Should I Be A Lawyer?
Are you wondering why become a lawyer?
What are the essential elements you should know!
In this article, we will break down the question “Should I Be A Lawyer” so you know all there is to know about it!
Keep reading as we have gathered exactly the information that you need!
Let’s dig into our legal profession and law school knowledge!
Are you ready?
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Should I Be A Lawyer
Many wonder if they should become a lawyer or not.
For some people, the decision to become a lawyer is easy to make while for others it’s not.
If you are reading this post, you are probably trying to evaluate the different factors you must consider before deciding to apply to law school and work your way to become a lawyer.
I think that it’s a good idea for you to evaluate your options before making a final decision.
To become a lawyer, it takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice.
Going to law school will be challenging both inside the classroom and outside.
It will take a lot of hard work for you to obtain your university degree or bachelor in law.
Then, once you are done with law school, you must be ready to confront the bar exams.
Finally, after the bar exams, you must compete with many other qualified newly licensed lawyers to find a job in the legal market that you’d consider rewarding, challenging, and a good fit.
If you are considering a legal career, you may wonder what it will take for you to become a lawyer?
Let’s look at some of the personal traits and characteristics you must have to become a lawyer.
First, you must be able to work hard and spend a lot of time reading, preparing your courses, preparing for your exams and focusing on the law.
It’s not easy to see your friends or family go out to party while you need to stay back and prepare a course, read law books, and spend countless hours studying.
However, that’s what it will take to become a successful lawyer.
Work with others
You must then be able to work well with others.
In your legal career, you will be dealing with many different types of people, clients, court clerks, judges, opposing counsels, experts, colleagues, and more.
As a result, you must have the ability to work well with others.
Another crucial personal trait lawyers should have is excellent communication skills.
As a lawyer, particularly trial lawyers and litigation lawyers, or those engaged in negotiations such as contract lawyers, transactional lawyers, M&A lawyers and more, need to have great communication skills to deal with others.
Having the ability to persuade others or convince others of your position is probably one of the skills that differentiate the most successful lawyers with others.
Having the ability to adopt a position and find ways to compel others to see the world that way you see the world will make a true and significant difference in your overall success as an attorney.
The moment you decide to get into the legal profession, you must be convinced that you have the discipline to get the job done.
As a law student, you must be disciplined to study for your courses, do what’s necessary to achieve the best results, and complete all your tasks.
As a lawyer, whether in a law firm or as a sole practitioner, you must be disciplined to meet your clients, attend court hearings, complete your mandate by the required deadline, and spend time late in the day to finish something that is urgent and pressing.
In the end, you need to put in the time and energy, all the time.
To have a successful legal career, it’s important that lawyers have the ability to network with other lawyers, other professionals, and pretty much anyone.
Building relationships and rapport with others is key to developing a solid foundation of trust between peers and other colleagues.
Peers who trust you and know you will refer clients to you.
Similarly, if you know and trust others, you will not hesitate to send clients over to them.
Questions To Ask To Decide If You Should Be A Lawyer
Let’s look at some of the main questions that come to mind when evaluating if you want to be a lawyer.
How long is law school?
Typically, a J.D. program will take approximately three years to complete.
However, some students may be able to complete it in two years if they attend an accelerated J.D program while others may take more than three years to complete the program.
Do I need to take the LSATs?
The most prestigious law schools will require students to pass a Law School Admission Test (also known as LSAT).
This is a test that evaluates a student’s critical thinking, logic, and writing skills.
Whether the law school formally requires that you take an LSAT test or not, it’s a good idea for prospective law students to take the test to see how well they perform.
Your LSAT test results can provide you a good indication of how well you may do in law school.
How difficult is law school?
If you want to make it in law school, you need to be ready to work hard.
This means that you need to attend every class, make sure you do all your homework, and do much more.
Law school professors, especially in the first year, will challenge law students.
You will have many courses in different areas of the law like contracts, criminal law, constitutional law, torts, civil procedures, and others.
You will need to put the time and energy to keep up with all your course content.
Is the bar exam difficult?
Once you finish law school and your J.D program, you must take your bar exams.
The bar exam is a crucial step in your path to becoming a lawyer as that’s your formal state license authorizing you to act as a law professional.
The bar exam is also going to be challenging as you will be required to demonstrate that you have sufficient knowledge in law to be licensed to practice law.
It will take a lot of preparation and hard work to pass the exam.
Chances are that if you were able to complete your J.D. program and successfully complete your law school, you should be able to complete your bar exam.
How difficult is it to get into law school?
Let’s face it, it’s not going to be easy getting admitted into law school.
There are many students aspiring to become lawyers, attorneys, prosecutors, legal professionals and pursue a career in law.
As a result, to get admitted into law school, you’ll be competing with thousands of other students.
This results in law schools admitting those students who have great academic credentials, the highest LSAT scores, an awesome personal statement, and great references.
How much does it cost to go to law school?
Not every law school is going to cost a law student the same.
There are many factors that can affect your actual costs for attending law school and getting a legal education.
The most prestigious law schools in the country will have the ability to charge a much higher tuition than other schools.
According to the U.S. News Best Law Schools rankings, in 2018 and 2019 academic year, the average tuition and fees for law school was $49,095.
Will I earn a six figure income as a lawyer?
It’s important to remember that the legal job market is highly competitive.
Not every law student will be able to achieve a six-figure salary coming out of law school.
There are only a small percentage of law students that may find a job in a mega law firm, international law firm, or a prestigious national law firm able to get a high starting salary.
These firms recruit the best law students coming out of the most prestigious law schools.
