How to Become a Lawyer in Indiana: Education Requirements & Career Options

Have you ever considered pursuing a legal career in Indiana? As a thriving hub for law and justice, Indiana offers aspiring lawyers an excellent platform to kickstart their legal journey. With top law schools, diverse career opportunities, and a supportive professional community, the Hoosier State is an ideal destination for those interested in the legal profession. In this blog post, we will guide you through the steps on how to become a lawyer in Indiana, explore the state’s top law schools, delve into various legal careers, and introduce you to networking and professional development opportunities.

From completing an undergraduate degree and acing the LSAT to choosing the right law school and beyond, we will equip you with the knowledge and insights necessary to embark on a successful legal career in Indiana. So, are you ready to take the first step towards your dream career? Let’s begin!

What you’re about to learn in this guide:

  • Complete an undergraduate degree and take the LSAT to become a lawyer in Indiana.

  • Consider rankings, specialization, internships & alumni network when selecting law school.

  • Private practice, public interest law or government/judicial clerkships available for legal careers in IN. Networking resources such as bar associations & mentoring programs also offered.

Path to Becoming a Lawyer in Indiana

Becoming a lawyer in Indiana entails a series of milestones that you must accomplish before you can practice law. The journey starts with obtaining an undergraduate degree, followed by taking the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and selecting the right law school.

To smoothly transition into the legal profession, carefully consider each step and make informed decisions along the way. In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the specifics of each phase, providing you with a comprehensive roadmap to navigate your way to a fulfilling legal career in Indiana.

Complete an Undergraduate Degree

While there is no specific undergraduate degree required for law school, it is essential to obtain a bachelor’s degree to qualify for law school admission. Since law schools generally value critical thinking, analytical abilities, and strong communication skills, you may consider pursuing a pre-law major or a degree in a related field.

However, law schools also appreciate diverse educational backgrounds, so don’t shy away from pursuing your passion in any discipline. Ultimately, it’s essential to choose a field that aligns with your interests and career goals, as this will help you build a solid foundation for your future legal studies.

Take the LSAT

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a standardized test pivotal to law school admissions. It evaluates your reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, and logical reasoning skills, playing a key role in determining your suitability for law school.

Preparing for the LSAT can be a challenging endeavor, but there are various resources available to help you succeed. You may consider:

  • Enrolling in a preparation course

  • Studying with a tutor

  • Utilizing online materials to aid in your preparation

  • Taking practice tests

These options are excellent ways to familiarize yourself with the test format and content, improving your chances of achieving a competitive score.

Choose the Right Law School

Upon completing your undergraduate degree and taking the LSAT, you should begin selecting the appropriate law school in Indiana. With top institutions like Notre Dame Law School, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, and Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, the state offers ample options for prospective students.

To find the best fit, consider factors such as rankings, location, and areas of specialization offered by each school. Research the schools’ internship opportunities, faculty profiles, and alumni network, as these elements can significantly impact your legal education and future career prospects. Ultimately, the right law school will provide you with the resources, support, and opportunities necessary to achieve your professional aspirations.

A Closer Look at Indiana Law Schools

Indiana boasts three top law schools in Indiana, each offering a unique blend of academic excellence, practical experience, and professional development opportunities. Notre Dame Law School, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, and Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law are all highly esteemed institutions that can provide you with a solid foundation for your legal career. If you’re considering attending an Indiana law school, these three options should be at the top of your list, as well as other law schools you may be considering.

We’ll examine each of these accredited law schools in detail, addressing their programs and the unique benefits they offer to their students. By understanding the strengths and offerings of each institution, you can make an informed decision about which law school best aligns with your career goals and aspirations.

Notre Dame Law School

Notre Dame Law School, established in 1842, is the highest-ranked law school in Indiana. With a competitive program, high bar passage rates, and strong post-graduate employment opportunities, Notre Dame Law School offers an exceptional legal education to its students.

The school provides a diverse range of degree programs, including dual degrees and LL.M. programs, catering to various interests and career goals. Additionally, Notre Dame Law School is renowned for producing a considerable number of Supreme and Federal Court clerkships, making it an excellent choice for those seeking prestigious judicial positions.

Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Located in Bloomington, Indiana University Maurer School of Law is known for:

  • its intimate, supportive environment

  • its focus on globalization and internationalization

  • excelling in intellectual property, international law, criminal law, tax, and environmental law, among other areas.

With a high bar pass rate and a strong emphasis on experiential learning through clinical programs and interdisciplinary research centers, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, also known as Maurer Law School, offers students:

  • The knowledge and skills necessary for a successful legal career

  • A diverse student body

  • A collegial atmosphere, fostering a conducive learning environment.

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, located in Indianapolis, is renowned for its specialties in healthcare law and legal writing. With a high post-graduate employment rate, McKinney Law School ensures its graduates are prepared for success in the legal field.

Students at McKinney Law School can pursue various degrees, including:

  • J.D.

  • LL.M.

  • S.J.D.

  • M.J.

These degrees cater to different career aspirations. The school’s strong curriculum, experiential learning opportunities, and commitment to professional development make it an attractive choice for aspiring lawyers in Indiana.

