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Is it really worth it being a lawyer?

sflibrasflibra Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
I've read some articles about how the profession has become over saturated and most lawyers say the would not go through all the trouble to be a lawyer again. I've always been interested in working in law or politics, but most of all I really want to help people and not have a job where I am sitting on a desk all day. Law seemed like a perfect profession but now I'm not so sure.

Replies to: Is it really worth it being a lawyer?

  • 10s4life10s4life Registered User Posts: 468 Member
    I'm not a lawyer nor studying law but my uncle is a judge and contrary to what the media shows, being a lawyer is mostly sitting at a desk all day (and night) :)
  • HappyAlumnusHappyAlumnus Registered User Posts: 1,056 Senior Member
    I like being a lawyer. I help people and it is intellectually challenging. It does involve sitting in front of a computer screen all day, night, weekend, etc. (or being in meetings all day). I would be a lawyer only if I went to a school in the top 20, though (which I did).
  • MotherOfDragonsMotherOfDragons Registered User Posts: 3,928 Senior Member
    edited June 16
    My father in law, brother in law, and sister in law are all lawyers (patent, trial, and trademark, respectively). Lots of sitting, lots of reading, lots of writing. Only in the case of the patent attorney (with a chemical engineering bachelor's degree as a required foundation), is there also lots of money.

    I'd recommend volunteering or shadowing in the area of law you're interested in. It's a real eye-opener.

    And fwiw, the FIL went to the least-prestigious law school of the three of them...

    Their advice when people say "I want to help people" is "volunteer somewhere".
  • AboutTheSameAboutTheSame Registered User Posts: 2,453 Senior Member
    Law is mainly a business. That's the first thing to understand. If "helping people" means criminal defense or tenants rights or whatever cause floats your boat, you are probably looking at low paying public interest work -- or trying to do it on the side after your day job, but good luck with that since the practice of law at the high-paying level requires many sacrifices in terms of hours away from family and friends and hobbies (see the post by @HappyAlumnus above). Some people like it and thrive. I found a different path (a niche job, if you will) many years ago, and I enjoyed having the time to coach D's soccer team, etc., even though my job still involves sitting at a desk and reading and writing. 30 years in, and I wouldn't change a thing. I did not encourage D to go to law school, however.
  • gclsportsgclsports Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    I enjoy the *legal* work I do as an attorney, and that includes a lot of sitting at my desk researching and analyzing and writing. It also includes a fair amount of running around going to meetings, depositions and court. For me, I would estimate the breakdown as 70% at my desk and 30% running around, but that varies a lot depending on what you do and where your clients are. I also happen to practice a type of law that I can believe in, and that helps a great deal. You don't always control that choice, and sometimes have to do whatever pays the bills. What I absolutely loathe about being an attorney is the politicking both inside and outside the firm, the constant marketing, and having to keep time. All of which is necessary to the business side of the practice. But if you love the law for the sake of law, you should realize there is a lot more to the practice of law than just the legal work. That's something I wish I had known before I was knee deep in law school debt.
  • MandalorianMandalorian Registered User Posts: 1,340 Senior Member
    It depends on the law school and field of law.
  • HappyAlumnusHappyAlumnus Registered User Posts: 1,056 Senior Member
    @AboutTheSame is correct. Being a lawyer requires lots of hours (for most types of law). You have to basically give up non-legal activities in life; you can't be a lawyer AND be the most committed volunteer at your child's school, for example.
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