Being a lawyer is tough. It’s hard work, it’s challenging, and it can be very frustrating. But at the same time, being a lawyer can be incredibly rewarding.
Lawyers are responsible for defending their clients and often face difficult questions and challenges in their work. They also have the opportunity to solve complex problems and make a real difference in the lives of others.
And, of course, there are moments when they successfully argue a case or help someone win an important legal battle. But there is more to being a lawyer.
In this article, I will talk extensively about lawyers, what the profession is like, the perks, the challenges lawyers face, and how to overcome them.
What is a lawyer?
A lawyer is someone who helps people resolve their legal problems or disputes. They can defend, prosecute, or advise a client on legal matters.
When two people disagree, a lawyer can help them figure out a solution that both parties can agree on. A lawyer can also help someone who needs to file a legal case.
Every day, lawyers ensure that justice prevails for the disenfranchised and voiceless. They challenge the status quo and fight for what’s right. And always stand up for those who can’t fight for themselves.
What’s it like being a lawyer?
1. You write and talk a lot
Many aren’t aware, but as a lawyer, you would be required to write a lot more than you wish. This includes writing briefs, memos, contracts, letters, and emails. Additionally, you would be required to talk at court proceedings.
2. Critical thinking
It would be best to consider strategies or techniques to handle each case as a lawyer. No case is the same, meaning you have to develop something new every day. Critical thinking is important in this field of work and can be quite draining.
3. Mental and physical stress
As a lawyer, it is your duty to meet a client’s needs, which could sometimes be particularly tedious.
You often have to spend more time reading the case over and questioning witnesses to understand better. This can hurt your mental and physical health.
4. Long work hours
Although being a lawyer gives you a flexible schedule, it is not always applicable. Some cases require you to work longer hours during the day or even at night to meet up.
This is specifically the case for lawyers who are new to the field. Some have to put in up to 60 hours of work a week to meet the legal need of their clients.
What are the perks of being a lawyer?
Understanding the benefits or perks of this field can help you determine whether you should pursue a career in it or not. Below are some of the perks of being a lawyer.
1. Different career options
One unique perk in this field is that you have a variety of career options to choose from. Once you are called to the bar, you can specialize in an area you are passionate about.
For example, you can choose to be a defense attorney if you have a passion for protecting lives. Or if you are passionate about enforcing the law, you can choose to be a criminal prosecutor.
With enough experience, you can even start your law firm or agency. This way, you decide how to operate and which cases to take.
2. It offers a good earning potential
A career in law can be a very lucrative one. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, lawyers earn an average salary of $50,979 annually.
Although this is not for a new or first-time lawyer, you can work up and earn higher.
3. You build your intellectual thinking skills
As a lawyer, you stand out intellectually among others. You have built your intellectual, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills.
These skills are used to tackle the daily challenges of the job. Additionally, you build other skills, such as communication skills, whether oral or written.
4. You get to help other
Remember that not everybody that appears in court is guilty of the crime they are charged with. As a lawyer, it is your job to do research and interviews to seek justice for these people.
For many people, winning this kind of case can be emotionally satisfying.
5. You get the prestige and respect that comes with the job
The law profession is prestigious, and many people see this too. This is because many people know how hard getting to such a level can be. The more you win cases, the more your career advances and the more respect you command.
What are the downsides to being a lawyer?
While this profession has many advantages, you should consider downsides or drawbacks. Below are some of the downsides to being a lawyer.
1. Expensive Education
We all know the price tag that comes with getting a degree in law. The more prestigious the school is, the higher the educational expenses.
According to the U.S. News, the average private law school costs $51,268 annually, while public costs around $42,143.
2. Negative stigma
While being a lawyer is reputable, you can build a poor self-image. Remember, there are always two sides in every case. Whichever side you find yourself on, win or lose, you could have a bad image.
So as a lawyer, you should be ready to get positive and negative comments about yourself.
3. The market can be competitive
As a new lawyer, getting good clients can be quite hard. This is because clients prefer to go for reputable lawyers.
They usually want to go for lawyers that they believe are guaranteed to win their case rather than a relatively new lawyer. This can make the first few years of your career stale.
So, how can you tackle the challenges that come with the job?
1. Understand the nature of the law firm you want to work for
Before taking on a role at any firm, gauge the company’s culture. It is best to avoid companies that prioritize work hours more than staff sanity.
Working for a firm that doesn’t value you beyond your skill or care about your mental health can be unsustainable in the long run. Knowing more about the firm, its work ethic, and how they treat employees is ideal.
2. Don’t burn yourself out
If you start working in any firm, ensure you read the signs your body gives you when you are exhausted. It is best to build smaller breaks into your work schedule to help as well.
If you get any signs from your body, don’t ignore them; see the doctor. If the doctor tells you to get more rest, talk to your manager or employer about changing your schedule.
And if your manager or employer makes you feel ashamed of this requirement, you can look elsewhere for other job openings. Remember, you will be no good to your clients if your physical and mental health is at risk.
Where can you work as a lawyer?
There are several places you can work as a lawyer. This includes; the international rescue committee, internal revenue service, U. S. Department of Labor, and financial industry regulatory authority.
Additionally, you can work in local law offices, private and public interest groups, clerkships with judges, and federal, state, or local government bodies.
What skills should a lawyer possess?
Extreme attention to detail, leadership and team-building, project management, and strong communication and public speaking skills.
Is being a lawyer a good job?
Yes, it is. Not only do you get a chance to impact the lives of others positively, but you also get paid for it.
What is the job outlook for lawyers?
According to the Bureau for Labor Statistics, the demand for lawyers will increase by 4% in the next ten years.
Conclusion: Is being a lawyer worth it?
Yes, being a lawyer is worth it. Every day, you stand up for the people and the laws you believe in. You work to solve complex problems and fight for the rights of the underdog.
You are always in pursuit of justice, and you are determined to make a positive impact on the world. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more rewarding and challenging profession.
So if you want to work in a field where you can make a real difference in people’s lives, becoming a lawyer may be the perfect decision.
Perhaps you don’t want to go into the full scale of the profession but looking to be still able to do something related to law. I recommend you try studying political science.
If that sounds great to you, you should see what you can do with a degree in political science.
Thanks for reading.