what subjects do you need to become a lawyer

Degree Requirements for Becoming a Lawyer

Are you considering a career in law? Becoming a lawyer can be a challenging but rewarding journey. To pursue this profession, you will need to acquire the necessary education and skills. This article will guide you through the subjects you need to study in order to become a lawyer.

1. Pre-law or related undergraduate degree

Before attending law school, you must complete a bachelor’s degree. While there is no specific major required, it is beneficial to pursue a pre-law program or a related field, such as political science, criminal justice, or business. These areas of study can provide a solid foundation for your legal education.

2. Written and verbal communication

what subjects do you need to become a lawyer

Strong communication skills are essential for a successful legal career. As a lawyer, you will be drafting legal documents, presenting arguments in court, and negotiating on behalf of clients. Taking courses in English, rhetoric, or public speaking can help refine your written and verbal communication abilities.

3. Legal research and writing

Lawyers spend a significant amount of time conducting research and writing legal briefs and opinions. Courses in legal research and writing will teach you how to effectively navigate legal databases, analyze case law, and present your arguments logically and convincingly.

4. Constitutional law

The Constitution serves as the foundation of the legal system in many countries, including the United States. Understanding constitutional law is crucial for understanding the rights and responsibilities of individuals and governments. This subject will introduce you to important legal principles and landmark court decisions.

5. Criminal law

Criminal law deals with offenses against the state. This subject explores various crimes, their elements, and the criminal justice system. It covers topics like homicide, theft, assault, and more. Familiarizing yourself with criminal law is essential if you aspire to work as a prosecutor, defense attorney, or judge.

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6. Civil procedure

Civil procedure focuses on the rules and processes used in civil lawsuits. This subject examines how cases progress through the legal system, including topics like jurisdiction, pleadings, discovery, and trial procedures. It provides a solid understanding of the litigation process, which is vital for practicing law.

7. Contracts

Contract law governs agreements between parties. Being well-versed in contract law is necessary for negotiating and drafting contracts, as well as resolving contract disputes. This subject explores contract formation, terms, breach, and remedies, equipping you with the skills needed to handle contractual matters.

8. Tort law

Tort law deals with civil wrongs and provides remedies for individuals harmed by another party’s actions. Understanding tort law is essential for handling personal injury cases, medical malpractice claims, and other civil disputes. This subject covers negligence, intentional torts, strict liability, and more.

9. Legal ethics and professionalism

Lawyers have a duty to uphold the highest ethical standards in their profession. Courses in legal ethics and professionalism focus on the rules and codes of conduct lawyers must follow. They address issues like client confidentiality, conflicts of interest, and maintaining professionalism in all aspects of legal practice.

10. Optional specialized subjects

Depending on your interests and career goals, you may choose to study specialized areas of law. These can include intellectual property, family law, environmental law, immigration law, or corporate law, among others. Specializing in a particular area can make you a valuable asset in law firms or organizations focusing on those fields.


Becoming a lawyer requires a strong educational foundation in various subjects. While the specific courses may vary depending on the country and educational institution, studying areas like constitutional law, criminal law, and contracts is fundamental. Additionally, honing your communication, research, and analytical skills will pave the way for a successful legal career. By obtaining the necessary knowledge and skills, you will be well-prepared to tackle the challenges and complexities of the legal field.

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