If you are currently dreaming of going to law school or if you are getting ready to graduate with your law degree, you could be thinking ahead about what life will be like when you are actually a lawyer. Of course, the legal profession can be a great one to be involved in, but everything isn’t always rosy. These are some of the things that you should know about working as a lawyer so that you’re prepared for your new industry.
1. You May Have to Take On Cases That You Don’t Like
For one thing, you should know that during your career, you might end up having to take cases that you don’t like. As a criminal defense lawyer, you may have to defend individuals who have been accused of committing heinous crimes. In other areas of law, you could end up taking on cases that are boring and uninteresting. It’s important to be prepared for this.
2. You Can Make a Good Living
You might have spent a lot of money going to law school, so you are probably hoping to make a good living as a lawyer. Luckily, it’s true that you can make a good living as an attorney. Even though you might not start out making the big bucks that you have been hoping for, with a little bit of time and experience, you can start making an above-average income. Then, you can repay those student loans and focus on living a good, upper-middle class life. Of course, how much you make will depend on a lot of things, including the type of law that you practice, the area that you live and work in and the firm that you work at.
3. You’ll Probably Have to Put in a Lot of Hours
If you think that you have spent a lot of time on classes and studying when in law school, you should know that you won’t suddenly get a break when you become a lawyer. Many attorneys, especially those who are just starting out and who are trying to prove themselves and move up within their firms, end up putting in a lot of hours each week.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with working hard, particularly when you’re in a career that you love. However, it’s important to make sure that you take care of yourself and that you maintain something of a work-life balance so that you don’t get burnt out.
4. You’ll Have a Lot of Options
For one thing, you get to decide what area of law you would like to practice in. You also have other options beyond that. You can choose to work in a legal aid office or other office that helps people with lower incomes, or you can look for a job in a large, impressive and well-known firm in a big city. You can work in a small-town firm with a couple of other lawyers, or you can even go into business for yourself. You can even choose to work on the legal team for a big corporation. Your opportunities are practically endless.
5. You Still Have a Lot to Learn
Don’t assume that just because you did well in law school means that you know everything that you should know. A good lawyer learns new things each day in the courtroom or when working with colleagues. Studying, taking continuing education courses and otherwise staying involved after you become a lawyer can help you learn as much as possible and be the best lawyer that you can be.
6. It’s Important to Stay Organized
Staying organized is very important when you’re a lawyer. If you are someone who is disorganized, it’s a good idea to get in the habit of taking notes, keeping your files organized and using a traditional or digital calendar to keep track of court dates, appointments with clients and more.
7. Networking is Important
Networking is important for lawyers. It’s good to stay in touch with colleagues you have worked with in the past, people you know from law school and others who you meet along the way. They may be able to help you with complicated cases, or they might help you by sending referrals your way. In turn, you can help them in similar ways.
8. It’s Important to Market Yourself and Your Firm Digitally
Many people are looking for answers to their legal questions online nowadays. Marketing yourself and your law firm online is important if you want to keep up.
9. It Can Be Fulfilling
Even though there are some frustrating things that go along with being a lawyer, it can be very rewarding and fulfilling work. After all, you can help people with their legal concerns and can enjoy new challenges and new people each and every day.
As you can see, there are a lot of things that you need to know about being a lawyer. As time goes on, keeping these things in mind can help you flourish in your new career.