Hi! so..I've been thinking hard about WHY exactly I'd want to take law. I was wondering if maybe you could share some of your reasons for deciding to take law, so I can get inspired as to why? #law#attorney#law-school#college#lawyer#major
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Technical Project Manager
Hi Bnc, I am not a lawyer and did not go to law school, but I did choose to take some intro to law classes in college. For me, I was interested in learning more about how laws are made and the reason behind laws. Laws are all around us every day, and I had never taken the time to take a closer look at them. I thought the class was really interesting because we read summaries of cases and supreme court rulings and learned some of the law vocabulary. It helped me to understand the "fine print," contracts, and all sorts of everyday things I hadn't given much thought to before. For instance, you know the caution contents may be hot phrase on coffee cups? That's there because someone sued for getting burnt by their coffee. It sounds silly, but look at the impact that has had in every day life of millions of people! There's also an aspect of law about finding "fair" and the "truth." I have friends that are lawyers because this appeals to them. They want to represent people and help them fight for what's right. Sometimes these people also like to argue or debate with others.
I can't answer why you want to take law, but maybe this insight will help you uncover that. Trust your gut instincts!
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Kevin T. Kramer
Kevin T.’s Answer
That's a really good question. I am a lawyer and happy that I chose this career path. I really didn't know what I wanted to do coming out of college, but I did know that I enjoyed school and that I didn't want to go straight into the workforce. I chose to go to law school because law is such a diverse field and you can do just about anything with a legal degree. I'm glad I went because I had a great time in law school. I met friends that I've had for my entire life, and I made great memories during my time in school. I've also had an interesting career and held many different roles. For example, I've worked for the United States Government, the United Nations, a private law firm, and Yahoo! during my career. I've litigated disputes in court, I've counseled clients on their activities, I've worked on detailed agreements and transactions for my clients, and I've lobbied both federal and state regulators and politicians.
I would also say that being a lawyer puts you in the position of helping people solve their problems, which can be motivating and is generally a good thing. For example, I spent a lot of years litigating patent cases for Yahoo!, which I found very interesting, and Yahoo! needed me to resolve those cases for them.
If you are not sure what you want to do in life, but want to help people, then going to law school and being a lawyer is a good first step. Once in law school, you can take many different classes and decide what subject area of the law you like, such as constitutional law, criminal law, or intellectual property law to name a few areas. After that, you can decide whether you want to work in a big company or a small one, whether you want to be in a law firm, in-house in a company, with the government, or a non-profit, whether you want to do counseling work or transactional work or litigation.
The one thing I will say about being a lawyer is that it can require long hours of work, particularly early in your career, so that you can develop expertise and good judgment in your chosen field of law. But that's going to be required in any job you do if you want to be successful, law is no different.
Despite the long hours, as a lawyer you generally get very interesting projects to work on. Those projects keep your mind active and challenged to constantly learn new things and to think creatively.
Generally, most lawyers I know work indoors, and spend a lot of time on their computers reading and writing documents. They also spend a lot of time talking to their clients. So there are times when you are by yourself, and other times when you have to have good people skills.
I hope this gives you some insights as to what it's like to be a lawyer and why you might want to consider it as a career.
Work on your writing ability. The best lawyers I know are really good writers.
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Adam Di Stefano
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
There's already some great answers to your question, but I thought I would give you a different perspective. I have a law degree, but I work in an unrelated field. When I first went to law school, I didn't make the choice for the right reason. I probably watched too many legal dramas on TV and thought that being a lawyer was a way to spend all my time arguing in court while wearing fancy suits. (by the way, is a really terrible reason to become a lawyer).
The people I went to school with who were happiest at school and in their careers afterwards, are those who actually found the law very interesting. And by the law, I mean every aspect of the law. How laws get created, how they get interpreted, how they impact people, etc. You need to love reading and writing (because you'll do a lot of it). And it helps if you have an idea of what you want to do with the law degree afterwards.
That said, I should note that getting a law degree doesn't mean you need to become a lawyer. For example, I work in Marketing and in Technology. A law degree is a great degree that opens a lot of doors, and even though probably half the people I went to law school didn't end up practicing law, I don't know anyone who regrets law school. If nothing else, law school with teach you a new way to read, write and even think that you can then apply to whatever career you want to do next.
Coming back to my own story. Part of the reason I went to law school was that I didn't know what else I wanted to do at the time. In the end, I have no regrets.