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What's interesting about being a lawyer?

My mom's really interested in law TV shows like Law and Order or Bull, but I don't see the appeal. What's interesting about being a lawyer? #law #lawyer #attorney

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Fiona’s Answer

I won't lie, when I was young I thought being a lawyer was like how tv shows portrayed them (think Ally McBeal)! I used to love debating and drama at school and thought this was what lawyering would encompass.
When i began my internships during my summer holidays whilst at law school, I was fortunate to be exposed to many different areas of law and realised that my preconceptions were very misguided! I was very much attracted to finance transactional work. As a junior lawyer in the banking and finance department of my firm, I learned how to manage transactions, draft complex agreements and fine tuned my legal knowledge in certain areas. The work was very tough but very rewarding because the learning curve was very steep.

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Richard’s Answer

My wife is an attorney. Her dad told her when she was little that she would argue with a wall. That planted the seed in her head! As silly as it sounds, the shows, books, and movies she watched in high school also intrigued her and made her want to study law. She truly loved her law school classes and learning to read cases. She also likes helping people now that feel like going the legal route to solve their problems is their last hope.

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Randolph’s Answer

The pros and cons of being a lawyer. I’ll start with the cons.
I am a divorce lawyer. I doubt anyone goes into law saying they want to be a divorce lawyer. I happened into this area because I had a very good friend that was one and mentored me at a time where I needed to find income.
As a divorce lawyer, I am in court on average I’d say twice per week. The other days I’m in the office preparing paperwork or talking to clients (or potential clients).
The major con of this profession is that my clients are at one of the worst parts of their lives. They have an ex that is trying to battle them in court for their kids or their money, or both. It can get really nasty and I hear the very ugly things people are doing to each other. Sometimes I am the only person they can talk to about their problems because they are too embarrassed to tell their friends and family. Regardless if they have support, I am the person they always need to vent with. I have different clients calling me at all different times complaining about the horrible thing their ex did to them or their kids. I then need to think of the best way to help them in their situation. Sometimes it’s just a letter to their ex’s attorney. Other times it’s filing a motion in court to make their ex do something or refrain from doing something. The constant battling can be very stressful.
An occasional con is when something needs to be filed and time is short. This is rare but once in a while there is the need to do whatever it takes to get things filed on time. For example, when there is a large trial, you need to prepare a trial brief (which explains your clients position on all issues), a witness list, an exhibit list, and you need to prepare all of the exhibits. Preparing the exhibit can take a lot of time because you have to go back and review the entire file to pick out the documents you think are important for the court to see. I’ve had to pull more than a few all-nighters for especially big cases.
The last con would be that sometimes it is difficult to get the clients to pay. This is especially true after I have performed my services and they don’t need me anymore. I may have been the hero when I was battling in court and getting them what they wanted, but when their case is done, it’s like pulling teeth to get them to pay. That is why attorneys try to get all of their money up front. But that is not always possible.
I hope I didn’t scare you off already because their are many pros to being an attorney as well.
The first obvious pro is the money. Attorneys can charge whatever they want. It’s really whatever the market will allow them. I charge $350 per hour. This rate has allowed me to have a very comfortable life style with nice vacations and not have to worry about living paycheck to paycheck. Now my income varies from month to month depending on how many cases come in and other factors. But in some months I earn more than many people earn in an entire year. That is a definite pro!
Because I have my own practice, I make my own hours. This can be really fun sometimes. If I don’t have court and don’t feel like going into the office, I simply take the day off and do what I want. If I don’t have court in the morning, I can sleep in to whatever time I feel like going into the office. Really nice!
As for divorce law, as much as I told you how stressful it can be fighting the ex and battling in court, when everything is done it can be extremely rewarding to see my clients so happy that everything worked out and they are so thankful that I was able to help them get their lives back in order. Sometimes it makes me feel like all that studying and preparing to be an attorney was worth it. When I know I made a difference for the better in a person’s life, it is a really good feeling.
Lastly, a pro of being an attorney in general is knowing that no one can mess with you. Knowing the law is just a very powerful tool to have. Whether it’s myself, a friend or family having trouble with some company, for example, I simply write a letter and things get resolved. An attorney is one of the highest positions in society and there is instant respect and admiration from everyone you will come in contact with for the rest of your life. That alone is worth all of the hard work it took to get to this position.
I hope this helps you in your decision making. Good luck!!!

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Laura’s Answer

I would say this depends on what type of law you are practicing. No two attorneys or law practices are the same. I am a tax and estate attorney and take on the role of mediator in certain situations. I don't find litigation, bullying tactics, arguments, or legal games enjoyable so I tend to keep these aspects of the legal field out of my practice if I can help it. For me, I enjoy getting to know my clients. I take the role of counselor very seriously and enjoy the many different aspects of that role. For a lot of people, I act as a calming force for the storms in their lives. For my estate planning, helping people build up a plan for their futures, and understanding that a plan is necessary in this finite world, really drives me. I also enjoy the constantly evolving laws in my fields. Tax is like a puzzle. In most instances, there are definite answers to your questions. It's ever evolving and quite fascinating. I enjoy the mental challenges. I focus on helping my clients navigate life and I love it. I decided to become an attorney to be a voice for others and to be able to help guide people through the complications of the law, and I find myself doing that nearly every day.

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Jackie’s Answer

Practicing law is definitely not as exciting as Law and Order, at least not for the vast majority of us! I once had a professor say that practicing law "is not like Law and Order or Ally McBeal (2000s tv show)". It can be really fun and rewarding, but it can also have times where it is super boring and tedious, as with any profession. The difference is you have an advanced degree and a lot of respect once you start practicing. Just NEVER STOP LEARNING!