Whilst we all consider Law an intriguing career, we don’t really know all the steps to become a lawyer. Law is a prestigious profession and if you entertaining the idea of taking it as a profession, go ahead. Just familiarize yourself with all that involves in the making of a lawyer. You sure have some information already from movies, a relative, or some friend. Movies portray it as an amazing career for smart individuals. This article aims to debunk some popular and prevalent myths about the said profession. We are going to tell you all about Law as a profession and only then you can make the right decision about choosing it as a career.
For all the students planning to study law at university, know that you are making a great choice. Read on to find about what to expect from the said profession!
How Long Does It Take To Become a Lawyer
Becoming a lawyer takes a full-time study for seven years after high school. Break these seven years to four years of undergrad studies and law school for three years. Most of the jurisdictions and states require obtaining a J.D. (Juris Doctor) degree. And it has to be accredited by the ABA (American Bar Association). This makes it clear that the faculty and curricula of that particular law school meet some necessary standards.
You’ll require a bachelor’s degree to enter in most of the law schools. Courses in public speaking, English, history, government, mathematics, and economics can be particularly useful.
In addition, almost every law school requires LSAT (Law School Admission Test). It’s essentially needed for applicants because it measures students’ aptitude for the said studies.
Which Disciplines Do You Study in Law?
Professional law programs mostly focus on topics based on core legal things during the first year. They will give you an overview of law as well as society. Typically, it revolves around popular law topics and legal system’s introduction. Then, students have to decide their field of specialization according to their area of interest. Listed below are some of the most popular topics in law:
- Criminal Law: It focuses on the association between crime and law
- Intellectual Property Law: It enlightens about intangible assets
- Property Law: It revolves around property matters and division
- Commercial Law: It discusses everything regarding industry and commerce
- Family Law: It pertains to matters with a purely family-related
- Environmental Law: It focuses on regulating and protecting the natural environment
- International Law: It talks about the relationships between countries and states
- Miscellaneous Law Topics: health care law, employment law, insurance law, estates and trusts, patent law, corporate law, civil law, entertainment law, media law, immigration law, mental health law, maritime law, social law, tax law, sports law, and so on
You can also specialize in a specific culture or region, for instance, Islamic Law, U.S. Law, European Union Law, and others.
Practically speaking, no matter how amazing your craft or studies is, it’s basically useless if you can’t make money with it. So, when Law fascinates you, you need to know how much can you make if you take it as a career. Let us enlighten you. The average annual salary for lawyers is almost $118,160. By average we mean median, meaning that half the people in that profession earned less and half earned more than the said amount.
Here is a little insight into the median annual salaries for lawyers in the following industries. These are considered top industries for lawyers to work.
- State government lawyer, excluding hospitals and education: $88,020
- Local government lawyers, excluding hospitals and education: $91,950
- Legal services lawyer: $118,660
- Federal government lawyer: $139,460
You should know that lawyers with their own practice setups usually earn lesser than those working in business establishments and law firms.
Most lawyers work full time. Others work more than 40 hours a week.
Following are some of the vital qualities which you need to nurture in yourself if you want to be a successful lawyer:
- Analytical skills: Your primary duty is to help your client resolve their problems. Therefore, you should be able to analyze huge amounts of information and then be able to derive the relevant facts
- Problem-solving skills: As a lawyer, you must separate any emotions or prejudice from the clients and be able to objectively evaluate the information. Only then you can defend your clients
- Interpersonal skills: Clients should trust you and have confidence in you. Without that, they won’t be able to share their personal information with you
Other important skills are research skills, writing skills, speaking skills, and the list goes on. Good luck with becoming a successful lawyer!