How to Become A Lawyer in West Virginia

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, a lawyer’s job is to provide their client with advice on legal issues. They must also represent their clients in a court of law and speak on their behalf to resolve their legal problems. To work as a lawyer in the state of West Virginia, you must earn a doctoral degree in law from an American Bar Association accredited law school.

Should I Become a Lawyer in West Virginia?

The West Virginia State Bar was established back in 1947. It is monitored by the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia and it regulates the legal profession in West Virginia. All lawyers must take and clear the West Virginia State Bar Exam after getting permission from the State Bar. Moreover, lawyers must become licensed to practice in this state. Further details on this profession are given below.

Education Required

A Doctoral or professional degree

Major Requirement



Pass the West Virginia State Bar Exam and get licensed


Volunteer work or an internship is beneficial

Key Skills

Attention-to-detail, Analytical, Critical-thinking, Communication, Research, Interpersonal, and Problem-solving Skills, etc.

Annual Mean Salary (2019) -

West Virginia


Annual Mean Salary (2019) -



Job Outlook (2018-2028)


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019)

Career Outlook

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a 6% employment growth for lawyers from 2018-2028. In addition to that, the BLS reported that 657,170 Lawyers were employed in the US in 2019, and 2,470 of them worked in the state of West Virginia.

Steps to Becoming a Lawyer in West Virginia

If practicing as a lawyer in West Virginia is your life-long dream, this easy 4-step career guide can help you turn that dream into a reality.

  1. Complete a Bachelor’s Degree

The journey of becoming a lawyer begins with the completion of a bachelor’s degree. Typically a bachelor's degree can be completed in 4 years and it is mandatory for admission to a law school.  

  1. Clear the LSAT Exam

The second step of this process is taking and clearing the Law School Admission Test commonly known as the LSAT exam. It is an incredibly competitive test and must be cleared by all those individuals who want to enroll in a doctoral degree at a law school.

  1. Earn a Juris Doctorate (J.D.)

To become eligible for the Bar Exam, all lawyers are required to graduate from an ABA-accredited Juris Doctorate from a law school. A typical J.D. can be completed in around 3 years or less. Many law schools in West Virginia offer an ABA-accredited J.D., such as the West Virginia University.

  1. Clear the West Virginia State Bar Exam and Obtain a License

All lawyers who want to take the West Virginia State Bar Exam must get permission from the State Board to sit for it. The State Board requires all candidates to possess an ABA-accredited J.D. to take the exam. The Bar Exam usually is a series of 3 different exams and all the tests must be cleared to become eligible for a law license.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Lawyer in West Virginia?

To become a lawyer, you must complete a 4-years bachelor’s degree and a 3-year Juris Doctorate. That makes a total of 7 years. However, you must also calculate the duration it will take to clear the LSAT and the Bar Exam. Therefore, becoming a lawyer may take around 8 years.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Lawyer in West Virginia?

To become a licensed Lawyer in the state of West Virginia, all candidates must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be of a good moral character
  • Have earned a J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school
  • Have cleared the West Virginia State Bar Exam
  • Not be disbarred, or suspended in another state
  • Not have any pending disciplinary action against them in another state
  • Obtain a license to practice law

How Much Can I Make as a Lawyer in West Virginia?

In 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that Lawyers in the state of West Virginia earned an annual mean salary of $102,040.

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