Is becoming a lawyer worth it?
I'm thinking about becoming an environmental lawyer, but I've heard law school is draining both financially and emotionally. Was it worth the effort put in? Are some types of law more fulfilling than others? Do you regret becoming a lawyer? Is there anything you would do differently?
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I can always go back into law, but I'm pretty content where I am now, and I don't regret law school at all. The most satisfying area of law will be the one that you enjoy the most - some people love working for non profits to advance social justice, whereas some people love paperwork and mergers. It really does depend on your interest. (By the way, environmental law can applies to many areas - so you have to find out which environmental sector you are interested in) Another good tip is that you don't have to major in traditional subjects like political science, it's actually to your advantage to have a major that is unique - ex: computer science major + law degree = can result in legal jobs at tech companies.
This was my 2 cents on this topic - and I hope it shed some light on your question. If possible, I would also seek the opinion and advice of other people that have practiced environmental law to get more focused answers and insight to that particular practice. Best of luck!
Your choice as an environmental lawyer is promising in that there Is now a growing awareness of environmental degradation and people are suing for damages as people pollute neighborhoods.
In this light it is good you go for your dream and with many scholarships around you will succeed . Forget what the pessimists are saying as you switch to any kind of law if you find that kind not feasible.
Jenna Zebrowski, JD, MBA
Having the edcuation and getting legal training won't hurt but only help you whether you stay in the industry or decide to venture out. In this complex day and age, having the legal knowledge, analytical skillset, and also a degree may help you whatever you do in your life. Having said that, I did not enjoy law school. Finding a job after graduation was also a challenge. (Perhaps the subprime mortgage crash had something to do with the job hunt? :) ) And even after a decade of practicing in the field, there are challenges that seem too daunting.
It is important to know what you like and want for yourself in life. I switched from Psychology to Law when I realized that I am a hands-on person who gets great reward by helping others (in small or more impactful way). While research is very important, I wanted to be on the ground helping people (and companies) and have an immediate impact. As a lawyer, I feel like I can do that both within and outside of my day job. If you know what makes you feel happy and rewarded, and you think the law will be able to provide you with that, I think it's worth the investment (time, money, also the pain). Good luck!
I think that becoming a lawyer is definitely worth it if you have the conviction of becoming one. Before going to law school, maybe you could some work in the area that you are interested (i.e. law firm) to see if it something you really enjoy.
I've been an attorney for 16 years and my initial 6 years were spent in large law firms in Silicon Valley. The work was tough but the training was invaluable. Generally, law firm life gives you the breadth of work that is hard to find anywhere else. You can work 16-18 hour days when you are staffed on a deal or case, which is draining. If I had to stay in a law firm for my whole career, I probably wouldn't be able to last. However, after 6 years in law firms, I moved in-house to a technology company. The next 8 years were spent learning how to be the in-house legal advisor for a technology company. I am a corporate attorney but I also learned how to be a product licensing attorney. I later became General Counsel of the company, managing the legal team. Now as General Counsel of a start-up, I find my work to be extremely rewarding. I am part of the executive team and advise my fellow executives on matters pertaining to product, law, employment, patents, trademarks and general corporate. The breadth of work is what keeps me on my toes and that's what I love about my job. As General Counsel, I'm not only a lawyer but also a business partner.
Before you confirm what area of law you would like to practice and decide whether you want to go to law school, I recommend the following:
Lily recommends the following next steps: