Career Path for Lawyers

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Career Path for Lawyers

Have you always dreamt of becoming a Lawyer? Or are you about to find your degrees in Law and are wondering what to do next? Then you have come just to the right place. In this article, you will come across everything you need to know before choosing the field of Law as your career path.

Thinking of and becoming a lawyer, in reality, is a lot different, right? It requires a lot of knowledge about legal terminologies and other relevant areas to become a successful lawyer; you need to climb a series of steps gradually to reach a position of a Lawyer and get working. Everything begins with your degree; choosing Law as your specialization is the first step towards your career in law. From completing your undergraduate and graduate degrees to practicing law, the journey from a student to a successful lawyer is really interesting, and the process actually molds your personality.

Before even getting enrolled in a degree of Law, have you asked yourselves why do you want to become a lawyer? Do you actually understand what roles a lawyer has to play and how important is a lawyer for the people and the country? Have you found answers to all your doubts and queries? If not, then do follow this article till the end to know everything that you are concerned about.

1. What Do Lawyers Do?

The duties of lawyers can be very diverse; from representing their clients in criminal and civil trials by building a case and arguing in support of their clients to advise and counsel them on legal issues, lawyers play a very important role in society. Lawyers may work in both the public and the private sector, and their areas of specialization vary from business law and intellectual property law to criminal law and constitutional law. While studying law, you can choose to specialize in Bankruptcy, Civil Rights, Corporate and Criminal.

So, you can say that lawyers advise and represent individuals, businesses, and government agencies on legal issues and disputes.

2. How to Become a Lawyer?

Here comes the most important question, how can you actually become a lawyer, the steps involved, and so on. Let’s have a look at the steps that lead to the position of a lawyer:

  1. Getting Enrolled in a Bachelor’s Degree: is the first thing you need to do, no singular field of study is recommended by the American Bar Association at this level, and you can apply for law schools from nearly every area of study, ranging from political science to mathematics. All law schools require their students to have a bachelor’s degree in hand before they begin attending their classes, and after completing your bachelor’s degree, you can appear for the competitive exam. 
  • Passing the Entrance Examination of LSAT:is actually quite tough and competitive. This Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is required for anyone who wants to enter law school, and after completing your exam, your results are forwarded to the law school you wish to take admission in.
  • Entering A Law School:In the United States, you actually have varied choices when it comes to law schools, you may consider some factors in choosing them such as tuition, rankings, reputation, locations, student-to-faculty ratio, campus facilities and many others. The most important thing to keep in mind is that your law program should hold an accreditation from the American Bar Association (ABA) otherwise, your degree is of no use.
  • Earning Your Juris Doctor Degree: without a Juris Doctor degree, you will not be able to take the bar exam, and this degree must be acquired from an accredited institution.
  • Passing the Bar Examination:the final obstacle that you need to overcome is the bar examination, and after you qualify in this, you are all set to become a Lawyer. Bar is actually a formidable test that  lasts for two to three days, and in some states, yields a pass rate of only about 40 percent. The bar exam tests a wide variety of legal knowledge, from torts to civil procedures to contract law.

After all these steps, you can finally declare yourself as a lawyer and get to work.

3. Undergraduate and Advanced Degrees in Law

Find out which are some of the Undergraduate and advanced law degrees that you can pursue.

An undergraduate degree is where your road to becoming a lawyer begins before you can join a law school, and it is in this degree, you learn some of the major skills required in a lawyer, including:

  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Critical Analysis
  • Problem-Solving
  • Critical Reading
  • Time Management

And so on. The American Bar Association recommends students pursue an undergraduate program that lets them explore these skills.

Now let’s come to the Advanced Degrees, which include:

  • Juris Doctor (JD)
  • Master of Laws (LLM)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Law (PhD)
  • Doctor of Jurisprudence (JSD)
  • Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) or Doctor of the Science of Law (JSD)
  • Doctor of Comparative Law (DCL)

All of these degrees are acquired by students to enhance their knowledge and advance their skills.

4. What Are the Different Types of Lawyers?

You must be curious about knowing how many different types of lawyers are there and which one can you choose to become, have a look at this list below:

  • Lawyers: professionals who are employed in law firms or private practices and usually advise clients about their legal issues, help them with dealing cases imposed by courts.
  • Attorneys: are much like lawyers and have the same duties of consulting with clients, but are much more likely to go beyond the initial consultation and represent the client in courtroom proceedings.
  • Counsels: are type of lawyers who are employed by companies or organisations, for dealing with legal issues. Counsels act solely on behalf of that company or organization and not for law firms.

5. Law as a Career Path

As a career path, the field of law is an excellent choice. From demand in law firms, companies, and organizations to high pay scale, the field of law can never disappoint anyone. If you can acquire all the required skills, your hard work, years of rigorous study, and practice will never go in vain. Once you choose your bachelor’s degree and make up your mind to become a lawyer, you will find yourself succeeding step by step and eventually achieve your goals. 

6. What Different Types of Jobs for Lawyers Are There?

Like every other industry, the field of Law also has many job openings throughout the year; here are some of the most popular and rewarding areas where you can choose to specialize in and find your ideal job positions:

  • Contract Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Tax Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Worker’s Compensation
  • Family Law
  • Appeals
  • Bankruptcy Law
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Social Security/Disability
  • Corporate Law
  • Estate Planning Law
  • Employment Law
  • Immigration Law

Are some of the most important areas of the field of law that you can choose to work in. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of Lawyers in the United States is about to increase at a rate of 80% in the next 10 years, which is actually great news for the industry.

7. Skills Required to Become a Lawyer

Let’s have a look at some of the mandatory skills that should be possessed by every lawyer:

  • Communication skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Ability to deal with pressure
  • Research skills
  • Analytical skills

And most importantly, a good personality makes you a trustworthy lawyer especially, when your job will require you to connect with clients.

8. Lawyer Salaries

The BLS reports that the median annual wage for lawyers was about $126,930 in 2020, with the top 10 percent of earners taking home more than $208,000 per year. There are many highest-paid positions in the field of law, such as:

  • Corporate Lawyers who earn around $92.74 per hour
  • General practice lawyer earns  $70,548 per year
  • Associate attorney earns $72,977 per year
  • Immigration lawyer earns around $76,769 per year
  • Intellectual property lawyer has an average pay of $77,780 per year
  • A Family lawyer makes $81,375 per year
  • Personal injury lawyers earn $81,723 per year

Aren’t these highest-paid job positions enough to entice you?

9. Work Environment

Lawyers don’t roam around anywhere; they mostly work in law firms or in companies and organizations, places that have a healthy work environment where you can work peacefully.

10. Alternative Paths Available After Completing Law

If you haven’t got much satisfied in the field of law or are not interested in following the long procedure of becoming a lawyer but still wish to work in the field of law, then you may opt for these alternative job opportunities that are equally pleasing:

  • Paralegal- earns around $40,662 per year and requires Associates degree or Bachelor’s degree.
  • Court Reporter: has anaverage salary of $60,433 and degree required is Associate’s.
  • Arbitrator: earns about $72,714 and requires only a bachelor’s degree.

Conclusion

That’s all you need to know about the field of law before you become a successful lawyer yourself. You must have got to know by now how this career path is going to be and what opportunities await you in this career path. If you have really made up your mind that you aspire to become a lawyer, then you have taken the best decision of your life for sure.

About the author

Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.