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Reality of being a lawyer

Is being a lawyer like in the series Suits, where there are big cases and one has to go to court all the time?

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Jenna’s Answer

I am a lawyer in the US and I can say that Suits is a TV show and it's not an accurate reflection of a lawyer's daily job. I never go to court, since my practice is transactional. A litigation practice would mean an attorney that goes to court and handles trials. A litigation practice involves a lot of other work, there are a lot of thing an attorney has to do to get ready for trial, so the attorney would not be in court every day, or there would be no time to prepare. Even an attorney that is a prosecutor, which would probably spend the most time in a courtroom, there is still non-courtroom preparation work that has to happen.

So, TV lawyers are much more glamorous and interesting to watch than the actual way law is practiced in the real world. Some attorneys, like me, rarely or never go to court, and others actively seek cases that will take them to court, but they still spend plenty of time working in an office or a setting outside of a courtroom. There are always big cases, which often have teams of attorneys from law firms on them, or a single attorney might have a litigation practice, where they are responsible for all of it.

I thought I wanted to be a litigator, but then I discovered I didn't like all of the preparation and the time spent preparing for trials, so I spend a lot of time working with my clients and trying to keep them out of the courtroom! The preparation work is important but doesn't look very glamorous on TV, so they don't show that part.
Thank you comment icon Thank you Jenna for a very insightful response. I definitely do want to participate in court hearings as I find it appealing so I’ll make sure to look for firms with lots of litigation involved. Samira
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Fred’s Answer

I am not a lawyer, and I have never seen the show Suits. And i know nothing about law in the UK. I know many lawyers, though

The answer depends in part on what kind of a lawyer you are. We have a family friend who does estate planning (wills, trusts, etc.). She never goes to court. Another friend does document review for large cases (with thousands of documents). She never goes to court.

Someone else I know is a public defender. He goes to court weekly, but not necessarily for a trial. There are many hearings being held prior to the actual trial. A lot of what he does is writing. I also know prosecutors...and depending on what level they are at and what department (capital, domestic violence, drugs), they do varying amounts of trails/court appearances.

In general, from what I've seen, most of the work is done outside of the courtroom...writing, researching, talking to clients, talking to opposing counsel, etc.
Thank you comment icon I am really grateful you took the time to answer this question. Samira
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Meredith’s Answer

Hello- I am a lawyer, and have enjoyed watching the series Suits. It is a fun show, but it has not been anything like my own legal experience. Like many professions, there are many different types of lawyers. I have friends who are litigators and who are in court frequently, in many instances though they are juggling a large number of cases and trials. I am a real estate attorney who used to work in a small firms, and then transitioned to an in-house counsel position. I have had to appear in court only in a handful of instances, and have never had to conduct a trial. I have however completed dozens of transactions, worked on approvals for the development of buildings including housing complexes, helped friends and family members purchase their homes. For me, this work has been interesting and rewarding. Other friends of mine have secured clerkships and done research for judges, some have taken positions with the government and in private law firms, while others have opened their own practice doing family law, child protection work. The social dynamics of each company and type of position are unique. I hope this helps.
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Cynthia’s Answer

Most cases do not go to court. Everything, including your time, should be QUICK AND EASY.
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