Are you thinking about pursuing a career as a lawyer? It might seem like a noble profession in theory, but not everyone is cut out for late nights studying in law school and long days in court. That is why you need to consider several factors before making the final decision to become a lawyer.
Below are the top 9 factors to consider if you are deciding on a career as a lawyer.
1) Education Requirements
The biggest factor to consider is education. You cannot become a licensed lawyer without graduating from an accredited law school and receiving a Juris Doctor Degree. Before you can get accepted into a law school, you must possess a Bachelor’s Degree.
Some law schools don’t care about the major associated with the Bachelor’s Degree. Still, it would be better if the major were something like political science, law, economics, philosophy, or journalism.
2) Education Costs
Law education is challenging in more than one way. Not only is the study material challenging to learn, but you also have to pay a lot of money on school tuition. If you’ve already earned your Bachelor’s Degree, then you probably had to pay between $15,000 and $30,000 in tuition just for that.
As for law school, you will likely owe about $150,000 by the time you graduate. Some law school students even end up with $200,000 to $300,000 in debt. It all depends on the prestige of the school.
Make sure that you’re serious about becoming a lawyer if you’re ready to take on this kind of debt. You wouldn’t want to change your mind halfway through law school and then owe tens of thousands of dollars.
3) Public Speaking
Are you someone who likes to speak and argue in public? If so, then you have a natural ability to be a good lawyer. On the other hand, if you’re more of an introvert who does not like public speaking, you might not last very long as a lawyer.
You should already have a good indication of whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert. If you were always nervous about giving class presentations, you’re obviously an introvert who is not cut out for a legal career.
4) Lots of Work and Studying
Law students spend long hours studying for tests and exams. Your busy schedule won’t change when you become a lawyer. You’ll need to spend long hours studying legal cases and serving your clients. It won’t leave you much time for a social life, especially as a married person with a family. You’ll spend a lot of days and nights at the office working on cases. Are you ready for that challenge?
5) Professional Attire
Lawyers must dress professionally. It means men have to wear suits and ties, while women have to wear pantsuits at all hours of the day. Professional attire reflects the professionalism of the lawyer. It creates a trustworthy image of knowledge and success in the eyes of their public.
Would you feel comfortable dressing up for work every day? If not, would you rather wear casual clothing in an office or work from home in your underwear? Make the distinction of how you would like to dress when you work.
6) Where to Work
Do you want to work for another law firm or open your own law firm? New lawyers are best suited to work for another law firm, such as LA Lawyers. They can gain hands-on knowledge and experience after law school by working for a real law firm.
Once these lawyers have spent a few years working for another firm, they should have enough confidence to open their own law firm. The benefit of having your own law firm is that you make more money. But that only happens after you build an extensive clientele list.
However, you don’t necessarily have to go into private practice. If you would rather serve the public honorably and make less money in the process, you can get a job in the district attorney’s office or as a public defender. These are both jobs funded by taxpayer dollars.
7) Requires Critical Thinking Skills
Lawyers continuously need to analyze information, conduct research, interview people and develop strategies for presenting their case to a judge or jury. It requires a lot of problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
Some of these skills come to a person naturally, so not everyone is going to have them. But you can learn to develop these skills in law school and as a practicing lawyer.
8) Bar Examination
You might have earned your Juris Doctor Degree, but that doesn’t make you a lawyer automatically. It only qualifies you to take the state bar examination, which is the final examination that must be taken before you can legally practice law in your state. It is a challenging test, and few lawyers pass it their first time out of law school.
9) The Type of Law to Practice
When someone passes their bar examination and officially becomes a lawyer, they must take an oath of admission into the State Bar. The person promises they will perform their duties as a lawyer in a fair and honorable way.
For instance, if a criminal lawyer becomes a public defender or defense attorney, they must defend their clients to the best of their abilities. It doesn’t matter if they think their client is guilty personally. The lawyer must do what is right by their client.
If you are not prepared to make this kind of commitment, you might not have what it takes to become a criminal lawyer. You could always practice a different type of law. So, you need to think about what kind of lawyer do you want to be.
As you can see, several considerations must be made before becoming a lawyer. If a legal career still sounds exciting and interesting to you, then focus on getting the proper schooling under your belt to get started.