First H.S. diploma. Then a college degree [4 or 5 yrs.] in any subject. Then law school for another 3 or 4 yrs. Harvard is the most famous law school [5 or 6 out the 9 Supreme Court justices went there]. Every state has 2 or 3 law schools. Lawyers are like doctors in that you don't go to school for many, many yrs unless you feel called to the profession. Criminal lawyers deal with criminals: no fun. Dealing with family problems: divorce, child support; child visitation is no fun either. In both you must just want to help people; even when they can't pay much based on their income. Criminals: get your money up front! If they are convicted they won't pay any balance arguing you lost; if they win they don't the balance arguing they never should have been arrested ib the 1st place.