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State Bar Members
Individuals who want full legal practice privilege pursue an education leading to a State Bar exam. Usually they acquire this education in an American Bar Association (ABA) law school. There is at least one in every State and more than a dozen in large States such as California, Texas, and New York. An ABA law school degree is primary evidence of one's qualifications to practice in every U.S. State. Approximately one half of the ABA law school curriculum is much the same for every law school and includes such topics as legal research, civil procedure, criminal law, contracts, property, and torts. The ABA law school student can use the other half of the three year program (four years nights or part-time) for specialized coursework in oil and gas law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international law, etc.
Success in applying to law school and subsequently to the State Bar is an arduous process, and you must do your homework. For special insight into the demands and potential of these careers, see this 2011 survey of U.S. law schools.