Legal Services in Kansas
Becoming a Lawyer in Kansas
Education is the first step to becoming a lawyer in the state of Kansas. At a minimum, one must have a bachelor's degree before applying to law school. The Kansas Board of Law Examiners requires that the college or university is accredited by the United States Department of Education. The state does not require any particular major for the undergraduate degree.
After earning an undergraduate degree, potential attorneys must attend an American Bar Association accredited law school. The two law schools in Kansas are the University of Kansas and Washburn University. However, before being accepted at a law school, future attorneys must take and pass the Law School Admission Test or LSAT. Sections of the LSAT include logical reasoning, analytical reasoning and reading comprehension. The LSAT also requires a writing sample. This sample is not scored as part of the examination. The sample is sent to the law schools where candidates apply.
There is a fee to take the LSAT. The exam is offered during four months out of the year. The state has established the lowest acceptable score. Those who take the exam can expect to receive results in approximately three weeks.
In order to become an attorney in the state of Kansas, one must hold a Juris doctorate from an ABA approved law school. Areas of study will include civil litigation, Constitutional law, criminal law and procedure, tax law, probate law, real estate law, torts, contracts, lawyering skills and the state rules of conduct for attorneys.
Upon graduation from law school, one can apply to the state bar association to sit for the state bar examination. This two day exam covers a variety of topics. Examples include family law, contract law, corporate law, civil and criminal procedures, torts and evidence. After passing the bar exam, candidates apply to the state supreme court for membership in the state bar association. Once approved, candidates are licensed to practice law in the state of Kansas.
Additional requirements to practice law in the state of Kansas include fingerprinting and a criminal history check. Fingerprinting identifies the applicant and assists in discovery of a criminal record in Kansas or other states. Local and state agencies that verify the applicant's identity and background must release all information to the state supreme court as well as the state board of law examiners.
Free Legal Advice in Kansas
Kansas Legal Services offers legal help to individuals who meet certain income levels. State residents can apply online or via telephone. Just a few examples of legal issues that Kansas Legal Services can assist with include bankruptcy, contracts, housing issues, juvenile defense, job discrimination, state benefits, adoption and Bureau of Indian Affairs issues (BIA). Offices are located throughout the state.
Legal Associations and Organizations in Kansas
The main legal association in Kansas is the Kansas Bar Association (KBA) as all attorneys in the state must be accepted by the association. The KBA provides attorneys with access to an online legal research library, continued legal education discounts (CLE), listing in the lawyer referral directory, access to legislative updates and a book store.
Legislative updates contain information on laws affecting the practice of law, state and federal bills under consideration and news on state and federal representatives and senators. Examples of information on senators and representatives include committee assignments and how individuals voted on an issue.
The Kansas Bar Foundation (KBF) helps low income state residents in need of legal services. Members provide advocacy services for children and adult victims of domestic abuse. The KBF provides scholarships for people who want to attend law school but need financial assistance. All contributions to the KBF are voluntary.