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What is it like getting out of law school and trying to get a job?

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I am interested in becoming a lawyer, and have heard from some that getting a job out of law school is hard. I also am wondering if being a lawyer is actually what I want to do. #lawschool #lawyer #law #law-practice

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Eula’s Answer

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Hi Alexis C,

I am not an attorney, but I can give you my perspective on this, because I am a citizen.


Being a lawyer is a noble thing. It is also it is a matter of character.

The law is about rights, and when someone's rights are violated, the law, through the person called the lawyer, and understands the law, seeks to rectify the wrong done and how to remedy it.


The law is all about rectitude, integrity, honesty and justice.

Being fair to others and making sure that others are fair to you and to each other. Lawyers make sure that things are fair for others and when it's not, they seek to make things right.

You must know that some people, do not know how to behave. They take your things, push you, say nasty words, some people lie and hit other or hit girls, or play dirty pranks to make others feel bad. Well, most of them end up in detention centers, a lawyer defends them when he thinks they are innocent.


Any job is not hard, but getting the best jobs is, because the best jobs are only for the best qualified people.

It's like a race and you must run faster then everyone else. For this you must study and focus on the course material. Do not be afraid, there is a wonderful world out there waiting for you to come out of college or university, but you must start NOW. Put your mind to it and you will make it.

Don't do things because they are easy, if you are diligent they won't be hard, because you understand the material. Start with the easy stuff first and then go to more difficult things. If you hate it after a while, then perhaps being a lawyer is not for you. But do explore all the things that you have interest in.


Easy things come and go and are a dime a dozen. Do the things that you LOVE doing, and you will be good at it because you like it. They become easier and easier later.


I started learning japanese, and really in the beginning didn't understand a thing, but I applied myself and today I can read and write and speak fairly decently. I understand the full language now, but about 5 years ago had to really pay attention and repeat the same phrases. Today it is a lot easier and don't find it difficult at all.


This is a way to find out if you want to be a lawyer. Find two friends who have had an argument with each other, or perhaps got into a fight. Listen to both of them without saying anything, and decide who is right and why. If you can detect this much, and find who is right and who is wrong and be able to explain it, you will be a wonderful lawyer. If you like doing this, this tells you it is a match.


It really is about always doing the right thing and finding out who has done wrong, who is innocent and who is right or guilty. You must also be able to express it. You need heavy duty English language skills.

Lawyers work with a lot of documents, a lot. You must understand them all.


Let me know if this helps, OK?

Eula recommends the following next steps:

  • Make sure you never do anything wrong, this is your character, and you must listen to your conscience to know when you are doing things right and doing the right thing. This is integrity and you must have it to be a good lawyer.
  • There are many fields of law. business law, immigration law, criminal law, corporate law, real estate law, tax law. Later you will decide which one you like
  • Your next visit to the library, search for the United States Constitution, and search for Justice and the Judicial System and the court system.
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Alexandra (Sasha)’s Answer

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Alexis, it sounds like you're in college maybe and deciding your next steps?


The beauty of law and law school is that it prepares you for so many types of jobs in addition to being a lawyer. Law school hones your ability to read, analyze, and write on complex material, and encourages improvements in organization skills, time management, etc. Those skills will serve you well no matter what path you ultimately choose.


Besides that, law is an incredibly broad field. Almost anything you might be interested in, or passionate about, probably has a law component that is more or less directly involved. Many industries are regulated, anything with a customer component will have contract, employment, or intellectual property issues, entertainment of course has IP and talent management issues, anything to do with the environment, real estate, will have conservation issues, air/water quality, etc. Retail of course has production and products liability issues. So if the law appeals to you, are very likely going to be able to match it to a passion of yours, topically, and be able to have a satisfying career.


As for jobs, the typical progression is that after first year of law school, most kids get some type of unpaid internship, and then in the fall of your second year, there are many law firms that come to campus for on campus interviews. They come find you, rather than vice versa. If you do well, these firms will offer you a position for second year summer and if you do well there, for a post-graduation position. Do your best with your classes, and extras such as law journal and/or moot court are very helpful. Even if the on campus interviews don't pan out for you, any law school has a career office where they can help you to look for something in or out of a law firm, public service (i.e. not so much corporate), judge clerkships, etc. They have that support system built in.


So yeah, it's a pretty good career.

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Kim’s Answer

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Alexis,

You are right to be concerned. There are all kinds of stats out there about lawyers not finding jobs. I would suggest that while you are looking into it, you also look at Paralegal programs. Paralegals can do almost anything a lawyer can do, but the education is cheaper, and you are operating under the lawyer's license, so he is the one who has to be concerned about making sure your work is right.


Brand new paralegals often start with basic work, like interviewing clients, assembling documents, etc. But in time, they are working on trials, drafting motions, etc.


Different states have different standards, and in fact, many states don't regulate paralegals yet, although this is shifting. As far as education, you can get an Associate's Degree in Paralegal Studies. Or, get a Bachelor's degree in anything, and then get a paralegal certificate. There are also a couple of organizations that "certify" paralegals, but this is not usually required. It is all in a state of flux. In fact, one state, I think Oregon(?) has limited practice paralegals, who can actually work on their own doing very basic legal work!


Law is very hard work, very tedious, and very rewarding. I was able to sit through some pre-trial activities with my attorney, and he let me participate as though I was his paralegal. It was exciting!!


Kim

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Mitch’s Answer

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I would recommend taking some law courses in college and getting an internship or office job part time in a court or law office to decide if you are passionate about the study of law.

Many young people who do not investigate the practice, attend law school only to find out once they leave school that the practice of law was not what they envisioned it would be in school.
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