It’s a career type that tends to get a lot of flak, and is often portrayed in a negative light on the big screen. Being a lawyer, though, doesn’t have to be about bad suits, bad choices, or bad manners. A legal career can be a wonderful calling and offer a huge amount of opportunities and job satisfaction.
Whether you’re trying to work out a path of employment after you leave school, or have been working for years and need a career change, choosing to join the legal industry might be just what you’re looking for. While it does take a committed person to take on the time and financial investments needed, there are plenty of compensations to keep in mind. Read on for some of the top reasons you should consider becoming a lawyer.
1. The Ability to Help Others
Many lawyers join the legal profession because they want the chance to help make the world a better place. Whether you’re interested in environmental, family, business, civil rights, personal injury, immigration, or military law, to name a few, there are many opportunities to use legal skills to help people, animals, and the environment. Lawyers are in a position to help protect individuals, groups, companies, and the voiceless — such as children, animals, and the planet.
Lawyers have a chance to further the public good and have an impact on the way the world runs. Many people in the legal profession perform pro-bono work during their career. This helps under-served parts of the population (like children, victims of abuse, the elderly, the marginalised, and low-income clients), who might not otherwise be able to afford the services of a lawyer.
One of the best perks of being a lawyer is the flexibility it affords, in many different areas. For a start, many people in the legal profession have the ability to set their own fees, choose their hours, and select the clients they want to work with. In addition, the industry is one in which there are dozens of specialised areas to work in.
Lawyers can pick and choose the type of subject matter they want to work on during their career, or even change their specialty multiple times if they feel like they want to learn about another field or simply need a new job. If you join the legal profession you can choose to take a variety of paths during your lifetime, from working as a public defender, to starting your own legal firm, or sitting on the board of a multinational organisation. You can choose to join a boutique law firm and work across multiple fields, or you can work for a leading company such as Claims Direct, a trading name of Slater and Gordon, employing more than 1,200 staff in the UK. No matter what your interests or preference, you’re sure to enjoy the flexibility a career in the legal industry provides.
3. Transferable Skills
Although the costs, in both time and money, of going to law school are high, once you receive your legal qualifications you will always have that knowledge. Unlike money and prestige, education can never be lost, and will continue to stand you in good stead throughout your career. Even if, over the years, you feel like you need a change of pace and want to explore opportunities outside the legal arena, you’ll always be able to use the skills you picked up during study and while practicing law. Having a legal degree can open up lots of doors to new opportunities in many different career areas, and often serves as a stepping stone for people during their life. Legal skills can be utilised in many other industries and job types, from academia and consulting, to writing, management, mediation, law enforcement, and more.
4. Earning Potential
If you’re looking for a well-paid and solid career choice, joining the legal industry might be the right choice. Lawyers tend to be one of the highest-paid professional groups around, and attorney salaries tend to sit well above the national average in most countries around the world. Indeed, some of the top lawyers across the globe are able to fetch million-dollar incomes, thereby setting them up for life. If earning potential is important to you, take some time to consider the firm you will work for, the geographic area you’ll practice in, and the particular legal specialty you will choose. Lawyers who are the top paid are generally living and practicing in major cities, work for large law firms (or own their own) and become a specialist in their field.
5. The Intellectual Challenge
Anyone wanting a career that will continually see them stretching themselves intellectually should consider becoming a lawyer. Beyond the initial years of study, those in the legal profession need to stay constantly up to date on new laws and continue to hone their problem-solving, negotiating, relationship-building, analytic, and creative-thinking skills to succeed. Whether working on billion-dollar business mergers, trade-secret patents, tricky family law situations, or top criminal cases, lawyers are constantly challenged to wield their intellectual abilities.