It’s important that you look at the job opportunities for an average attorney so you can have a more realistic idea of what to expect when you become a lawyer.
Is a law degree something good to have?
If you are looking to go to law school to get a law degree as something “good to have” or “useful”, then you should be sure that you are making the right decision.
Since law students will need to spend many years completing their law degree and passing the bar exam, will potentially need to invest a significant sum of money to get a degree, and make lots of sacrifices, this avenue should be pursued if you truly would like to have a career in law.
If you are looking to get a law degree and pass the bar exam to do something else, it can be done, but you should make sure you are making the right decision for your career.
Would I be happy as a lawyer?
This is a tough question to answer in a generic fashion.
The truth is that some will be happy to practice law and become a lawyer while others may regret their decision.
You must do your research before getting into law.
As a lawyer, you may need to focus on a particular area of law.
Some will choose an area of law they are passionate about while others end up practicing in an area out of necessity or because they could not find something that truly fits their needs.
If you do your due diligence before applying to law school, speak to practicing attorneys if you can, and talk to legal recruiters perhaps, you may be able to get a sense of what the legal career truly means.
Hopefully, you will be able to practice law, be happy, and passionate about it.
Things To Know Before You Become A Lawyer
Before becoming a lawyer, what are the important things to know?
In an attempt to provide you with guidance, we have selected a few aspects to consider before making a final commitment in becoming a lawyer.
Becoming an attorney can be quite rewarding and exciting as a legal career.
There are many areas of law to choose from and many possible career options but you should know that:
- Law school can be expensive
- You’ll need to spend several years before becoming a lawyer
- You need to do well on tests and exams
- You need to be a good public speaker
- You must love to read and have excellent writing skills
- You should have logical reasoning and an analytical mind
- You must work long hours
- You may need to do business development
- You must wear suits and business attire
Law school costs
Law schools can get quite expensive.
Many law students get out of law school highly indebted with student loans.
In the 2015 and 2016 academic year, the average student loan debt was $142,900 for law students.
Many students will be able to pay off their debt with the law salaries, but it does not change the fact that it’s quite expensive to become a lawyer these days.
Years of schooling
To become an attorney, law school is typically a three-year program if you attend full time.
Many students qualify for law school after having already obtained another bachelor degree in another program like business or other that may take about three to four years.
This means that many will complete law school after six or seven years of university schooling.
Some law schools offer accelerated programs allowing a law student to complete the program in two years.
Nonetheless, you must be ready to go the distance.
Being a lawyer is not just about working hard, it’s about being able to take tests frequently and performing well.
To get into law school, you may need to do your LSAT.
That’s your first big test to pass!
If you are able to perform under pressure and take tests, you can increase your chances of successfully passing law school and doing really well.
Once you are in law school, you will be drilled and tested on your course material.
Finally, to get your law license, you will need to pass the bar exam.
A law student is tested, tested, and tested!
Being a lawyer means speaking with other lawyers, clients, judges, juries, opposing counsel, negotiating, witnesses, arbitrators, boards, and communicating, every day.
Most legal jobs and legal functions require the lawyer to communicate and speak with others on a regular basis.
Although some legal jobs may require less communication, in general you must be a good public speaker and have good communication skills to be a good lawyer.
Reading and writing skills
Attorneys are expected to have excellent reading and writing skills.
Think about it, lawyers must know the law.
To know the law, they must read the statutes, regulatesions, or policies.
Then, to see how these laws are applied, lawyers must read case laws, court judgments, jurisprudence, law books, legal doctrine, and law material.
Once they have a good understanding of the legal considerations of an issue, they must convey their thoughts in writing in pleading documents, motions, letters, contracts, legal documents, and others.
Logical analysis and reasoning
Lawyers, attorneys, legal practitioners, and anyone in the law business should be critical thinkers.
It is essential to have an analytical mind to practice law.
Lawyers are required to think outside of the box, find legal solutions, define legal strategies, and solve legal puzzles for their clients.
Having a logical mind and ability to reason through complex factual and legal matters, lawyers can find legal paths and avenues to solve their case or allow them to provide the best representation for their client.
Work long hours
If you think you can be a lawyer from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., you may be disappointed.
In most cases, lawyers are required to work long hours and put in the “time”.
Although there are lawyers who can find jobs where they can put in 35 to 40 hours per week and get a decent salary, not all lawyers will have that option.
In general, lawyers tend to work well above 40 hours a week (50 hours up to 90 or even 100 hours in some extreme cases).
Unfortunately, many lawyers trade work-life balance for the prestige of working in a major law firm or the high salaries.
Unless you find a job in a company as in-house counsel, in a government, or corporate functions, most lawyers in law firms will need to do business development.
This means that lawyers will need to do what’s necessary to bring in new clients.
Law firms generally require that lawyers achieve their objective in “billable hours” and “business development”.
If the lawyers are not billable or do not bring in new clients, they become a liability to the law firms.
As such, lawyers need to be great at marketing themselves, selling their services, and finding new clients.
Another factor to keep in mind if you are wondering if you should become a lawyer is the “lawyer attire”.
In most cases, lawyers must be professionally dressed.
Lawyers will be expected to wear suits and generally have business attire.
Clients and those dealing with lawyers need to feel they are in the right hands and can trust the attorney.
Wearing a suit and formal attire helps convey a feeling of trust, confidence, and commands respect.
Should You Become A Lawyer Takeaways
So you want to be a lawyer!
There are many questions that come to your mind, such as:
- Would I be a good lawyer?
- Do I want to be a lawyer?
- Why should I be a lawyer?
Let’s look at a summary of our findings.
Would I Be A Good Lawyer
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