Lawyers tend to get a bad rap. They are infamously, and quite often falsely, known for lying, cheating, and bending the law until it breaks in order to win a case. In reality, they are the workhorses of the justice system.
As the legal mouthpiece of a client, they become the do or don’t of the case. Meaning, the outcome is most often determined by how well they know their way around the area of law they are invested in. The honesty of the client plays a role, as well.
Many up and coming college students relish the thought of being a lawyer as much as a preschooler desires to be their favorite superhero. With that said, how do you know if being a lawyer is right for you? Below are three questions that could help you discover if the world of law is where you should build your career.
What’s Your Motivation?
When we are little, we have many people in our lives that we look up to for different reasons. Like previously stated, when asked what they want to be when they grow up, a three year might answer with the Hulk or Superman. Wait a little longer down the road and that same child may express the desire to be an astronaut or a teacher.
By the time they get to college, a student will cycle through many career choices and all of them will be for different reasons. Consider your present motivation. Has an event in your life or the life of someone close to you shaped your want to get involved and help a cause from a legal standpoint?
Maybe you or someone you know was injured in a car accident and then injured again by the courts. You may have a burden to keep major corporations responsible for how their processes affect the environment.
Another reason some are drawn to the field of law is the promise of higher paying jobs. Law is, in fact, a well-paying field, but if money is your only motivation, it’s highly unlikely that you will maintain the passion to do your job well.
How Much Are You Willing To Invest?
It’s no secret. The money it takes to build a career in law is extensive. In some cases, you can spend upwards of $250,000 to become a lawyer. With that much money invested, it’s no wonder law students everywhere dread the final bar exam. That’s a lot of money to waste. On top of the money, being a lawyer is very time-consuming.
There’s no doubt that a career in law can be personally and professionally fulfilling, but you will never find a lawyer who only works 40 hours a week. That fulfillment comes at a huge price to your personal and social life. We are not saying that if you choose to become a lawyer, you will have no life besides it, but taking part in things such as a serious relationship will be more difficult and the person involved will need to be very understanding of the demands of your career.
Do You Have Experience?
As with any job, having prior experience is always a plus. If you think you might be interested in seeking a career in the field of law, participate in a reputable internship. Sign up to work in a law firm as a paralegal, a secretary, or even a janitor. Being in and around the profession will give you a good idea of whether or not it might be something you are genuinely interested in.
Many students will also seek out alumni who have gone on to be lawyers and interview them. Asking simple questions like, “How did you know you wanted to be a lawyer?”, and “What might you say to anyone looking to make law their livelihood?”, could give you a heads-up on whether or not you think this job would suit you and your lifestyle.
A career in he field of law can be a rewarding adventure to the right person. Use the questions above to help gauge it that person is you.