Using your Psychology degree to become a Lawyer
To begin, a lawyer is a person who represent clients in a court of law and/or advises/acts for clients in other legal matters. A JD (Juris Doctor) is required to practice law in the United States. Lawyers may work in court (e.g., prosecute cases, defend clients), but may work in non-trial contexts. These include: Mediator (negotiation and conflict resolution), Nongovernmental Development Agencies, Government/Politics, Banking/Finance, Academics, Business, Journalism, Public Advocacy, Human Resources, Counsel (e.g., university counsel).
In thinking about being a lawyer, keep in mind that as a lawyer you do not have to actually work arguing a case in a courtroom. The field of law and changed a great deal over time, and there are many more opportunities for lawyers in non-courtroom settings. For example, as a lawyer you could be a Law Professor at a university conducting research on legal issues. In addition, you might decide to interpret laws for businesses, or even run your own company. The bottom line is that there are a lot of career opportunities as a lawyer that people don't always think about. Click here to check out this website about careers for lawyers.
Many students think that a Psychology degree will not lead to becoming a Lawyer--this is definitely incorrect. Law schools do not require you to have a certain undergraduate degree to go to law school. In fact, most college majors are represented in law schools. In addition, unlike professional schools like medical school, occupational therapy, physical therapy, etc., you are not required to take specific courses to be accepted to law school. Will it help to have a course in Constitutional Law (if you are lucky enough to have the chance to take this course. Perhaps, but it is simply false to think this is a require course to even apply to law school.
A law degree usually requires 3 years of law school, and you almost always pay tuition, although scholarships are available. One interesting piece of information to keep in mind if you are thinking about applying to law school is that in the past all law schools required you to take the Law School Admission Test (GRE). However, today, many schools allow you to take the LAST or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). This is interesting, because the GRE is the exam all applicants to Psychology graduate school take.
glassdoor.com lists the average yearly income for a Lawyer at $136,000.
To learn more about applying to Law school check out the following:
Keep one thing in mind as you move forward with your plans to apply to law school. There is a lot of competition for law school. It is very important that you remember that you need to stand out among the competition. This might mean doing something during college (if you are still in college) that is reallty unique. An example of this would be your completing a project that very few others would have done--perhaps a research project investigating some aspect of the law.
Click on the links below to read about another Law career that only require a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology:
Click on the links below to read about other Law careers that require a graduate degree: