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What is it like to be a lawyer?


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Jen’s Answer

My spouse has been practicing law for over 5 years, so that's where I looked for some insight on your question!

Being a lawyer can be a LOT of work - but it can be fulfilling work. It's a lot more reading and writing than people think. Trials aren't as common as people think either, unless you are involved in criminal law. It is an exciting job with unique challenges and opportunities. There are so many practices that can combine a passion for law with other pursuits. For example, patent law would be great for an individual with a science or engineering background. There are many other fields as well, like personal injury, criminal law, family law, and real estate law.

If you are interested in becoming a lawyer make sure to to prepare well for the LSAT. You can also look to your local prosecutor's office to seek out internships opportunities as most are more than willing to take college students on.


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Fiona’s Answer

There are many many different areas of law and they are vastly different. When you begin your degree, try to seize every opportunity to try out different areas of law - for example, you can apply to different internships with law firms (international firms will normally specialise in corporate / finance matters, whilst smaller firms may specialise in commercial / family / property matters), try out mini-pupillages with barrister chambers (I am not sure if the system applies where you are, but common law system will distinguish between solicitors and barristers). I started off thinking I would be suited for litigious work, but after one summer at barrister chambers, I discovered it is definitely not something I am suited to. I then applied for international firms and discovered that Banking and Finance is my area. Transactional work is very different to litigious work generally.

Be prepared to work hard. For the first six years of my career I was hardly ever home before mid night. It is tough because the learning curve in many areas is often very steep. But it does get much better after that and it is simply a stage that most lawyers have to go through.

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Russell’s Answer

It all depends on what type of lawyer you want to be and what type of law you want to practice. For example, litigation attorneys live very different lives from non-litigation attorneys and in-house attorneys (lawyers who work for companies like Google, Amazon, etc.) live very different lives from attorneys who work in law firms.

That said, being an attorney can be very rewarding as long as you find the type of practice that suits your personality and lifestyle. If you are considering a career as a lawyer I would strongly urge you to find internships for law firms and/or legal departments within businesses as that will give you best experience to help you make the decision that is right for you.


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Jenna’s Answer

Each lawyer has a different opinion of what it is like. I think it's usually a great thing- I like helping my clients solve their problems and arrive at fair and equitable solutions. It's not as glamorous as it looks on television, but I get a lot of satisfaction from it. If you are interested in litigating, your practice will be very different from a more transactional practice. Talk to your school to see if there are any internship programs or opportunities to shadow lawyers that are practicing in your field of interest.


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