1. Free Legal Help, Legal Forms and Lawyers. TheLaw.com has been providing free legal assistance online since 1995. Our most popular destinations for legal help are below. It only takes a minute to join our legal community!

    Dismiss Notice

Career advice.

Discussion in 'Law School & Careers in Law' started by Megan, Aug 18, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Megan

    Megan Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I don't know quite how this works yet so please, bear with me if i am completely off the target.

    I am a young woman wishing to pursue a career in the feild of law. I will graduate from High school in June of next year, and i don't know exactly what i would like to go into yet, but i am more than willing to work at it and find out exactly what is out there to discover.

    I don't know alot about a law career; actually i believe i know practically nothing concerning it, but i am ready to learn and work toward the goal i have presented for myself.

    I have loads of questions and i am eager to learn so, if there is anyone here that has any comments regarding my situation, please post.

    Thank you for your time.
     
  2. NYClex

    NYClex New Member

    Messages:
    1,236
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well, a carreer in law is a great choice, especially because there are so many different ways to work in law. The one thing all carreers have in common, I would say, is that you need to have fun working with words, with language, you have to love to read, to play with speech. No matter if you become an attorney, a paralegal or something else in the field, you will be faced with tons of written material and you will be expected to write tons of written things. If you rather work with real things, you might rather want a carreer in science.

    You also should have a knack for precision. You should have no trouble being in time, completing assignments the way and when they are supposed to be completed, follow instructions etc. A sloppy lawyer gets nowhere and a sloppy paralegal gets fired.

    Otherwise, the field is wide open:

    If you chose to become a lawyer there are so many different fields that it almost seems like different professions. There are lawyers who never see a courtroom once they passed the bar. They work on deals, for corporations, the government, but never litigate, never argue in court. There are lawyers who actually run businesses, instead of dealing with legal issues. There are the criminial defense lawyers and prosecutors who deal with a world of crime most other lawyers don't even want to know of. There are the dealbreakers and the personal injury lawyers, again two very different worlds. And so on and so on. There are judges, who are again a totally different animal.

    If you don't want to become a lawyer, there are paralegals. Their work is as diverse as are the lawyers they work for. Investigators. Forensic scientists. ...

    You see, there is not only one world to experience, there are many.

    So what should you do? Why don't you try to find some lawfirm which lets you intern there for a week or two. Just to get a feeling of what people are doing there. May be one of the pro bono outfits who give legal assistance, they always are happy to get some volunteers for some clerical work. Then talk to the people working there about what they like in their work and what carreer moves they made.

    Go to a lawschool and talk to some of the students, find out what motivates them.

    The same you do with the other fields I mentioned. There is no better consultation than to immerse oneself into the world of work for some time and observe.

    In college you might want to prepare your later carreer moves. There are degrees in paralegalism, something I can only recommend to future lawyers, for there you learn the daily basics of running a lawfirm. Or may be you look into certain sciences, in which you would like to find a carreer later as a lawyer. I know a couple of lawyers who specialize in litigating aircraft disasters, some hold degrees in aviation technology.

    I guess you get where I am going. It is a very difficult choice to make for a 17 year old, but as you will later learn in law and life: information is the key. Good luck
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2004
  3. Megan

    Megan Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I was contemplating searching up a lawfirm in my city, and seeing if i could shadow someone for a day. I just want to get a taste of the basics, but i'm not quite sure which law firm to pursue, and which type of law i want to look into.

    I have been researching to the best of my abilities, for the past few weeks, and i've come to the decision that i don't want to have to argue in court. The problem is, i don't know where to find these lawyers.

    I have come to realize that in order to make a distinct decision on the type of law career i would like to follow, i will have to put research into all of the different types of careers. I have begun to read up on all of the different catagories, but i know that i am only getting a minimal amount of information and i need to find people who are involved in these careers to seek more information.

    As i brought up earlier, i have no idea who i should seek out for the information i'm in need of.
     
  4. NYClex

    NYClex New Member

    Messages:
    1,236
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Try this book: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/te...userid=106ESlt9bU&isbn=0071411453&TXT=Y&itm=1

    Most lawyers never argue in court. The good thing is, you don't have to really decide which way to go, if you want to become a lawyer, until way into law school. All lawyers have to go through the same core curriculum in law school and have to pass the same bar exam. Only then you can decide what you will actually do with your degree.

