With more than 1.4 attorneys in the United States, why would someone want to join their ranks? Aren’t there enough already? All jokes aside, many people want to follow a legal career. The top reasons to become a lawyer are outlined below.
Before diving into the topic, though, it should be clear that your top reasons to become a lawyer may differ from someone else’s. That’s perfectly reasonable and understandable. For instance, one of your top reasons to become a lawyer could be that an attorney once helped your family and you never forgot it. Or you might have lived next door to a wonderful lawyer who told you about their law practice.
Whatever your top reasons to become a lawyer, you shouldn’t resist at least finding out if this profession is the right course for you. Hey, it’s been a wonderful choice for countless others throughout history and in plenty of cultures.
You Can Help People
Are you someone who just loves to help others? Does it give you a thrill to be able to ease someone’s mind or do something they can’t? Getting the chance to do good is one of the top reasons to become a lawyer that drives many people toward law school every year.
Imagine how exciting it can be to be able to connect someone who is giving baby up for adoption with adoptive parents. Or perhaps you’re more interested in working as a guardianship attorney on behalf of special needs clients and families. Maybe you’re very interested in doing work that pertains to the elderly.
Regardless of what type of law you choose to go into, you can absolutely figure out how to use your status to improve other’s well-being and, often, reduce their stressors. In fact, if this is really important to you, why not consider working for a non-profit? You won’t make as much money as you would in other law positions, but you will always leave the office feeling good about what you accomplished.
You Can Stay on Top of Legal Issues
Perhaps you’re the one who’s always been the go-to in your family or friend group when it comes to anything legal. From the time you were little, you were interested in law. Heck, in eight grade, you read the Constitution just for fun!
If you get a thrill whenever you read or talk about anything pertaining to the law, you may have been born for lawyering. Every day, you’ll be exposed to evolving laws and different considerations. You’ll get to interpret and apply what you read, improving your abilities year after year. Best of all, you’ll get a paycheck just for being involved in something that’s near and dear to your heart.
You Get to Write All the Time
Many people imagine that lawyers are always in negotiations or fighting with witnesses. The truth of the matter is that attorneys frequently spend lots of time writing. Not only do they document notes for their cases, but they write everything and anything from pleadings to briefs.
One of the top reasons to become a lawyer for writers is that you can get to hone your craft. Even if you find law writing a bit dull, don’t forget that it’ll help you in other areas. Many attorneys end up writing other things, from blogs to full-blown books. Your experience as a lawyer will improve the way you structure your language and get your points across to readers.
As you start in your law practice, take time to write for pleasure now and then. Freeing your mind from the ordinary will leave you feeling energized and refreshed. Who knows? You might just one day write a brilliant legal-themed novel that flies off the bookshelves and wins awards.
You Can Earn Good Money
Among the most obvious top reasons to become a lawyer is the salary. This isn’t to say that all lawyers fetch top-dollar incomes. They don’t. The income you receive will depend on many factors, including what type of law you go into and where you practice it. Also, if you decide to start your own practice at some point, you’ll probably take a financial hit at first until you can build your client base.
Nevertheless, this isn’t to say that you can’t do well as a lawyer. Many attorneys don’t have to shop for a used car anymore because they reach a salary level where they can purchase new vehicles. They may also be able to afford coveted private education for their children or other relatives.
If you’re interested in finding out what a lawyer makes, you can easily look online. Be sure to judge apples to apples, though. A lawyer working in personal injury law in Detroit is going to fetch a different base salary than one in the middle of Utah.
You Could Create a Path Into Politics
Many people dream of being politicians. Are you one of them? Then one of the top reasons to become a lawyer in your case could be a career in the political field.
Not certain that you’re ready to be judged by your peers and have to go through the stress of an election? You can always be involved in local, regional, state, or federal politics in other ways. Attorneys make useful allies for many individuals and groups vying for political positions and power.
The only caveat is that you don’t absolutely have to get a law degree to become a politician. Yes, many politicians started as attorneys. However, you’re not bound by their behaviors or habits. Do your own thing and only enter law school if it’s something you truly want to pursue.
You Have a Lot of Options
Though little kids will often say that they want to be a “lawyer” when they grow up, they rarely have a deep understanding of all the different types of lawyers out there. As a teenager or young adult, you’re probably more well-versed in different kinds of attorneys.
For instance, you may want to become a bankruptcy lawyer and assist people who have gotten into trouble financially. Or, you may be interested in being a criminal lawyer and assisting folks who have been accused of a crime. Is negotiating with insurance companies something that holds your interest? Personal injury law could be a great pathway to long-term success.
