Starting a legal career is an attractive prospect, but before you take the leap it’s important to understand what this choice implies. In this article, we’ll go over some of the most important aspects to consider as an aspiring law student.
While some people have always known what they wanted to do in life, choosing a career is not such a simple and straightforward process for everyone. Not to put more pressure on your shoulders, but this is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in life, so you have to think long and hard before you come to a conclusion.
If you’ve reached that point in life where you have to decide on a career path, and the legal field is the one that attracts you the most, you’re probably already familiar with the advantages of entering into the law profession. But do you know what it takes to reach your goal? Thinking about the benefits alone won’t help you become a successful professional, so, if you want to make an informed decision and start your career journey on the right foot, here are 6 important aspects to keep in mind.
The first thing you should ask yourself before getting into law school is what motivates you to take this step. If you’ve decided that a legal profession is a good fit for you after watching a few episodes of Law & Order or Suits, you might want to reassess your decision-making methods. Basing your life choices on a movie or the prestige associated with a certain profession is not exactly a smart move.
You should have solid reasons for wanting to pursue a law career, such as being passionate about the field, having the right skills for it, work opportunities, earning potential and other relevant factors indicating that law is the right career choice for you.
Although most people associate careers in the legal field with lawyers, not everyone wants to follow down this path. There are many other jobs in the legal field, besides working as a lawyer. This is a great thing not only because you have more options to choose from, but also because many of these jobs don’t require getting a law degree.
So, if you’re passionate about working in law, but you don’t want to become a lawyer or go through the trouble of getting an expensive and time-consuming education, here are some legal roles you can pursue without a degree: title examiner, paralegal, legal secretary, mediator, legal writer, trial consultant, or e-discovery professional. Any of these jobs can help you start a successful career in the legal field.
Given the complexity of the legal field, there are many different types of law you can practice. So, if you do decide to join law school and get a degree, you should get to know the main areas of legal practice that you can specialize in, and what each of them implies. For example, as Personal Injury Claims UK experts explain, personal injury is the area of law that helps those who suffer injuries caused by someone else’s negligence.
Each area of legal practice deals with different issues, so you have to figure out what they involve and what type of activity draws you the most in order to make a smart decision. Here are the main areas of law you can specialize in:
Financial implications are not to be ignored. Everyone knows that attending law school is costly and it can leave a big hole in your budget. However, the amount of money you have to invest in your education depends on various factors, such as location, the status, and prestige of the institution, or the educational programs you choose. For example, attending a public law school will cost a lot less than attending a private laws school.
As a law student, you can expect to pay anywhere between $80,000 to $150,000 for all your years of study. In most cases, the money you’ll be earning as a legal professional after completing your education can compensate for the investment you’ve made as a student, but that’s not a guarantee. So, you have to figure out how much you can afford to invest in law school before sending in your application.
Another thing you should figure out before pursuing a career in law is if you have what it takes to become a successful legal professional. Working in law requires you to have a certain set of skills if you want to achieve your professional goals, such as initiative and independence, creativity, problem-solving skills, good communication skills, the ability to work in a team and perform well under pressure, good attention to detail, etc.
The last thing you want is to join law school only to realize later that you don’t possess the qualities and abilities you need to thrive in the legal field. It’s important to be honest with yourself and assess your aptitudes beforehand, so you can avoid making a choice that you may come to regret.
Most jobs in the legal field pay well. That’s one of the main reasons why so many people choose law as a career path, to begin with. But in order to land a job that ensures a solid income, you have to put in a lot of effort. Although this isn’t a rule and it might not apply to everyone, most lawyers work more than 40 hours a week. Some might go as far as working 80 hours per week, so if you’re dreaming of having a stress-free career and a flexible work schedule, law might not be the right choice for you.