People are drawn to the legal field for many reasons. Being a lawyer will present you with many challenges. If you’re considering a career as an attorney, you should make sure you know what the job will be like. Read on to learn more about what it’s like to work in law.
Lawyers Don’t Spend Much Time In a Courtroom
If you’re drawn to the legal field because of the courtroom scenes you’ve seen in movies and TV, this might not be the right line of work for you. The typical attorney spends the majority of their time working in the office. There are many lawyers that never set foot in a courtroom.
A big part of the job is researching cases and handling paperwork. Lawyers are also expected to do a lot of writing. Legal briefs, contracts, and memos are just some of the many documents a lawyer is expected to write.
It Can Take Time to Build a Career
You’ll have to invest time and money if you want to enter the legal business. Typically, you’ll need to complete a four-year degree as well as a three-year law school program to become a lawyer. You’ll also have to pass the bar exam. Some people need to sit for the exam multiple times before they pass.
According to a study, most lawyers in the U.S. are between the ages of 45 and 54. Even if you get a job at a respected law firm right away, it may be a long time before you rise through the firm’s ranks.
Laws Can Vary from State to State
While federal laws apply to all 50 states in the U.S., many other laws can vary from one state to the next. For example, in Virginia, there’s a two-year statute of limitation on product liability claims. In Minnesota, the statute of limitations is four years.
These differences can make things challenging for lawyers that want to practice in a new area. You’ll have to pass the state bar before you can work in a different state. With that said, if you’ve already passed the Uniform Bar Exam in one state, you may be able to transfer your score to the new state.
There Are Many Areas of Practice
One of the best things about working in the legal business is that you can decide on the area of practice you’d like to focus on. Some attorneys primarily handle criminal cases, while others focus on other aspects of the law. The experience you’ll have on the job may vary based on the field you choose to practice in.
A field that’s seen significant interest in recent years is cybercrime. There’s been a 300% increase in cybercrime since 2020. Other areas of practice that you may want to consider include business law, family, and environmental law.
Most Lawyers Work Long Hours
No matter what field you choose to practice in, working as a lawyer isn’t easy. It’s not unusual for a lawyer to work evenings or even weekends, especially if their firm is in the middle of a big case.
While some people practice law part-time, the majority of lawyers have full-time jobs. Furthermore, lawyers typically work more than 40 hours in the typical week. Before you become a lawyer, ask yourself if you’re prepared to handle the demands of this career.
It can be tough to make it through law school, and working as an attorney can be even harder. While legal work isn’t easy, becoming a lawyer could be an excellent option if you want a fast-paced career with lots of challenges. You may also want to consider other legal professions, such as working as a paralegal or a court clerk.