Follow the step by step process or choose what situation that best describes you:
The Kansas Department of Labor projects that between 2004 and 2014, job opportunities for lawyers in Kansas will grow by 17.1 percent. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook predicts growth of 66.8 percent for lawyers in the Wichita area. Additionally, the U.S. DOL notes that in May 2011, the average yearly salary for Kansas lawyers was $99,510. Lawyers working in certain parts of the state earned higher than average salaries, such as the Kansas City, KS/MO area, where they averaged $118,480 annually; and the Wichita area, where the average lawyer’s annual salary was $97,140. If you would like to learn how to become a member of the Kansas Bar and a practicing lawyer in the state, read on.
The Kansas Board of Law Examiners requires that you have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree prior to entering an American Bar Association (ABA)-accredited law school.
The Kansas Board of Law Examiners states in its rules for admission to the bar that your undergraduate degree must come from a school that holds accreditation by a regional accreditation organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Requirements and Standards
Under Kansas Board of Law Examiners rules, you must have a bachelor’s degree, but it is not stated that the degree must be within a certain discipline. Majors for pre-law students may come from any area, but taking coursework and concentrating in the following areas has shown to be most helpful to your future success in law school:
Undergraduate Degree Options
The Kansas Board of Law Examiners states that you must have a bachelor’s degree prior to taking the bar exam. This is also a requirement of ABA-approved law schools. The major of your degree is up to you, but those taken from the coursework listed above are often helpful to facilitating later law school success.
Before any ABA-accredited law school will accept you, you must pass the LSAT, or Law School Admission Test. This standardized test is six hours in duration and offered four times annually.
How to prepare for the Exam
The LSAT website offers test takers free study resources to help get ready for the LSAT. If you want to take a formalized preparation course, the following options are open to you in Kansas:
LSAT Exam Prep Courses in Kansas:
The LSAT consists of these sections, for each of which you will be allotted 35 minutes to complete:
You need to apply online with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) to take the LSAT, where you will create an account that will benefit you when applying to law school. The LSAC charges an exam fee of $160 (payable online through your account or by check/money order payable to LSAC). The LSAT is given on Wednesdays and Saturdays in December, February, June and October. These are the testing centers for the LSAT in Kansas:
Receiving Your LSAT Score
It takes about three weeks after the exam for the LSAC to email your LSAT scores to you. Your lowest possible score is 120 and highest possible is 180. Law schools in Kansas and the corresponding average LSAT scores they accept are as follows:
Law School Application process
The Kansas Board of Law Examiners mandates that you must receive a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from an ABA-approved law school within the United States. Look at this list of services required by these ABA-approved law schools when you are ready to apply for admission.
Credential Assembly Service
Any law school that is approved by the ABA will ask you to use the LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service when you apply for admission to the school. Have transcripts from all the schools you attended and received credit to Law School Admission Council,662 Penn Street,PO BOX 2000-M,Newtown PA 18940-0993. International school transcripts should be mailed to Law School Admission Council, 662 Penn Street, PO BOX 8502, Newtown PA 18940-8502.
The LSAC will also contact those who you wish to write recommendation letters for you and will coordinate online evaluations to send to the schools to which you apply. The fee for the CAS is $155, payable online through the account you set up with the LSAC.
Law School Accreditation
The Kansas Board of Law Examiners requires ABA accreditation of the law school from which you graduate. A list of all 200 ABA approved law schools in the United States may be found in the ABA-LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools.
ABA-Accredited Law Schools in Kansas
There are only two ABA-accredited law schools in the state of Kansas:
Foundational coursework you will take in an ABA-approved law school curriculum will include:
Additionally, your law school may offer concentrations in various areas of the law, such as:
Online Law Degrees
Your law school may require that you participate in a clinical program in which you are placed into a real-life, real-world situation using the skills and knowledge you have learned in law school. You may work in in-house school clinics representing clients, or in agencies law firms outside of the school setting. Your work will be graded by supervisors on-site as well as faculty of your law school.
