The legal profession attracts ambitious, highly intelligent, and hard-working people. Here are a few indicators that you are one of them and a career in law is right for you.
1. You know what lawyers do for a living
Before you take the plunge that is law school, it is important that you have an idea of what lawyers do on a daily basis. The depictions of lawyers in TV shows and movies is not typically accurate. Being an attorney is more than being in court. It requires hours of research, managing clients (see #4), and lots of writing. Before you commit your time and money to the legal profession, make sure you know what to expect once you get out of law school.
2. You don’t mind working long hours
The practice of law requires a mixture of improvisation and preparation. Preparing for cases and trials requires long hours and extreme attention to detail. When you see a lawyer give a compelling opening or closing statement in a trail, that is the culmination of hours upon hours of hard work. Additionally, any legal document that is filed with a court or sent to a client has gone through several drafts before it is submitted. There are no quick fixes in the law.
3. You are able to work under pressure
Lawyers serve as the liaison between their clients and the courts. They also must be good employees where they work. Often times, the interests of all of the parties involved, conflict. It is crucial to be able to manage the interests of the clients, the courts, and your employer in the best way possible. This is not always easy and sometimes takes years of practice to do well.
4. You have business savvy or knowledge of sales and client management
Law firms are businesses. They have to generate new clients and retain their current ones. If you are unable to secure a job at a law firm, your law degree allows you to go into practice by yourself. At that point, you are a small business. You have to be able to sell your skills and services to potential clients. You also must be able to manage your clients and keep them happy while also keeping them informed on their matter. Knowledge about business is becoming a necessary skill for the legal profession.
5. You love to read
There are many laws and cases about those laws. They are not always clear and straightforward. Whether it is complex tax law or corporate contracts, you must read a lot in order to do your job properly as a lawyer. As stated in #2, preparation is key. This requires a lot of reading.
If you can identify with these five signs, a career in law could be right for you!