What lawyers do
Lawyers have different responsibilities to their clients. They may be called upon to counsel, advocate and educate. Therefore, lawyers must also maintain a high degree of personal maturity, ethical responsibility, empathy and professionalism.
Those considering a career in law should begin by distinguishing expectations of a legal practice and the reality of the job. Hours can be long and often include weekends, and often a lawyer's clients' needs supersede their own and their family's.
Although self-exploration is a necessary part of the decision to pursue a career in law, it is also important for students to do some career exploration by talking to those who have practiced in the field; this will greatly enhance their understanding of what it means to be a lawyer.
Students should consider these questions when researching a legal education:
- What do lawyers actually do?
- How do they spend their time?
- What are some commonalities between different types of lawyers?
- What do lawyers find most rewarding about their careers?
- What do they like most about their job?
- What are the primary challenges faced by lawyers?
- What do they dislike about their career?
- What skills are necessary for people considering a career in law?
Students should ask themselves:
- Is a law degree the required or preferred degree for the job I’m considering?
- What job opportunities are available in my interest area and what are the steps to achieving them?
Are the skills required aligned with mine, and do I have an interest in building on them during undergraduate school and beyond?