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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?