Lawyer Essay, Research Paper
Career ProjectP.J. Hall
The career I have chosen is to become a lawyer, in either a private practice or firm, or for the government. The definition of a lawyer is an advocate or advisor in society, that is as an advocate, to represent one of the opposing parties in a criminal or civil trial, and as an advisor to counsel clients as to their legal rights and suggest courses of action. But that is not all a lawyer is about. Being a lawyer takes hard work, dedication, and many years in school.
Before you become a lawyer, there are many educational hills you must climb. First of all, like in most jobs, you must have a high school diploma. Then there’s college. You must attend a four year college, although you may graduate in three, were as you would have to go to night school. But you’re not out of the water yet. Law school is next on the agenda, which you must attend for three years. Some specific courses you may want to take to prepare for all of this include English, foreign languages, public speaking, government, philosophy, history, economics, math, and computer sciences. Now, although no “prelaw” major is required, the choice of the undergraduate program is very important. Other skills you will simply learn throughout high school and college, such as proficiency in writing, reading and analyzing, thinking logically, and communicating verbally.
The chance of becoming a lawyer or the availability of the job is good, although not all lawyers are good ones. There were 656,000 lawyers in 1994, and three fourths of them, that’s 75%, were all in private firms. The salary of a lawyer depends on a few factors. One, whether or not you work privately or in a large firm plays a big role. For example, most private lawyers start off around $37,000 a year, but in some large firms, starting salaries got as high as $80,000 per year. The top salaries are received by good lawyers in top firms reached $1 million a year. But the average lawyer in a good firm makes around $115,000 per year, which I might, add is not bad at all to say the least. The other factor is whether or not you are good at being a lawyer. The largest benefit in this career is probably the money, but a benefit can be if you handle pressure well or not, and if being a lawyer is something you really want to do. The reason for that is the demands are very high. You must be willing to work irregular and long hours, and be able to work well under pressure, especially when a case is being tried. But a negative aspect is that it can be very hazardous to your mental state because of all the pressure and stress you must deal with.
As time goes on, and eventually by the time you can retire, your situation again can largely depend on whether you work privately or not. Either way things will get better as time goes on, but the paces will be different. For example, in a private firm, you may have a very slow start where you may have to work other jobs to keep the income steady. But in a larger firm, you will probably start out faster. Also, later in your career, you may want to become a judge, seeing that most judges were once lawyers. A plus in a private firm is that you can retire early if wanted, or you can exceed the retirement age and keep working.
I personally feel that being a lawyer would be a great experience, not just because of the money, but you would get to interact with many different kinds of people. I would really enjoy this job because I like the challenge, and I perform very well under pressure.
Sources: American Salaries & Wages Survey, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Dictionary of Occupational Titles, Peterson’s Guide to Four Year Colleges, and a special thanks to Mr. James Ward, for letting me interview him.