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How did lawyers know they actually wanted to be lawyers and I’d taking the right carrier path.

I’m dedicated and really want to be a lawyer but I also want to know how lawyers knew they was going down the right career path and if this is my right career path. career-paths lawyer education

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Gene’s Answer

Nyasia, great question. I remember a time when I too had that on my mind, I knew there was a lot of opportunity ahead of me but I didn't really know what to focus on. I got a degree in Human Resources management, however, I've been in sales most of my life. What led me to both? I enjoy working with people, interacting with them, meeting new people, and sharing my life and work experiences with them. I never thought I would make a career as a sales professional, however, what I found was that my passion for interacting with people took me to sales and has kept me here. There isn't one way to answer your question but what I would tell you is that you should try to find something that you have a passion for, something that interest you to the point that you are willing to lean in and make a commitment to that field. And if you do that, but feel the need to change along the way, that's okay too. I have never regretted learning something new and always look for ways to incorporate what I've learned into the situation in front of me. All the best to you, I know you will do well in whatever field you lean into.
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Desiree’s Answer

I think career paths are winding roads and you need to allow yourself flexibility to follow your interests and change course depending on your life circumstances and the opportunities you have (or the ones you create for yourself!). You can be on the path to become a lawyer and take a straight route. Or you can deviate into something else entirely and branch off from the law completely. Or you can deviate for a while, develop a certain expertise/skill set and then circle back to the law. Or you can start on a totally different highway and exit off that into the law. I know people who have taken all these various "career paths".

I had a career before becoming a lawyer. I saw lawyers in action professionally and decided that I might be good at that, and that I might really be able to contribute. Thus, I ended up going to law school several years after I graduated from college (not directly from my undergraduate degree). Frankly, it allowed me time to make sure law school was really something I wanted, and the time in my first career put me in a better place financially to afford law school (even with scholarships, it still cost a lot!).

So, with all that said, the law is actually my second career path. Even within the law, I went from a big law firm to an in-house legal position within a company. And within my practice, I've started with environmental law and transitioned to anti-corruption law. Once you've become a lawyer, your career path will still continue to unfold!

It is really hard to know the future, so my advice is research the law and what you will need to become a lawyer, then make a plan (& budget, alas all the education required to become a lawyer does cost money). But check in with yourself periodically to ensure you are still comfortable with that plan. And give yourself permission to change the plan, and follow a new path if a different field takes your interest. (The world needs chemists and engineers and architects and nurses and so many other professionals, too!) A lot can change between high school and university, and then between university and law school, and even after law school! Lots of lawyers end up in business or political positions where they do not act as lawyers, but where they rely on the skills they learned in law school and when they practiced law. I honestly do not think there is one "right" career path for you - or any student - because there are so many variables ahead in your life; however, that you can map out what it takes to follow certain professional goals, revisit that road map and make adjustments as needed.

Good luck - in the law or whatever field you end up !