    In law school you will be presented with a lot of different courses and choices which will give you an insight into different fields of law. For example: Criminal law and wills and trusts. Those are two very distinctive fields, with very different ways to work. Once you are in law school you will see at least 10-15 different fields.

    What is more important now is to find out if you want to become a lawyer at all. So I guess it doesn't really matter which kind of lawyer you chose now to get an insight: Go to court a day and observe a trial, see what the lawyers do there. See and observe how they use language to argue (even if you don't want to spend your time later at court, this is a basic ability all lawyers have to adopt). Then contact your legal aid office or similar in your city and ask them if you can intern there for a few days, you will see a lot of different carreers at work there, paralegals, legal secretaries, attorneys etc.

    The problem is there is not much to see. Most lawyers work with paper or people: that means either they are reading or writing papers, or they are on the phone or have clients in their office. This can be pretty boring to observe and for privacy reasons you will not be allowed to read those papers or listen in on the calls.

    Once you are a law student this will be different. Youw ill be expected to work in a law firm or a court or some other professional place during summer.


    So go step by step. First read the above mentioned book. Then go to court and watch some legal professionals work. Then talk to some, attorneys, paralegals, law students. Go to your local law school if you have one. You can even ask a professor if you can sit in for a lecture for one day to see what that is like.
     
  5. Megan

    Megan Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I really appreciate all of the guidence and advice you have given me. Thank you very much for all of your help.
     
  6. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,997
    Likes Received:
    538
    Trophy Points:
    113

    NYCLEX gives some great tips and he makes me laugh with a good point -- it is incredibly difficult to know what you want to do in high school! Part of the difficulty is that the job is usually not what it seems to be or what you've been told. In fact, the big joke about law school is that attorneys learn nothing about being a lawyer in law school... and there is some truth to that!! :D

    The best way to have an understanding of what it is you may want to do is ask people to let you assist them, even if it is free. What you will get is knowledge and that can be priceless. Don't think of some of this as free labor, unless they aren't giving you a return on investment. Some attorneys will like your bravado and honesty and will be charmed by it and take you under their wing. You can find time to ask questions about the different law they practice(d) and their experience. You'll get a feel for what being a lawyer is REALLY all about.

    NYCLEX made some great points about the fact that not all lawyers are in court. Many never make it there. I like to divide up the different specialties as follows:

    1) Criminal Law: This is very different than civil and you will very likely be in court. There is also usually a type of personality that will enjoy being in this area and you'll get a feel for prosecutors, the personality and what makes some very effective and others not as enthusiastic. You'll probably know whether this is for you or not pretty quickly -- especially when you see the pressure and ridiculous number of cases prosecutors are asked to handle. Given the salary this is usually an indication of a true desire to "donate" part of your time for the greater good. On the flip side, being a criminal defense attorney also has characteristics and decide whether you feel comfortable with the thought that you may be asked to defend someone who is truly guilty and whether you can stomach that thought.

    2) Civil Law: This is the area of law which is not dealing with criminal law and there are many flavors. You can be a courtroom lawyer and deal with general litigation. This will typically involve a lot of preparation although some live for the courtroom experience. Others love to write great briefs and be the strategists on paper. If you want to stay away from the courtroom there are various types of business law that you could pursue: Licensing of Intellectual Property (e.g. articles in magazines, books, music, anything copyrightten, licensing of company trademarks), general contracts (e.g. in-house counsel for a company negotiating deals from real estate to widget sales and purchases of raw materials), wills, trusts and estates work, tax law (dealing with taxes of a corporation or high net worth individuals), insurance law...

    As you can see, there are many areas of law just like in medicine there are so many disciplines. There are surgeons and some who never ever get close to the operating room such as a primary care physician.

    The best way to figure out what you might want to do is by seeing it yourself. Be around the people who perform what you think might turn on your creative juices. Share your thoughts with us and we'll be glad to share our experiences with you.

    Good luck!!
     

Share This Page

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.