How to Become a Lawyer in Missouri 2024

Table of Contents

Top Schools and Colleges for Lawyers in Missouri 2023

Best College Majors for Lawyers in Missouri 2023

Lawyer Salary in Missouri for 2023

Average Annual Salary: $112,080 Hourly Rate: $53.88

Data sourced from the U.S. Department of Labor via the ONET Web API. Updated at December 8, 2023

Reasons For Becoming a Lawyer in Missouri

Missouri offers a plethora of opportunities for those aspiring to become lawyers. Whether you have a passion for advocacy, a desire to make a difference, or an interest in the legal field, pursuing a career as a lawyer in Missouri can be a rewarding and fulfilling choice. Here are some compelling reasons why you should consider becoming a lawyer in Missouri:

1. Abundant Career Opportunities

- Missouri is home to numerous law firms, government agencies, corporations, and non-profit organizations, providing a wide range of career options for aspiring lawyers.

- The state's bustling legal industry ensures that lawyers in Missouri have ample opportunities to practice in various fields such as criminal law, civil litigation, corporate law, family law, environmental law, and more.

2. Prestigious Law Schools

- Missouri boasts several prestigious law schools that offer exceptional education and training for aspiring lawyers.

- The University of Missouri School of Law, Washington University School of Law, and Saint Louis University School of Law are renowned institutions that consistently rank among the top law schools in the country.

- These institutions provide comprehensive legal education and offer specialized programs to help students develop their skills and knowledge in specific areas of law.

3. Strong Legal Community

- Missouri has a vibrant legal community with active bar associations and professional organizations that support and connect lawyers throughout the state.

- These communities offer networking opportunities, mentorship programs, continuing education courses, and access to valuable resources for lawyers at all stages of their careers.

- Being part of such a strong legal community can provide valuable connections and support as you navigate your legal career in Missouri.

4. Competitive Salaries

- Lawyers in Missouri enjoy competitive salaries that reflect their expertise and experience.

- While salaries may vary depending on factors such as location, specialization, and experience, lawyers in Missouri can expect to earn a respectable income that rewards their hard work and dedication.

5. Pathways to Specialization

- Missouri offers various pathways for lawyers to specialize in specific areas of law.

- Lawyers can pursue certifications or advanced degrees in specialized fields such as environmental law, intellectual property law, health law, and more.

- These specialized certifications can enhance career prospects, increase earning potential, and allow lawyers to focus on areas of law that align with their interests and passions.

6. Pro Bono Opportunities

- Missouri has a strong commitment to pro bono work, providing lawyers with opportunities to give back to the community and make a positive impact on society.

- Many law firms and organizations in Missouri actively encourage and support pro bono work, allowing lawyers to use their legal skills to help those who cannot afford legal representation.

In conclusion, pursuing a career as a lawyer in Missouri offers numerous benefits, including abundant career opportunities, prestigious law schools, a strong legal community, competitive salaries, pathways to specialization, and pro bono opportunities. Whether you are passionate about advocacy or have a desire to make a difference, Missouri provides a conducive environment for aspiring lawyers to thrive and succeed.

FAQs: Becoming a Lawyer in Missouri

1. What are the educational requirements to become a lawyer in Missouri?

To become a lawyer in Missouri, you must complete the following educational requirements:

- Obtain a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.

- Graduate from an American Bar Association (ABA) approved law school.

2. Are there any specific law schools in Missouri that I should consider?

Missouri is home to several reputable law schools that can provide you with a quality legal education. Some of the top law schools in Missouri include:

- Washington University School of Law: Located in St. Louis, this law school offers a comprehensive curriculum and diverse range of legal programs.

- University of Missouri - Columbia School of Law: As the state's flagship university, this law school offers a strong legal education with a focus on research and practical experience.

- Saint Louis University School of Law: This law school offers a supportive learning environment and a variety of specialized programs to help you pursue your legal interests.

3. How long does it take to complete law school in Missouri?

Law school typically takes three years to complete. During this time, you will study various areas of law and gain practical experience through internships, clinics, and externships.