Upon completion of your legal education, you might question the available career paths as a lawyer in Indiana. The state offers a wide array of opportunities, including positions such as:

  • Staff attorneys

  • Hearings examiners

  • Law clerks

  • Legal analysts

We will examine a variety of legal careers in Indiana, including private practice, public interest law, and government or judicial clerkships, in the subsequent sections. Understanding the different career options and their unique characteristics will help you make informed decisions about your professional journey in the legal field.

Private Practice

Private practice, which encompasses working for a law firm or operating as a solo practitioner, offers a diverse range of opportunities across different areas of law, such as corporate, family, or criminal law.

The advantages of private practice include the ability to set your own hours, the potential for increased earnings, and the opportunity to specialize in a specific area of law. However, it also requires a strong work ethic, sound business acumen, and excellent client relations skills.

Public Interest Law

Public interest law focuses on advocating for underrepresented populations and addressing social issues. As a public interest lawyer, you may work for a non-profit organization or government agency, promoting the public good and effecting change on a broader scale.

While public interest law can be emotionally and physically demanding, it offers the opportunity to:

  • Make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who are most disadvantaged

  • Collaborate with various people and organizations

  • Foster a sense of purpose and fulfillment in your career.

Government and Judicial Clerkships

Government and judicial clerkships involve working with judges and government agencies, providing valuable experience and insight into the legal system. As a clerk, you may assist in drafting opinions, conducting legal research, and preparing for hearings or trials.

These positions offer an excellent opportunity to enhance your legal research and writing skills, as well as to build a professional network within the legal community. Additionally, government and judicial clerkships often serve as a stepping stone to more advanced legal positions or even judicial appointments.

Job Outlook and Salary Expectations

The job outlook for lawyers in Indiana is generally positive, with the legal field expected to grow by 10% from 2020 to 2030, resulting in an estimated 610 job openings annually during this period.

Salary expectations for lawyers in Indiana can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and area of practice. However, the median salary for lawyers in the state is reported to be $111,000, providing a comfortable income for legal professionals.

Networking and Professional Development in Indiana

Networking and professional development are integral to forging a successful legal career. In Indiana, there are numerous opportunities for attorneys to connect with their peers, enhance their skills, and stay informed about the latest developments in the legal field.

From bar associations and continuing legal education to mentoring programs, Indiana offers a wide range of resources for legal professionals to grow and thrive in the ever-evolving law landscape.

Bar Associations and Local Groups

Bar associations and local groups are professional associations of lawyers that offer support, camaraderie, and networking opportunities for attorneys. They provide forums and resources to address legal needs and issues and help build an attorney’s reputation and foster relationships within the legal community.

Joining bar associations and local groups, such as the Indianapolis Bar Association, can give you access to valuable resources and networking prospects. These associations can also offer opportunities for professional growth, legal advocacy, and community service, enhancing your career prospects and contributing to your professional development.

Continuing Legal Education (CLE) is indispensable for lawyers to keep pace with changes in the law and sustain their licenses. In Indiana, lawyers are required to complete a minimum of 30 hours of CLE over two years, with at least three hours dedicated to professional responsibility.

CLE courses are available through various providers, such as the Indiana State Bar Association, local bar associations, and private providers. These courses cover a wide range of topics and practice areas, allowing you to enhance your skills and stay current with the latest legal advancements.

Mentoring Programs

Mentoring programs offer the following benefits to new lawyers:

  • Guidance, support, and insight into the legal profession

  • Opportunities to hone their skills

  • Expansion of their professional networks

  • Assistance in navigating the challenges of the legal field

These programs, offered by aba accredited law schools, are a valuable resource for new attorneys.

In Indiana, organizations such as the Indiana State Bar Association offer mentoring programs for new attorneys and law students. By participating in these programs, you can gain invaluable insights, develop meaningful relationships, and build a strong foundation for a successful legal career.


In conclusion, pursuing a legal career in Indiana offers numerous opportunities for growth and success. From top law schools like Notre Dame Law School, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, and Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law to a wide range of career paths and professional development resources, Indiana provides aspiring lawyers with the tools they need to thrive.

By following the steps outlined in this blog post and taking advantage of Indiana’s vibrant legal community, you can embark on a fulfilling legal journey in the Hoosier State. So, are you ready to make your mark in the world of law? The path to success begins here!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get a law degree in Indiana?

Generally, it takes between two and five years to complete the requirements for a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree in Indiana. Most Indiana ABA-approved law schools require 90 semester hours of coursework, while some offer accelerated two-year or five-year (part-time) programs.

Can you become a lawyer without going to law school in Indiana?

Unfortunately, you cannot become a lawyer in Indiana without attending an ABA-approved law school first, such as the Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington.

What are the requirements to becoming a lawyer in Indiana?

In order to become a lawyer in Indiana, you must have a J.D. degree from an ABA-approved law school and pass the state bar exam. Once admitted, you must complete 36 credit hours of legal education as well as a 6-hour Applied Professionalism program or a mentoring program.

What are the top law schools in Indiana?

Notre Dame Law School, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, and Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law are the top law schools in Indiana.

Legal professionals in Indiana can pursue a variety of career paths, including private practice, public interest law, and government or judicial clerkships.

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