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What is the life of a lawyer?

I know most shows only show cases all the time but I wanna know what actually happens on a basis. #lawyer

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Chase’s Answer

Hi Brayden,

Thanks for your question. I am a lawyer and have been fortunate enough to work and intern in different legal settings. I have interned with a Superior Court Judge and also with several District Attorney Offices in Georgia. After getting my law degree, I had the opportunity to work in a small firm (less than 5 attorneys), medium firm (about 120 attorneys), in-house for a private company, and I currently work at a global accounting/consulting firm. Therefore, I've had many different experiences and exposures to different working environments and practices.

It has been a rewarding career but there is no average "day to day" of a lawyer as the needs and demands of each day depend on the needs of your client, deadlines, etc. Also, the life of a lawyer depends on your practice area. If you choose to be a litigator, then you will be preparing for court and trying/settling cases on a regular basis. If you are a corporate or transnational lawyer, you will likely never to go court and will be working on contractual matters such as buying and selling business, starting a business, real estate, contracts, etc. If you are a tax lawyer (this is what I do), you will almost never go to court and you will be involved in analyzing tax law to a particular set of facts, assisting in structuring transactions, or dealing with the IRS or State Revenue Department over the phone or in-person for tax controversy matters. Thus, the life of a lawyer depends on which area you practice, whether you work for a law firm, in-house, or government, and what type of lifestyle you would like to live. I hope this answers your question!

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Sam’s Answer

That is a really tough question, I was engaged in contract negotiation every day of the years that I practiced. So, for me the job consisted of 60% reading and document review, 30% active negotiation with my counterpart on the other side of the negotiation, and 10% administrative task for my job (meetings, trainings, et cetera).

If one were to have a more conventional litigation or general practice, his or her answer would differ dramatically from mine. I was in a large corporate department and I learned quickly that it wasn't a good fit for me, but that is going to depend on your personality.

I would caution you that the actual day to day work of a lawyer is almost nothing like you see on TV/movies. It is often extremely tedious, with occasional bursts of extremely high intensity work. For every moment that you see of passionate debate in the courtroom, there are hours spent reviewing legal precedent, and writing motions and briefs.

I'd say that Chase hits the nail on the head. As any good lawyer will respond to any question, the answer is: "it depends."

Sam recommends the following next steps:

Reach out to your network of family and friends and see if there's an attorney in a particular area of your interest, ask if you can shadow that person for a day.