Learn about how to become a lawyer in Michigan with this comprehensive guide, which includes detailed information on the steps to become a lawyer in Michigan, educational and certification requirements. Also include is information on the salary and career outlook for lawyers in Michigan.

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Should I Become a Lawyer in Michigan?

Lawyers perform a multitude of legal tasks to help businesses, government agencies and individuals with various kinds of disputes and disagreements. They represent their clients in court and communicate the facts of the case with them. While on a case, they research and analyze the legal concerns and interpret laws for businesses and individuals. Lawyers present facts in writing and argue on the behalf of their clients in courts.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2020), 50% of lawyers in the US are employed by legal services, while 17% are self-employed workers. The work environment for lawyers typically involve working regular hours in an office setting. However, they may have to travel to attend hearings and meetings with clients and legal counsels in various locations. Lawyers in private practice, or those in the legal departments of big companies may have different work hours.
The following table provides a quick look into the career of a lawyer in Michigan.

  • Education Required
  • Training
  • Licenses/Certifications
  • Key Skills
  • Annual Mean Salary (2020)-US
  • Job Outlook(2019-2029)
  • Annual Mean Salary (2020)-Michigan
  • Doctoral or Professional Degree
  • Required, mostly as part of the Juris Doctor (JD)
  • Lawyers need to clear the Michigan Bar Exam
  • Analytical Skills, Communication Skills, Research Skills, Logical Reasoning Skills, Speaking Skills, Problem-solving Skills, Writing Skills
  • $148,910
  • 4%
  • $119,150

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2020)

Career Outlook for a Lawyer in Michigan

Employment levels for lawyers in the US are expected to rise by 4% in the years from 2019 to 2029 as per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. This growth will add 32,300 new jobs in the field till 2029. Despite this projected growth in employment for lawyers, competition will be strong as more and more law students are entering the field every year. Because of this strong competition, graduates who are willing to relocate and those who have practical experience will enjoy the best prospects.

Steps to Become a Lawyer in Michigan

If you intend to become a lawyer in Michigan, the following steps would serve as a great guideline.

Complete a Bachelor’s Degree

Even though this degree does not need to be in a pre-law major, students are recommended to take foundational courses in law to create a strong basis for future studies.

Apply to Law School

In order to get into a law school, students will first have to clear the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). They will have to provide scores from this test, along with their transcripts to prospective law schools.

Get a Juris Doctor (J.D.)

This is typically a 3-year long degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). Coursework included in a JD program revolves around courses like constitutional law, property law, contracts and legal writing etc. Students have the option of choosing a concentration, such as tax law or corporate law.

Pass the Michigan Bar Exam

For this, you will need to meet the eligibility criteria and file an application. Next, you will need to provide your records and any additional information required. You will then be allowed to sit for the exam, which is lengthy and can take up to half a day.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Lawyer in Michigan?

Becoming a lawyer typically takes around 7 years of education after high school. This includes 4 years of an undergraduate degree, and three years of a Juris Doctor degree.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Lawyer in Michigan?

If you intend to become a lawyer in Michigan, you ought to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Get a Bachelor’s Degree
  • Pass the LSAT
  • Complete an accredited Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree
  • File an application for the Bar Exam
  • Provide your criminal history and driving records to the Charter & Fitness Department
  • Appear for, and clear the Bar Exam to be ‘admitted to the bar’

How Much Can I Earn as a Lawyer in Michigan?

As per data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, lawyers in Michigan made an annual mean income of $119,150 in 2020. The top paying industry in this profession, across the US, was Specialized Design Services, followed by Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing.

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