Do you want a career in the law? Think again and think hard

“A jury consists of 12 persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer” – Robert Frost 

A successful career in the law can be amazingly rewarding.  However, before embarking on this path with a view of changing the world, or at least a legal system of one country, please assess your personality, capabilities, work ethics and stamina to be able to work long hours.

There are many social and personal reasons why a career in the legal profession may be the right fit for many people.  Some of the more obvious ones that come to mind are:

1. Prestige

2. Transferable skills

3. Flexibility (often at a more senior level)

4.  Good earnings potential

5. Opportunity to assist others and offer solutions

6. Ability to choose from a diverse areas of interest

7. Intellectual challenge

However, many people fail to see that a lawyer’s job is a far cry from that portrayed on Boston Legal or The Practice.  There are a number of issues which need to be carefully examined before choosing to follow this path, which include:

1. A law degree at University takes longer to complete and requires more effort than a lot of other degrees

2. The law degree at University is more expensive than others

3. Will need to become good at public speaking or at least at socializing on a particular level with peers and others

4. Being a lawyer involves a lot of reading and drafting

5. Need to be prepared to be accessible at most times of the day (and night in a lot of circumstances)

6. Work-life balance at the beginning of your career may not exist

7. A career in the law does not guarantee financial success or a six figure salary

8. Stress is a factor as there are lots of deadlines which must be met

9. Long hours of work are generally required

10. The job market in the law is very competitive, so finding a job as a junior can be tough

11. Having to account for every 6 minutes of your time (although this is changing)

If you are still not discouraged, then please consider whether you possess the two most important skills required, which are attention to detail and ability to communicate.  Abraham Lincoln stated that “the leading rule for the lawyer, as for the man of every other calling, is diligence”.  In turn, William Butler Yeats told us to ‘think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.’

If law is your passion – be diligent, understand and speak your clients’ ‘language’ and pursue it with all you have!

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About Jane Garber-Rosenzweig

I am a mother, a senior franchising and commercial lawyer, a writer and a social media enthusiast. I live a very busy lifestyle but believe that you need to take time to ‘stop and smell the roses’. I also believe in taking educated risks and celebrating all achievements in life, regardless of how big or small they are. I am a lateral thinker and an optimist. My goal in life is to ensure the saying “we make our own destiny” becomes a reality.
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2 Responses to Do you want a career in the law? Think again and think hard

  1. Having worked the profession for more than 10 years, if I was asked to write this blog, it would be a carbon copy!

  2. Jane Garber says:

    Thanks

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