A career in law is one of the most lucrative options that students can choose today. A strong educational background will help you build a successful career in law.
The legal field has long been a highly popular destination for students. Lawyers and other legal or court officials work in the court system and elsewhere to ensure that legal requirements are met. A lawyer could defend a client in court; prepare a business contract, or even work on issues such as human rights or the environment. Another popular legal career is that of a paralegal, which involves assisting lawyers in their day-to-day work.
What Does It Involve?
A lawyer sits at the pinnacle of the legal profession. This career track, which requires a graduate degree, is also considered financially lucrative. A lawyer is expected to be well-versed with the US legal system and the concepts that guide US jurisprudence. Depending upon your specialty, you could also focus your knowledge and learning on a particular field. For example, a lawyer might wish to specialise in defending those accused of crimes, or instead prefer working as a prosecutor. Some of you might wish to specialize in business takeovers and tax matters, while another lawyer might decide to work with a non-profit or join the government. As almost every interaction with the legal system requires the services of a lawyer, the opportunities to specialize in a particular field are plenty.
Another highly popular career path in the legal field is that of a paralegal. Paralegals and legal assistants work alongside lawyers, helping them with research, filing, administrative tasks, drafting reports and correspondence.
Is It For Me?
The legal field, due to its complexity, demands several specific traits such as attention to detail, an understanding of the secrecy that is often required, a calm demeanor, and of course, perseverance. The ability to remain unbiased in the face of work that might conflict with your beliefs is another valuable trait, and while not all lawyers appear in court (those that do are specialists in litigation), being a good communicator is also essential.
A lawyer’s life is considered to be a rather high pressure one. Both lawyers and other legal workers such as paralegals are routinely faced with late hours, frequent travel, and other high-stress situations.
The qualifications required differ according to the career path you wish to join. For lawyers, the most common study track is a four-year undergraduate degree followed by a two-year law degree. Certification by the American Bar Association might also be required depending on the state you intend to practice in as the law varies across the states.
Lawyers are some of the best-paid professionals around; and the median pay for this profession is far above the average. According to the Department of Labor, around half of all lawyers are employed in the legal services sector, which also employs around 70% of paralegal personnel.
Other sectors of the economy where lawyers can be commonly found include the government, insurance, and finance, while many are also employed as in-house counsel for large businesses and corporations.