2 answers
Updated Viewed 303 times Translate

What are some of the psychological strains of being a lawyer?

I'm sure that there are some because they come with pretty much any job you choose. However, I am interested in becoming a lawyer and would like to know how it would affect me psychologically.
#law #lawyer


+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you
2
100% of 2 Pros

2 answers


Updated Translate

Jeanette’s Answer

Being a lawyer is not a "nine to five" job.  The demands can be unpredictable and the work hours long.  Depending on the particular area of practice you may wind up working a lot of weekends and holidays.  There is a lot of stress involved because there are many deadlines to meet in law.  Often your work depends on the cooperation of others, which is not always forthcoming.  Your own client can turn out to be your worst enemy when the client does not follow your advice.  Law requires that you face hostile witnesses, hostile opposing counsel, hostile judges and at times hostile clients and a lot of uncomfortable situations.  You are always under pressure to keep up with changes in law and technology.  Your work is not always appreciated.  However, despite these aspects of the practice of law it is a rewarding and interesting way to make a living.  You do not outgrow this profession as you would a profession that requires the strength or beauty of youth.  You have the potential to make a good living.  Not all lawyers become rich, but the practice of law does give you the means to "make a living wage". 

Jeanette recommends the following next steps:

Use the search "what it is like to practice law" and read a few articles and books about the legal profession.
Saved!
I am not sure where you are in your education but if you have the opportunity to participate in a "job shadowing" day I recommend that you look into "shadowing" a lawyer.
Saved!
Try to schedule "informational" interviews with a few different practicing attorneys. I recommend that you contact the state or local bar association and find out if they have any programs for answering questions of students who are considering the legal profession as a career. For example, I am licensed to practice law in Tennessee which has a Tennessee Bar Association and Georgia which has a Georgia Bar Association. Different cities have bar associations.
Saved!

2
100% of 2 Pros
Updated Translate

Mary’s Answer

The biggest stressors I have found in my friends who have completed law school (I went and did not complete it yet due to fiscal difficulties) have been long hours, difficulty getting paid, and/or finding positions if they did not want to open their own firm. Certain areas of the law - criminal defense and family law, specifically, are very high output with little reward in terms of money. Most clients don't anticipate having a nasty divorce or getting into trouble with the law. As such, they don't usually have the money to hire an attorney. Usually this means that you get the retainer and then struggle to get paid any further once that money has run out. The very first law office I worked at was for an attorney who ran her own firm and did private family law and criminal defense. Additionally, she was a public defender in at least 3 counties in the state. She cobbled together the incomes from all of them in order to make her living and she was never home and it was crazy. I promised myself when I complete law school and become licensed, I would take a field that is more regulated. I have since looked into utility/energy law. Other friends who completed school are working in insurance companies and other places because they did not want to open their own firm but have difficulties joining other firms and making what they'd like salary-wise. The market is a smidge flooded in some areas of law.

0