Entering a career in the field of law opens up myriad job opportunities. This area of study is so broad that students or young professionals interested in law can choose from a variety of specialties according to their personal preferences. Even so, thriving as a lawyer is no easy feat. Consider some key information about what being a lawyer entails and how you can succeed in this field.
Responsibilities of a Lawyer
The day-to-day work of a lawyer varies greatly. In general, these professionals act as advisers for a wide range of clients in order to help them navigate civil or criminal legal issues. The specific subject matter that a given lawyer deals with may include entertainment law, corporate law, intellectual property law, family law, tax law and many others. While many lawyers work within the same niche throughout their careers, professionals such as Douglas Healy gain experience in more than one area.
Depending on the type of law a lawyer handles, he or she may be responsible for a variety of different tasks. For instance, some legal professionals must draft and manage official documents, undertake research or attend court hearings. Lawyers can work for corporations, the government or individuals in order to provide legal counsel.
Common Characteristics of Lawyers
While gaining the skills required to be an effective lawyer takes practice, it’s important to consider whether your inherent personality traits fit well with the responsibilities of this profession. For one thing, lawyers are often good communicators. This includes both written and verbal communication in front of groups or with individuals. Additionally, legal professionals should have a knack for giving attention to details. This allows them to carry out legal matters properly, whether they are refuting evidence in defense of a client or drafting a will.
Another skill that lawyers should possess is an ability to work under pressure. Not all legal professionals will have to stand up in court, but there may still be situations where you are called to make quick decisions in stressful circumstances. Finally, it’s important that a lawyer be good at problem-solving so that he or she can find the best possible solutions for their clients.
Becoming a lawyer requires many years of education. In order to pursue this path, you must first complete a bachelor’s degree. You may choose any major you like, but many future lawyers choose to study things like journalism, philosophy, political science or business. If you know what specific area of law you would like to work in, it may be a good idea to select a major that equips you with the knowledge you will need for that field.
After completing your undergraduate program, you must pass the Law School Admission Test. This test does not require you to have an understanding of specific legal concepts, but rather asks questions that are meant to analyze skills such as critical thinking and reading comprehension.
Your next step is to attend a law school that is accredited by the American Bar Association. If you are a full-time law student, you may be able to attain your Juris Doctor degree in just three years. Before deciding on a school, be sure to research the different electives each one offers. If you are interested in a specific specialty, it’s important that you have access to pertinent courses. After earning your JD, you must pass the state bar exam. If you would like to take your education even further, you may choose to earn a Master of Law or Doctor of Philosophy degree.
Once you graduate from law school and find a job, your career journey is not over. One of the advantageous features of professions in the field of law is that they often offer a lot of opportunity for growth. Many recent graduates start working as a law clerk or an associate at an established firm. By completing your work proficiently, you may be able to quickly rise to a position as a partner. As you develop leadership skills and take on greater responsibilities, you may get the opportunity to be a managing partner.
If you do not wish to work at a law firm, there are many other options available to you. For instance, some lawyers may open their own private law practices. Others may choose to represent nonprofit organizations or corporations. Still others may prefer to work for a government office as a public defense attorney or prosecutor. No matter which area you decide upon, advancing in your role requires diligent work and a willingness to take on new challenges. As you navigate your career journey, you may wish to find a mentor who can advise you about how to become the best possible lawyer you can be.
Entering the field of law presents young professionals with a strong job market and a multitude of potential specialties. With a lot of hard work, you can take your career as a lawyer in any direction you wish.