that you apply to, so you had best do well on that too. There are above 100 multiple-choice questions for you to finish in above 3.5 hours of time. In most schools, the LSAT score is given more weight than a student’s grade point average. It costs $215 to take the LSAT. You create your own account at the Law School Admission Council website, which you’ll use throughout the application process. Payment can be made there. The test can be taken at three locations across the state, and results will be mailed in about three weeks. The bottom end score is 120, and the top score is 180. The average score at the University of New Hampshire is 158. The only ABA accredited law school in the state is the University of New Hampshire.

The Law School Application Process

The next step in becoming a lawyer in New Hampshire is to start applying to law schools. You must be a graduate of an ABA accredited law school to be licensed to practice in New Hampshire. There is an exception for two non-ABA accredited law schools in Massachusetts though. On the other hand, there are more than 200 accredited law schools in the United States. If you scored well on the LSAT, one of those would far more likely be the better choice.

The Credential Assembly Service

Any applicant to an ABA accredited law school must use the services of the Credential Assembly Service. Applications and any other documents only need to be sent there one time. All ABA accredited law school applications are available there as well. The LSAC combines your application, letters of recommendation, and other data like your writing sample and LSAT scores and provides them to the appropriate law schools. The fee for using the CAS is 195.

Admission to Law School

Once you’re admitted to law school, you’ll be required to study some of the following prerequisites: Contracts, constitutional law, criminal law and procedure, evidence, state and federal civil procedure, torts, trusts and estates, uniform commercial code and others. Time will also be given for special interests like electives.  You’ll likely be required to complete an internship too, and it won’t just be answering the phone. It will be hand-on legal work, and you’ll be graded on it too. Then, comes the bar exam.

The New Hampshire Bar Exam

Aside from the two law schools in Massachusetts, all candidates for admission to the New Hampshire bar must be graduates from ABA accredited law schools. We strongly recommend that you take a course on taking the bar exam. It can make the difference between passing and failing. Just ask other third-year students and they’ll tell you what class they’re taking. Four out of five will be taking a certain class, so enroll in that class too. You’ll serve yourself well. New Hampshire administers the Uniform Bar Exam over two days. The MPT is given the morning of the first day, and the MEE questions will be given in the afternoon. On the second day, the MBE will be given both morning and afternoon with 100 multiple choice questions in the morning, and another 100 in the afternoon. Don’t forget about the MPRE. That must be successfully taken too.

The pass rate of the New Hampshire bar exam for first-time takers was 68.9% in 2021. There were 80 takers. The fee for taking the bar exam is $725. Upon passing the bar exam, you’ll be notified of the date and time of your swearing in ceremony. Then, it’s congratulations! You’re a lawyer now!