how long is law school
Legal Guides

How Long Is Law School In The United States?

| August 13, 2021

If you are inspired by the first episode of ‘How To Get Away With Murder,’ you probably want to become a lawyer. I mean, it was invigorating to watch Viola Davis treat her students like law professionals on the first day, right? But, in real life, the first day of a law class won’t look like this. 

So, if you want to study law, make sure you are not foolishly impulsive to make this decision. Think it through, ask your career counselor, and see if you have what it takes to conquer the legal frontier. But, before that, let’s find out how long is law school going to be.

How Long Is Law School In The U.S?

If you want to go to law school, you must not confuse it with a traditional college setting. If you have been a bright student at your school, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll top the law school also. When you set foot inside a law classroom, you’ll realize how there are so many students sitting in the class who are just as clueless as you. 

If this scenario is already scaring you, you probably aren’t on the right career path. In the U.S., a conventional J.D. Programmed lasts for 3 years. So, if you want to know how long is law school, 3 years will be your straightforward answer. 

But, there are accelerated courses too that can give you a law degree within 2 years. Even some students partake in the part-time law course, and that takes a maximum of 4 years. However, the traditional J.D. Programmed, which lasts for 3 years, best suits academic needs. 

How Do Professors Teach You In A Law School?

If you are thinking it’s a stupid question to ask, think again. We have already warned you that a law school is not like a traditional college setting. So, here we can tell you the classroom scenes of ‘How To Get Away With Murder,’ will be somehow helpful. 

As a practicing lawyer myself, I can advise you to focus on the grey areas of a case where both sides can have a tough argument. Your professor won’t teach you about a case where the judge will rule in someone’s favor. Instead, think they will create complex scenarios to judge how far you can go to convince the judge in your favor. 

The professors follow the Socratic Method of teaching in law school. In the middle of the class, a teacher can ask a student to argue with him about the facts of their current case. You have to come up with an intelligent answer because the fate of real-life clients will depend on your argument. 

There are no black and white answers in law school. So before you wonder how long is law school, think about how you will survive in this highly competitive environment. Simple. You just have to be highly focused, attentive, and analytical as the class goes. The professor will teach you from the casebooks, and you’ll have to apply logical reasoning to make the judge rule in your favor. 

What Are The Best Law Schools In The U.S.?

If you already know how long is law school going to be, it’s time to focus on some of the best law school options.

1: Yale University

On the high-ranked Ivy League schools list, Yale University is at the top of our list for the best law school. Once you complete your 3 years of traditional J.D. Programmed, you can decide to take an advanced J.D./M.B.A for another three years. In that case, the answer to how long is law school will be 6 years.

2: Stanford University

Next, on our list of the best law schools, we have Stanford University. This law school has a consistent record of the highest undergraduate GPA for law students. It also has the highest score of graduate students conquering the clerical role for federal judges. 

3: Harvard University

Harvard Law School has a particular education plan for low-income students. Their grading system is also different from other law schools, making the students a good asset in the legal frontier.

4: Columbia University

The full-time program application fee and tuition fee at Columbia Law School are slightly lesser than the earlier mentions. In addition, it is located in a corporate location, which gives this university a better competitive edge.

5: University Of Chicago

One of the most prestigious law schools on our list is the University of Chicago. On the alumni of this law school, you will find some of the best professionals in academics, judiciary, politics, and business. 

Besides these, New York University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia, University of California, Berkeley, and Duke University. You must work hard from now if you want to spend your 3 years of law school in any of these schools.

What Will You Learn In The 3 Years Of Law School?

If you already know how long is law school is, it’s time you figure out what you will learn in these 3 years.

1.In your first year at law school, you will know the legal amendments. In addition, you will have classes on torts, criminal law, legal writing, contract, constitutional law, etc.

 2. In your second year at law school, you’ll learn about the Moot Court, Law Review, etc. In addition, you will be     involved in many extracurriculars and will have to look for internships. If you score well on your final exam, these internships may also give you full-time jobs.

3. In your third year, you’ll choose particular electives, which will decide which field of law you want to be in. If you haven’t found an internship in your 2L, you must see it now and prepare for the Bar Exam. 

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

We often find people wondering about some unconventional questions than the usual ones when they think of joining a law school. So, let’s take a look at some of those now.

1: If I stay in one country, and want to practice law in another country, will the final bar exam be enough for me?

Ans: No, it will not be enough for you. As a 3L student, you will give the bar exam to get your graduation degree from law school. But, that will only allow you to practice law in that jurisdiction only. If you want to practice under some other jurisdiction, you have to give the bar exam a second time.

2: How to choose the best law school for me?

Ans: People with a good score usually opt for the top 5 or top 10 law schools. But, if your score is not that high, and you still want to join a law school, there are options for that as well. First, look at the school’s ranking, talk to its present and past students, and choose a school where you’d like to practice in the future. 

3: Which year is the toughest in law school?

Ans: Most students find the first year as the toughest in law school. But, if you haven’t faced any difficulty then, you may discover 2L or 3L as the toughest. That’s because you have to focus on academics, and internships alike in these last 2 years. 

The Bottom Line

I think we have given you a somewhat detailed answer to your ‘how long is law school’ question. But, I also believe that this article has been of much assistance to you if you plan to join a law school. We have mentioned almost everything here, from the best colleges to your learning curriculum. So, if you have further questions regarding this field, don’t hesitate to post them in the comment box below.

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Mashum Mollah
Mashum Mollah

Mashum Mollah is the feature writer of Search Engine Magazine and an SEO Analyst at iDream Agency. Over the last 3 years, He has successfully developed and implemented online marketing, SEO, and conversion campaigns for 50+ businesses of all sizes. He is the co-founder of Social Media Magazine.


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