This question we often came across while we decide to take legal as your profession.
Deciding whether to attend law school is a big decision, but we’re here to help. Learning more about law school and legal careers will help you decide whether law school is right for you.
How do I decide if law school and the legal profession are right for me?
Your freshman and sophomore years are good times to investigate law school and legal careers.
Law school is a challenging, but rewarding, undertaking. Law touches upon issues relating to business, economics, politics, the environment, human rights, international relations and trade. As a law student, you can expect to learn analytical skills that will allow you to resolve conflicts and issues in modern society. Obtaining a law degree is a useful way to prepare not only for specific legal careers, but also for a broad range of professional roles.
Like most academic degrees, law programs start with compulsory courses the first year, and allow more opportunities to choose law topics tailored to a particular career path in the second and third years. Law classes are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, group work, presentations, class debates and simulation (practical skills training in a simulated legal setting).
Talking to lawyers, getting involved in law-related activities, gaining summer internship experiences, taking courses that touch on legal topics, and reading about the profession can help you determine whether law school is right for you.
What is it that attracts you to a career in law?
Is it based on a realistic idea of what the jobs in this field require and an understanding that you have the personality and experience for it, or have you been attracted by an exciting but not necessarily realistic courtroom drama?
Like all jobs, there are challenges and opportunities. Let’s start with the challenges, because if those don’t put you off, then you can read about what makes it worth doing!
Challenges you might face pursuing a legal career
The first challenge is an academic one. Do you have, or are you looking forward to, mainly A* and A grades at GCSE, A and B grades at A level, and at least a 2:1 degree? If so, then keep reading.
The further you are from this, the harder it becomes to get into law. Practicing as a legal professional is unlikely to be accessible for people who are not able to demonstrate a good academic track record.
Regardless, the examinations you need to pass to qualify will have a strong academic component, so academic ability is important and experience of study at a higher education level will certainly help.
Personal skills you will need to be a lawyer
Unfortunately it’s not enough to be academically able! You need to be able to relate naturally and confidently to a wide range of people, to understand their needs, influence and empathise, and be able to communicate how you can help.
This includes both colleagues and clients, and written communication as well as face-to-face or over the phone.
You need to have a rare skill with information too. If you can understand a lot of information quickly and work out the practical implications of what you have learnt, then you have a skill vital for a successful career in law.
One particularly important aspect of this is commercial awareness. You need to be the sort of person who, for example, reads newspapers and considers the various implications of business developments.
A person who understands the likely implications of contemporary developments for their clients is likely to make a good solicitor or barrister.
You are going to need to be able to keep a cool head under stress too; it is not unusual to work a day of twelve hours or more at busy times. Needless to say, all this requires excellent time-management skills.
What do I need to do after university to get into a career in law?
Even if you have all these skills down, this will not guarantee you a job! Once you have a law degree or another degree plus a one-year law conversion course, the next step is to gain a training contract with a law firm.
There are more people wanting these than there are contracts available. Vacation schemes and other work experience will increase your chances of finding a training contract.
Why go into a law career?
– You get the opportunity to work closely with a wide range of clients on interesting and important work.
– You work in a close team with your colleagues. It’s often a supportive team with plenty of social contact.
– You become an expert and that expertise is valued by your clients and colleagues.
– There can be a wide variety of work and you often see clear results from your contributions.
– The financial rewards can be impressive after a few years of experience.
All of this is simply a roundabout way of saying that a job as a solicitor or barrister is a fantastic job for the right person. If you have both the confidence and the evidence that you are that kind of person, then go for it!
While I was thinking about my first post to this blog my mind stuck to the question that asked by many peoples “why I choose law as career?”
This far most asked question to the person in the field of law. In my first post I will explain why to choose law career.
First let start by quoting the famous line of this arena
“The minute you read something that you can’t understand, you can almost be sure that it was drawn up by a lawyer.”
So, Why to choose legal field
1. Law is the combination of theory and practice
Behind the law of the land lies an awful lot of theory and there’s no doubt that students will have to rigorously learn it, but remember law is a fairly defined profession and its tuition has to also be vocational in nature. Some unis go so far as having a mock courtroom, and running moot competitions and pro bono societies, giving students a real taster of what it’s like to practice law.
2. Law and case-based learning are twin sisters
Even when learning the theory law students will spend a lot of time trawling through cases. Law schools use real-life examples to demonstrate how the theory is applied. Students are left in no doubt as to whether the content they’re learning will have real-life application.
3. Studying law equips students with a variety of skills
Learning to become a lawyer rather neatly means you’ll graduate university equipped with the skills for a whole host of professional paths. Here’s a few of those skills:
- Research – through analysis of case studies.
- Critical analysis – students read primary sources and make up their own mind.
- Synthesis of complex ideas – law students will have to get to grips with a whole new language but they’ll also need to be able to communicate in layman’s terms.
- Presentation – student’s often partake in mooting competitions and pro bono societies, offering legal advice to real people.
- Writing – you’ll have to communicate all of the above – on paper!
These skills are highly transferable to a number of other industries and sectors, commercial or otherwise.
4. Law graduates are well respected by employers
The variety of skills provided by a law degree puts these type of graduates at the forefront of employer’s minds. Add to this the fact that law is one of the world’s oldest fields of study, professions, human endeavour – you get the picture – and it’s no surprise to see that graduates enjoy such good career prospects.
5.The corporate ladder
One of the best things about the legal profession is the ease in which you can move up the corporate ladder. The more experience you have, the more money you are likely to make, regardless as to whether you actually receive a promotion. Many firms these days often split up the business into departments, assigning managers to each area of law. This will give you ample opportunity to develop your career from a management perspective and a legal perspective, maybe one day climbing all the way to partner or director level.
6. Clear postgraduate options
Those who leave their undergraduate studies with hearts set on a career in law have a number of clearly defined options for the next step:
- LLM – some students may wish to develop their learning via a Master of Laws degree.
- Legal Practice Course (LPC) – for solicitors.
- Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) – for solicitors.
7. There’s something for everyone
The legal system is extremely diverse with a great number of areas for prospective lawyers to specialize in. Take your pick of family, employment, criminal, corporate, commercial, and so on. You can direct your career to suit your own specific interests and make your job as thrilling (or as tedious) as you want it to be.
Law is one of the world’s traditional professions, pursue it and be prepared for a life of comfortable respectability.
9. Money, money, money
Despite what’s currently going on in the media, legal professions are still quite well paid. Obviously, it all comes down to the type of firm you work for and how many years experience you have but you can still earn a decent living relatively early in your career.
10. The greater good
Last, but certainly not least, choosing to pursue a career in law will give you a rare opportunity to actually make some difference in the world. Whether you make drastic changes to the lives of many, or make a small contribution to improving the life of just one person, doesn’t that make it all worth it? Money and career progression aside, you want to do something that counts.
Despite Aristotle’s well known quote “the law is reason free from passion” many people are still passionate about pursuing a career in law. All negatives aside, you have to choose what’s right for you, so don’t be afraid to take a chance.