The Massachusetts Body of Libertine was the fist legal code of this nation. It was established by the colonists in 1641, and became one of the first accessories in the protection of rights of Americans. It was a mode of proving a new success in the Bill of Rights. Many lawyers of great prominence came from Massachusetts. Among them was our second President John Quincy Adams, politicians John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy, Oliver Wendell Holmes and John Hancock. It’s no wonder that Massachusetts has such a great place in our nation’s history. If you want to become a lawyer in Massachusetts, here’s what you’ll have to do.
Get Your Undergraduate Degree
The undergraduate school that you attend must be accredited by the U.S. Department of Education. Note that there are no specific courses of study that one must take. As a pre-law student, it’s the taking of course work that’s a challenge yet fun to you that is of the utmost importance. That might be world history or U.S. history. It could be political science, English, the humanities or economics. Couple those with a subject that’s your major that it fun for you, and you might just have an aspiring lawyer on your hands. After that, you have to take the LSAT exams. That’s going to weed out half of the people when they take it. They won’t be back either.
The LSAT is short for Law School Admissions Test. It’s a prerequisite for all ABA law schools, and it’s offered worldwide four times a year. There are classes that are available for taking the LSAT and it’s highly advisable, especially since you’ll be competing nationally. Just ask around. You’ll quickly learn who is the best commercial performer out of the group. Go with that performer. You’ll likely see a significant increase in your score. The content of the LSAT is intended on testing the skills that you’ll need for law school and beyond. Reading comprehension, logical thinking and analytical thinking are all tested. Then, there’s the mystery section that may or may not be scored. That’s why you still want to do well on the test. Then, there’s the essay potion of the test. It will be used at the law schools that you apply to. Take that prep class, and you’ll quickly see why about 50% of the people who take the test drop out.
Applications for the LSAC are taken online. You can pay the fee of $215 online. Massachusetts has 13 locations where the test can be taken. The lowest score that you can receive is a 120. The highest is a 180. You’ll get your score about three weeks after taking the exam. There are eight accredited law schools in Massachusetts. Harvard University ranks the highest with 173. Northeastern University was in the middle with 161, and the Western New England School of Law came in at 147.
Applying to Law School
Pursuant to the Massachusetts bar admission rules, you must graduate from a law school that is accredited. There are more than 200 of such schools in the United States. If you’ve gone this far, somebody somewhere will likely let you in. The key to this is the Credential Assembly Service. You must use this service when applying to ABA accredited law schools. You’ll find the service to be invaluable in obtaining your transcripts, letters of recommendation and LSAT scores. It also helps you apply directly to law schools that you apply to at $45 per school. Pursuant to the rules of admission of the Massachusetts bar, you must graduate from an accredited law school to take the bar exam. The course requirements are strenuous. Just some of the classes include contracts, torts, criminal law and procedure, real property, wills and trusts, domestic relations and the uniform commercial code. There are also electives that you can take to satisfy those areas of special interest that you have. Note that Massachusetts also requires at least one course and possibly two be taken as an externship, internship or pro bono class. You’ll be graded in your performance in these, so give them your best effort.
The Massachusetts Bar Exam
Getting to the bar exam is much the same way as getting into law school. There’s another independent class that you should take, and that’s a bar review. There are companies out there that provide this service. Ask in your third year of law school which one you should attend. The results will be overwhelming, so go with that bar review course. Know it inside out, and you’ll probably pass the bar exam. It will take you two days. Day 1 is the Multistate Performance Test and the MEE. Day 2 is the Multistate Bar Examination. You must also pass the Massachusetts Law Component exam and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam before you can be sworn in. A passing score is 85 or higher. The fee for the bar exam is $815 and it must be paid by cashier’s or certified check. An additional charge of $75 is due if you plan on taking the exam on a computer. For the most recent February 2022 exam, the pass rate was 62 percent for first time takers and 30 percent for repeat test takers.
It could take up to 14 weeks to obtain your test results by mail. Assuming that you passed your exam, you’ll also be receiving a formal invitation to your bar admission ceremony. If you didn’t pass, you’ll be in receipt of materials on taking the examination at the earliest opportunity. You can even obtain instructions on obtaining your graded exam. These will provide you with a helpful assessment.