Steps to Becoming a Lawyer in Nevada

Money is a motivator, and for lawyers in Nevada, it’s a primary consideration. On the average, lawyers in Nevada earn about $125,000 per year. In the Reno area, the earn about $145,000 per year. By 2024, lawyers are expected to increase by about 17%. There’s a world of opportunity for lawyers in Nevada right now. Here’s how you become one.

Earn a Bachelor’s Degree First

You’ll need to have a bachelor’s degree first, before applying for law school. The good news about that is that law schools accept students with a variety of degrees. English, political science, criminal justice, philosophy, history or business are all fine majors. In fact, there is no major that is known as pre-law. Any major will do, so long as you’re passionate about it. Passion creates higher grade point averages, and we all know what grade point averages mean to admission committees. Spend your time in the area of law that you think you’d like to practice. There’s always room for another lawyer, even if its in an obscure area like Iranian history. Just remember, the American Bar Association requires you to graduate from an institution that’s accredited by the U.S. Department of Education. Male sure that your  school is on that list.

The LSAT in Nevada

The next step after you’ve earned your bachelor’s degree is to take the Law School Admission Test. That test is commonly known as the LSAT. You’ll be competing nationally though for a seat in one of the nation’s law schools. That’s why it’s a good idea to take a preparatory class, not on what on the test, but on how to take it. You’ll likely find that your score on the test will be higher if you take such a class.  The LSAT has nothing to do with the law, but it’s a good guide for how you’ll perform in law school. You’ll be tested on the following subject matter:

  • Reading comprehension.
  • Rational reasoning.
  • Analytical reasoning.
  • Mystery content.
  • Writing sample.

The mystery content that you’ll be tested on is one of the first three subjects. You won’t know until you receive the test. You won’t know whether you’ll be graded on it or not either, so it’s far better to do as well as you can on that section of the exam. You won’t be graded on your writing sample either, but it will be sent to the schools that you apply to, so you need to perform as well as possible on that section too. Scores on the bottom rung of the ladder are at 120, and at the top rung, they’re 180.

Accredited Law Schools and Scores

There is only one ABA accredited law school in Nevada, and that’s the University of Nevada at Las Vegas William S. Boyd College of Law. The mean LSAT at the school was 158 in 2020. Don’t’ worry if you don’t get into the UNLV law school. There are over 200 accredited law schools in across the country. You’ll receive your scores about three weeks after taking the test.

The Credential Assembly Service

The CAS, or Credential Assembly Service is a service that all applicants to ABA law schools must use. It assembles all of your transcripts, letters of recommendation, online evaluations, writing sample and LSAT scores and the like, and it sends them to the law schools that you apply to. The fee for this service is $195. CAS sends their package to the schools that you apply to. All ABA accredited law schools are available through your CAS account.

Law Schools

The next step in the process is your applications to law schools. Remember, there at more than 200 of them aside from UNLV Las Vegas, so don’t restrict yourself geographically. Just some of the subjects that you will study in becoming a lawyer in Nevada include agency and partnership, community property, wills and trusts, the Nevada rules of civil procedure and federal rules of civil procedure. Hands-on services will be provided in legal clinics. You’ll be graded on this, so pay attention. The Nevada bar exam consists of 2.5 days of questions. On day one, you’ll write four essay questions at one hour each. Then, you’ll take the MPT which consists of measuring your skills as a lawyer at legal analysis and reasoning, identifying and arriving at a solution to ethical issues, organizing legal jobs and both written and oral communication. Day 2 involves the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE). It consists of 200 multiple choice questions, with 100 in the morning and 100 in the afternoon. On day three of the exam, you’ll write four other Nevada legal questions at one hour each. In addition to these, Nevada also requires you to pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) within three years of passing the bar exam. A passing score is 85 or above.

Exam Fees and Pass Rates

A bar examination fee is $755 is due. If a late charge is due, an additional charge is $555. There are numerous requirements to the Nevada State Bar Exam. Make a copy of your application for reference. In 2021, there was a pass rate of 69% on the February exam. For the July exam, there was a pass rate of 62% pass rate with a 66% overall rate.

If you passed, you’ll be getting your notification in about nine weeks. You’ll also be getting notification of the date and time of your swearing in ceremony. Then, it’s a simple congratulations you’re a lawyer now! You’ll be able to work in any Nevada county or appellate court without restriction.