Law Degree Programs
Kansas’ Rules Relating to Admission of Attorneys states that you must have a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from an ABA-approved law school in order to become a member of the bar. Your law school may offer other degree options, including pursuing your J.D. degree along with another subject area (also known as a dual or joint degree). Possibilities include:
Once you have your J.D. degree, you may apply to sit for the Kansas Bar Exam. If you apply to take the exam prior to graduation, you must graduate with your J.D. degree within 30 days of taking the bar exam.
Many options exist when preparing for the Kansas bar exam. The National Conference of Bar Examiners website offers free study information for the national portions of the Kansas bar exam, including the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) and Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) (which is separate from the bar exam but must also be passed prior to bar admission in Kansas). Additionally, you may opt to take a bar exam prep course or review materials such as:
Bar Exam Content
The first day of the Kansas Bar Exam, you will take the Kansas Essay test. Topics that you should study for this portion of the exam are:
Day two of the Kansas Bar Exam will be concerned with the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE). This consists of 200 multiple-choice questions on the following topics:
If you have already taken the MBE in another jurisdiction within the past 13 months and received a scaled score of at least 120, you may have your MBE scores transferred to Kansas from that jurisdiction.
Complete the Application for Admission to the Bar of the State of Kansas by Written Examination with all answers typewritten. (If you wish to use your own personal laptop for the bar exam, you must complete the Laptop Program Application as well).
Bar Pass Rates
Both of Kansas’ ABA-approved law schools have published pass rates for their graduates who took previous Kansas bar exams:
Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE)
Within 180 days following completion of the Kansas bar examination, you must pass the MPRE with a score of at least 80. Information on applying to take the MPRE and administration dates is available here.
Admission to the Bar Without Written Examination
If you are already a bar member in another state, you may be eligible for membership in the Kansas bar without taking the Kansas bar exam. You must meet these qualifications:
If you meet these qualifications, visit this page for more information.
Foreign Law School Graduates
Foreign law school graduates are not eligible to take Kansas’ bar exam.
Licensing and Admission to the Bar
About six weeks after taking the exam, your scores will be mailed to you. You will also receive instructions on where to report for your swearing-in ceremony for bar admission.
You have passed the Kansas bar exam and are now a member of the Kansas bar! New lawyers in Kansas may wish to consult the Attorney Resources section of the Kansas Judicial Branch website (click on “Legal Community” for access). You may also wish to join the Young Lawyers Section of the Kansas State Bar Association. This organization can help you in setting up your own practice, finding work as a lawyer in Kansas, and in marketing and other professional and business areas. Review the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct as well as you are starting out in the profession.
Kansas lawyers have a variety of career opportunities. Solo practice is one option, as is joining an existing legal firm. Major firms throughout the state include general litigation and business practice The Mathews Group, LC in Leawood; Koch Co Public Sector, LLC in Wichita; workers compensation attorneys Haight Stang LLC in Overland Park; and full-service law firm Bond, Schoeneck & King, LLP in Kansas City.
Lawyers in Kansas may also work for the government at the county (such as an assistant district attorney or county attorney), state (in various government agencies) or federal level (such as for the Department of the Treasury); for companies including Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company in Overland Park and Westar Energy in Topeka; and for non-profit organizations like The Nature Conservancy in Topeka and The Land Institute in Salina.
Legal specialty certification
Would you like to specialize in a certain area of the law? The National Board of Legal Specialty Certification offers certification services for specializations in social security disability advocacy, civil trial law advocacy, and civil, criminal, and family law. You must pass an exam to achieve certification. If you are interested, contact the Kansas State Coordinator of the NBLSC, William J. Paprota, at 913-341-0880 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Requirements for maintaining license
The Kansas CLE Commission (KSCLE) regulates Continuing Legal Education (CLE) for Kansas lawyers. You must complete 12 CLE hours annually, including two hours of ethics. You must send certificates of attendance for each in-person program to the Kansas CLE Commission within 30 days after the conclusion of the program. For more information, contact the KSCLE.
Court Systems in Kansas
The Kansas Judicial Branch has the following structure:
Elective membership organizations
Professional associations for lawyers in Kansas include:
Lawyer Career Specialties
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