What Does a Career in Law Look Like?

March 14, 2019

What Does a Career in Law Look Like?

Know What Lawyers Do from the Big Screen? Here’s What They Actually Do.

We have been exposed to the ‘world of law’ through entertainment where attorneys are portrayed to get their clients out of jail, portraying them to be evil or good. We form our own picture of what law looks like through movies and drama series, but what do lawyers actually do and what is the law environment like in reality?

Who are they?
Lawyers, also known as attorneys, are advocates, advisors, and counselors to the clients they represent. They counsel their clients about legal options and represent them in their court proceedings.

What do they do?
Like in the movies, lawyers would be in the courtroom but most of their time is spent outside the courtroom performing duties that include researching, preparing cases, drawing up legal documents and meeting up with clients.

A lawyer's daily tasks will vary, and no two days will be the same. The exact duties lawyers execute depends on their specialization and the case they are handling. For instance, criminal lawyers spend more time in the courtroom than tax lawyers because they are involved in prosecution or defense.
  • Preparing for court hearings
  • Researching and gathering evidence
  • Analyzing legal documents
  • Consulting colleagues and supervising legal assistants
  • Attending court hearings
  • Drawing up contracts and necessary legal documents
  • Not all cases will end up in the courtroom, and that’s where you negotiate
  • Counseling clients, this includes presenting legal options, explaining the law and giving legal advice
Key Skills
  • Research and analytical skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Problem-solving
  • Good communicator – writing and speaking
  • Good negotiator and debater
  • Confident and able to stay calm and composed under pressure
Narrowing down to increase the quality
There are laws for almost every aspect of life, from family to finance. Lawyers specialize in an area of law to offer top-notch counsel. Law education programs are usually general, nevertheless, there are electives to choose from to prepare you for a specialization that you would most probably choose upon completion of your law education.

Some specializations include:
  • Property
  • Employment
  • Tax
  • Corporate
  • Finance
  • Family
  • Criminal
  • Environment
Where could you work?
Depending on the job you choose, you could end up in:
  • Law firm
  • Government office
  • Corporations
  • Organizations
Entering the job
Law students can gain experience through internships, practice trials, and moot court competitions! Newly licensed attorneys will gain experience under the guardianship of practicing attorneys – on the job training.
Is the job for you?
If you are argumentative and determined to fight for your side no matter what, this job could be for you. It takes good judgment to do the job, especially since you will be spending a lot of time on reviewing cases that include your discussion with clients, legal documents and gathering evidence.

As it is for any other job, interest, and passion in the subject matter will be meaningful because you’ll be surrounded by it (law, in this case)! Moreover, we should never decide to take a job based on what we perceive of it at face value. It is good practice to research into it in-depth to get a better understanding of the job, better yet, a feel of the job, and the kind of environment you want to be in. Now that you’ve gained a little more insight into what a career in law looks like, what are your thoughts about serving in legal professional services, is it something you would take on?
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