4. Do I need to pass the bar exam to become a lawyer in Missouri?

Yes, passing the bar exam is a requirement to become a licensed attorney in Missouri. The bar exam assesses your knowledge of both state and federal laws.

5. Are there any specialized certifications or programs available for lawyers in Missouri?

While there are no specific certifications required to practice law in Missouri, you may choose to pursue additional certifications or participate in specialized programs to enhance your legal skills. Some options include:

- Continuing Legal Education (CLE) programs: These programs provide ongoing education and training opportunities for lawyers to stay up-to-date with changes in the law.

- Specialized practice areas: You may choose to focus your legal career on a specific area of law, such as family law, criminal law, or corporate law. While not a formal certification, gaining experience and knowledge in a specialized area can make you a more competitive lawyer.

Remember to thoroughly research any certifications or programs you are interested in to ensure they align with your career goals and meet the requirements set forth by the relevant organizations.

6. How much does it cost to become a lawyer in Missouri?

The cost of becoming a lawyer in Missouri can vary depending on factors such as tuition fees, living expenses, and the duration of your studies. It is important to consider these costs when planning your educational journey. Scholarships, grants, and financial aid options may be available to help offset some of the expenses.

7. Are there any online law schools or programs available in Missouri?

Yes, there are online law schools and programs available in Missouri. These programs offer flexibility for individuals who may have other commitments or prefer remote learning. However, it is crucial to ensure that any online law school or program you choose is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) to ensure the quality of education and eligibility for licensure.

8. Can I practice law in Missouri if I have obtained my law degree from another state?

Yes, you can practice law in Missouri if you have obtained your law degree from another state. However, you will need to meet the requirements set by the Missouri Board of Law Examiners, which may include taking additional courses or examinations.

Remember, it is always advisable to consult with the appropriate legal authorities or organizations to ensure you are aware of and meet all the necessary requirements to practice law in Missouri.

Schools and Programs for Becoming a Lawyer in Missouri

If you're aspiring to become a lawyer in the state of Missouri, it's crucial to choose the right schools and programs that can provide you with the necessary education and training. Here are some reputable institutions in Missouri that offer excellent legal education:

  • University of Missouri School of Law: Located in Columbia, the University of Missouri School of Law is one of the oldest law schools in the country. It offers a comprehensive Juris Doctor (J.D.) program, as well as various dual degree options for those interested in combining their legal studies with another field.

  • University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law: Situated in Kansas City, the UMKC School of Law provides a diverse and inclusive learning environment. It offers a J.D. program, as well as joint degree programs such as J.D./M.B.A. and J.D./M.P.A.

  • Saint Louis University School of Law: Located in St. Louis, Saint Louis University School of Law offers a rigorous legal education with a focus on practical skills development. The school offers a J.D. program, as well as dual degree options like J.D./M.B.A., J.D./M.H.A., and J.D./M.S.W.

  • Washington University School of Law: Situated in St. Louis, Washington University School of Law is known for its strong faculty and extensive curriculum. It offers a J.D. program, as well as joint degree programs such as J.D./M.B.A., J.D./M.S.W., and J.D./M.A. in East Asian Studies.

  • Missouri State University School of Law: Located in Springfield, Missouri State University School of Law is committed to providing a practical legal education. It offers a J.D. program and emphasizes hands-on experiences through clinics and externships.

Certifications for Lawyers in Missouri

In addition to completing a law degree, aspiring lawyers in Missouri may also choose to pursue specialized certifications to enhance their knowledge and skills. Here are a few certifications available to lawyers in Missouri:

  • Missouri Bar Association Certification Programs: The Missouri Bar Association offers various certification programs for lawyers who wish to demonstrate expertise in specific areas of law, such as civil trial advocacy, criminal trial advocacy, family law, and more.

  • American Bar Association (ABA) Approved Law Schools: While not a certification per se, graduating from an ABA-approved law school can be considered a prestigious achievement. It ensures that the law school meets certain standards of quality and can enhance your credibility as a lawyer.

Remember that certifications are optional and not mandatory to practice law in Missouri. However, they can provide you with a competitive edge and help you stand out in the legal profession.

By choosing reputable schools and considering relevant certifications, you can pave the way for a successful career as a lawyer in Missouri.