Missouri has St. Louis and Kansas City as two of its primary cities. St. Louis has the Gateway Arch as the Gateway to the West. Kansas City is at the junction of the Kansas River and the Missouri River, and it’s known as the Barbecue Capital of the World. Lawyers there top the $100,000 mark in earnings. There are more than 12,000 lawyers there already. If you’d like to become one of then, take the road to success that charted out in the following brief.
Getting Your Pre-Law Degree
You must first apply to an American Bar Association law school, but getting there takes four years of hard work. Fortunately, you can have a bachelor’s degree in any field that you wish, so long as your undergraduate school appears on the of U.S. Department of Education’s database. Although you need not take any specific course work, classes in English, political science, history, economics and criminal justice will all be highly considered. The Department of Education wants you to have fun though too, so if you take classes that you’re interested in, and you do well in those classes, the doors into law school open even wider. Admission committees would much rather see you do well in classes that you’re interested in. It makes sense too. If you do well in a subject, you’re likely to get better grades in it. Grade point average in your major is strongly considered by law schools.
The LSAT is an abbreviation for the Law School Admission Test, and it’s your next step to becoming a lawyer. It’s a six-hour exam that really has nothing to do with the practice of law, but it is a predictor of how well you might fare in law school. It’s highly likely that your scores on the LSAT will improve substantially if you take a preparation class on the LSAT. Numerous classes are out there, and it’s to your advantage if you take one on how to take the test. Remember that you’re being tested nationally, so every advantage that you get operates in your favor. There’s a $225 charge for the LSAT that can be paid online. Tests are given in November, January and March in at least eight testing centers. You’ll be tested on the following:
- Reading Comprehension: Numerous passages of about 600 words will be provided. You have about eight minutes on each passage. You’ll make inferences, see how the passages relate to each other and how they differ.
- Logical Reasoning: You must read the questions and determine the arguments presented in each question. You must also find errors in reasoning.
- Analytical Reasoning: You’ll be presented with sets of problems about grouping things or testing your knowledge on their relationship. Questions are asked on knowledge and analysis.
- Mystery Question: This may or may not be scored. You won’t know, but you need to do well on it in case it is.
- Writing Sample: This sample isn’t scored, but it is set off to every school that you apply to. If’s highly important to do well on this section of the test.
There are four ABA accredited law schools in Missouri. Those are Washington University, University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Missouri-Columbia and St. Louis University. The mean score was a high of 167 at George Washington to a low of 152 at the University of Missouri-Columbia. The University of Missouri-Kansas City and St. Louis University scored 152 and 155 each.
The Credential Assembly Service
The ABA’s Credential Assembly Service is mandatory when you’re applying to any ABA accredited law school. The service gathers all of your transcripts and letters of recommendation along with your LSAT scores and ships them to the law schools that you’ve applied to. The cost for this service is $195. It’s payable through your online account LSAT when you decided to take the test.
If you’ve gone this far, there’s a good chance that you’ll get into a ABA law school somewhere. There are more than 200 of them that are scattered across the country. Just some of the coursework that’s required includes the following: Torts, civil procedure, contracts, evidence, constitutional law and legal ethics. There’s also plenty of room for electives for special interests, but the above will and other areas of the law will be tested on the bar exam.
The Bar Exam
The first piece of advice on the bar exam is to take another preparation class on it. You’ll speak with other students about this, and they’ll all be in general agreement on what class to take. Enroll in it and live it 24 hours a day. That’s how strenuous the Missouri bar is. The list of classes that the exam touches on is highly detailed. The exam is given over two days. On the first day of the exam, you be tested on the MEE Missouri test questions. These will all be in essay form. On the second day, you’ll be examined on the MBE, a 200 question multiple choice answer exam with 100 questions in the morning and another 100 in the afternoon. On top of the above, you must still pass the Missouri Component Educational Test (MCET) which tests your knowledge of Missouri law. Then, there’s the Missouri Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRT). That must be passed within one year of passing the other sections of the exam.
The Application Process
The bar exam is administered in Jefferson City, the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July. Applications must be in by March 1, if you plan on taking the July exam, and by December 31, if you plan on taking the February exam. Refer to the fee schedule as set by the Missouri Board of Law Examiners for charges.
You’ll be receiving your scores from the bar exam in about six to nine weeks after the examination. You’ll be required to be sworn in at the Supreme Court in Jefferson City. This oath must be taken within 90 days of when you were notified of your bar exam results. Then, its congratulations, you’re a lawyer. You can now practice anywhere in the State of Missouri trial or appellate courts.