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Career As A Lawyer

Aug 17, 2007
So you want to study for a law degree take up a career as a lawyer? Many people have misconceptions on what the legal profession is all about. Contrary to what you watch on TV and movies or from newspaper reports, lawyers do most of their work in offices and legal libraries instead of just socking out exciting legal cases in courtrooms. Lawyers meet clients in homes, offices, hospitals or even in prisons. So the career of a lawyer may not be as glamorous as what is commonly being portrayed or thought to be.

Lawyers in private practices usually work long and irregular hours while conducting research, meeting and entertaining clients, or preparing legal papers during non-office hours. It is a fact that most successful lawyers often work long grueling hours and this is one of the most common reasons why many lawyers continue to drop out of the legal profession and embark other careers. They may face particularly heavy pressure when a case is being brought up for trial and they must be continuously educated on the latest laws, conventions and judicial decisions.

Although a lawyer's work usually is non seasonal, there are exceptions such as for the tax lawyers and other law specialists.

Newly hired lawyers usually start as law associates and work with more senior and experienced lawyers. After several years of gaining experience and responsibilities, some lawyers are admitted to partnership in law firms or they may set up their own law firms.

As lawyers get more experienced and reputable, they may be nominated and appointed as magistrates and judges. Others may opt for a career in the academia becoming legal lecturers and educators. Some lawyers also work in large corporations and become legal advisors under employment.

It was reported that lawyers in USA held about 730,000 jobs in 2004. About 3 out of 4 lawyers practiced privately, either as partners of law firms or in their own solo practices. Most salaried lawyers held positions in the government civil service or with big corporations.

Government lawyers work for many different government agencies, especially so in the departments of justice, treasury, and defense. Many salaried lawyers are also employed as house counsel by public utilities, banks, insurance companies, real estate agencies and other commercial businesses.

Employment of lawyers is expected to grow as a result population and economic growth. There is also an increasing demand for lawyers and attorneys in health care, intellectual property, venture capital, antitrust and environmental legal issues. However, competition for lawyers though is expected to be fierce because of the large number of law graduates graduating from universities, colleges and law schools every year.

Therefore, if you want to have a career as a lawyer, do not think of the legal profession as a glamorous one. Being a successful legal eagle requires a lot of hard work and skills, just like in any other noble profession.
About the Author
Chris Chew is a researcher. More articles at Law degree online and
How to be a lawyer
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