You don’t have to decide what type of lawyer you want to be right away. Even law schools don’t make you decide on day one. Take a few classes that you think might interest you and see where your education goes. You might be surprised at the type of law that attracts you as well as the type that tends to leave you cold.
Be ready to shift throughout your career as needed, though. Plenty of lawyers try a few types of law throughout their years in the legal profession.
You Have the Opportunity to Explore Your Talents
This is one of those top reasons to become a lawyer that really makes sense if you’re all about identifying and improving your natural gifts. After all, everyone has talents. Analyzing yours, you may find out that lawyering is a terrific fit.
What types of talents could you possess that would help you if you became a lawyer? Being able to write is a big one, which was discussed a few “top reasons to become a lawyer” ago. Another is being able to work with people, even during contentious or difficult situations. Finally, if you like to speak publicly, a lawyer could be your career of choice.
Certainly, you’ll want to figure out your top skills before you make any decisions. Sit down somewhere quiet and write down everything that you feel you’re innately good at doing. Don’t exclude anything, even if it seems silly. Then, look at the list and see if it points you in the direction of a particular field type of law.
You Can Challenge Yourself
You always push yourself to improve, even when you don’t have to. That’s the sign of someone who would make a wonderful lawyer. After all, you can’t get into something like divorce law without being willing to accept some challenges and meet them head-on.
However, this isn’t to suggest that every day will be like a hyped-up, law-related TV show. It won’t. Some days may be pretty mundane, even if your title sounds important, like a business litigation attorney lawyer. Nonetheless, if you like to be kept on your toes, the law will present you with lots of opportunities to become the best version of yourself possible.
You May Be Able to Make Lasting Changes
Does the thought of doing something that could literally go down in history make you thrilled? Among the top reasons to become a lawyer, making major changes that affect populations can be an important one.
Who knows? You might one day decide to serve on the bench as a judge. In that situation, you’d be interpreting laws and passing judgments to be used by other attorneys. Truly, the chances for you to make your mark on society could be endless.
Interested in Law? Keep a Few Pointers in Mind
Now that you’ve read through the top reasons to become a lawyer, you may be eager to get started. Before you do, you should understand a few facts that you must keep in mind.
First, it takes many years to become a lawyer. Normally, in the United States, attorneys go to law school for three years following their undergraduate studies. Afterward, they must pass an exam to be able to practice. The exam is called the Bar, and it’s notoriously difficult. Many people never pass it. Consequently, even if you go to law school, you’re not guaranteed earning your law license.
Secondly, law schools are expensive just like many institutes of higher learning. You could be saddled with significant student loans for many, many years after graduating. On the other hand, if you do well in your undergraduate college years, you may be able to snag scholarships. Definitely ask around and apply to many law schools to see which ones will give you the best deal on tuition and financial aid.
Third, you won’t make money right off the bat. But you will work really, really hard as you start your first job or get your law practice up and running. Even if you go to work for one of the big-name firms in a huge city, your salary might not be enough to pay for water heating repair bills on top of everything else in any given month. That’s not to say you’ll be poor, but it can be a surprise to early-career attorneys to learn they can’t command top-dollar salaries until later.
Fourth, lawyers aren’t always highly respected. Some are, some aren’t. For whatever reason, the field of law has gotten a wobbly reputation. Consequently, people in your support group may not be as understanding as you need them to be. As an example, you may not be able to go on a weekend trip with friends because you don’t have the funds or have too much work on your plate. Try not to get too angry. Chalk it up to their misunderstanding of what it means to be a lawyer.
Fifth, expect to put in long hours. Most lawyers tend to work way more than 50 or even 60 hours each week. That’s par for the course, even for corporate attorneys who aren’t in private practice. If you’d rather have a nine-to-five workweek, you’re not going to be too thrilled when you’re going into the office every Saturday and Sunday for a few months to clean up your desk.
Finally, recognize that the law is a stressful field by its nature. Many lawyers get overwhelmed, which is understandable. Nevertheless, don’t let that happen to you because it’s not inevitable to live with high anxiety or worry. Find some alternative stress relievers, such as exercising or reading. You may even want to start paying better attention to your nutrition by looking into products like maqui powder health benefits. Just make sure that you take your mental and physical health seriously, particularly when you’re beginning in the field of law.
Like what you’ve seen about the top reasons to become a lawyer? Take the next step and shadow an attorney for a day. You’ll surely get a better understanding of whether it’s the perfect job for you today, tomorrow, and way down the line.