If you’re considering law school, you’re taking the initial step toward a potentially rewarding career in the legal profession. A legal education can be one of the most challenging and fulfilling endeavors an individual will pursue in their lifetime.
However, becoming a lawyer is NOT for everyone. Below are five pros and five cons of a law career that every college student needs to know before they choose their career path:
Pros of a career in law:
The legal profession has long been regarded as a noble and elite profession. This image is further bolstered by the portrayal of legal careers in the media as exciting, glamorous, fast-paced, and desirable. As a result, the legal profession has held its allure, and law remains one of the most sought-after professions in today’s job market.
A lawyer’s work does not get monotonous. Each case is different and so is each transaction (in the case of corporate lawyers). Their work demands plenty of legal research and rational thinking.
The legal profession is one of the most lucrative industries in today’s job market. Double-digit growth in recent years has produced healthy revenues and rising salaries.
The legal profession is always changing and evolving, bringing new challenges and rewards. Legal professionals must be problem solvers and innovators, willing to assume new responsibilities, tackle new challenges, master new technology, and navigate an ever-evolving legal system.
More firms and corporations are crossing international borders and expanding across the globe through mergers, acquisitions, consolidation, and collaboration with foreign counsel. The globalization of the legal profession provides today’s professional with the opportunity to serve international clients.
Cons of a career in law:
Law school is expensive and takes at least three years of your life. In addition, law school is only the first step on the road to becoming an effective lawyer.
Rising workloads and shrinking staff translate into more work hours for lawyers. The demands of global law practice also mean many lawyers must be available to clients around the clock. Today’s lawyers work longer and harder than ever, and 50+ hour workweeks are not uncommon. In addition to billing hours, today’s competitive environment has forced lawyers to spend more time on client development and business management activities. Consequently, many lawyers complain of a lack of adequate work-life balance.
Deadlines, client demands, long hours, and changing laws make the practice of law stressful. It’s no wonder why law practice can be hard on marriages and families.
#4—Myth of high rewards
Success in law is unlikely to make you one of the “super rich,” if that’s your dream. Like any other profession, not all lawyers are rich and successful. However, the legal profession is generally rewarding, both personally and financially.
#5—Competitive job market
Solo practitioners worry where there next case is coming from and stress that their professional life can sometimes be full of insecurity. Some associates report that law firm life can be a soul-crushing experience. Increased competitive pressures have forced many lawyers to settle for less-than-ideal employment or to change their career altogether.
As you consider your options, hopefully, these tips will help you decide if becoming an attorney is the correct choice for you. As you make your decision, I encourage you to speak with people in your network who have already gone through the process – practicing lawyers, current law students, law school professors, career counselors, and executive and legal recruiters. All of these people will have direct experience with the decision you are about to make and can assist in sorting through the information in this process.
Are you considering law school? Do you have additional questions? Please feel free to reach out to any consultant on the Lexacount Search Consulting team at 215-740-0104 or at [email protected] for information and answers tailored to your specific set of circumstances.