An aspiring lawyer must pass a state bar exam, which covers virtually all major areas of law. The bar exam itself might not contain a single question relating to immigration law. Pass rates range from 44 percent (California) to 79 percent (Missouri). If the candidate fails the exam, he can try again — most states offer the bar exam twice a year.
The candidate will also have to meet certain other requirements, such as an evaluation of his moral character and fitness, to be licensed as a lawyer. Candidates who graduate in May are usually licensed by December of the same year, assuming that they passed the bar exam on their first try.
Once the newly-minted lawyer is licensed, he is legally entitled to practice in almost any area of law (patent law is a notable exception). The lawyer will be subject to annual Continuing Legal Education (CLE) requirements to maintain his license to practice.