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What is the commitment of time and effort for being a lawyer?

One of my friends doesn't understand how hard it is to be a lawyer.
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Randolph’s Answer

You will need a bachelor’s degree (4 years) and then a law degree (3 more years). Once you graduate, it’s intense studying for the bar exam which they offer twice per year.
As for the time commitment, you’ll need to be all in for this pursuit. Any half effort won’t get the job done.
The mental commitment is the most challenging. It takes a lot simply trying to understand the difference aspects of the law. Knowing how to apply it is another thing.
However, it definitely can be done if you are 100% committed and absolutely worth it once you’ve accomplished everything you set out for. A career in law can be very rewarding.
Good luck to you!!

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Jung Hwa’s Answer

I agree with the two answers above which address the investment you will have to make in your pre-law and legal education. If you decide to move to another state at any point, you may also need to take multiple bar exams, which could take up to 2 months of full-time preparation (and then you have to take a certain number of Continuing Legal Education courses to keep your bar license). There aren't many jobs out there that require you to take a multi-day exam just so you can do the same, exact job in a different state.

But, that's just the beginning. Many newly-minted JDs head to big law firms to pay off law school debt and get rigorous training. These lawyers do not work 9-5 and chill out on weekends...that's because clients' problems and needs do not recognize or respect birthdays, weekends, or holidays. Instead, many of these lawyers work 12+ hour weekdays and often work weekends -- that situation doesn't improve much as you get senior, especially since the compensation structure at big law firms is based entirely on hours of for-profit client work you have done (called "billable hours"). My friends in the public sector have described work schedules that can be just as brutal, for a fraction of the pay.

Don't get me wrong. Being a lawyer can be incredibly fulfilling, but it involves stressful, detail-oriented work that, most of the time, looks nothing like what you've seen on "The Good Wife" or "Law and Order." Whether you are in the private sector or public service, your clients' wellbeing depends on you, and you have to be prepared to work incredibly hard, make many personal sacrifices, and manage that pressure to be a lawyer for the long term.

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Richard’s Answer

To go to law school, you need to get an undergraduate degree. College grades matter to get into law school so you will want to do well. The LSAT is the law school admission test. There are prep books or you can take a course. Law school is 3 years. You can take the Bar exam after 2.5 years though and then finish school. Or you can finish law school and then take the Bar exam. It Texas the Bar is offered in February and July.

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Fiona’s Answer

Firstly it takes a long time to finish studying to become a lawyer.
Working even tougher. I can't answer for all lawyers, but for big firm corporate finance lawyers, life for the first 6-8 years will usually be very very tough. It is an important time where you are expected to do the hours and it is also important you grow and learn (exponentially) during this time. It does get better, once you have sufficient experience, you may be able to change into an inhouse position which will generally provide you with decent salary and good work life balance.

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Estelle’s Answer

Law school requires an enormous amount of reading and absorbing information as well as writing in depth essays and compositions. If you enjoy these things along with philosophy, ethics, and political science, then law school should be right up your alley. The field is very competitive so applicants need good grades and strong LSAT scores. Any field of study that you enjoy should be challenging but won't be too difficult to master. Good luck!

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