Advantages and disadvantages of being a lawyer: The legal practice is an enticing one with good reasons to be so. It is intellectual stimulating and the pay is very good depending the niche and location. But the legal profession is also faced with backlash, being called liars, con men and thieves.
However, a lawyer is a trained practitioner who can provide legal advice or represent a client in court. If they’ve been called to the Bar in that jurisdiction, a lawyer provides legal advice and representation to individuals, government agencies, and companies. They draft legal papers as well as interpret laws, regulations, and court decisions. Before deciding to pick up a career in law, one needs to know the advantages and disadvantages of being a lawyer.
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Advantages (Benefits) of being a lawyer
1. Variety of career paths: As a criminal prosecutor, you can represent the law in your community. You may also pursue a career as a criminal defence attorney to safeguard the lives of innocent people. You can use your abilities to transfer to another profession if you decide that a law career is not suited for you. Furthermore, for many lawyers, there is no end to the possibilities for advancement in their careers. You can also become a judge or work as a prosecutor.
Being a lawyer also provides a constant intellectual challenge. That cannot be said for the majority of occupations.
2. Lucrative earnings: The majority of lawyers work for law firms that specialise in private practice. Either that, or they’re a part of an internal team. As a result, most lawyers have a defined income. Some lawyers, especially in the US and UK earn as much as $100,000 annually on an average. Although it is tough to get this amount of income when you first receive your degree, most lawyers may begin to make a decent living in five years or less.
3. Nobility: The legal profession is often referred to as the noblest of professions. It’s regarded as one of the most prestigious professions. As a law student, you will gain the respect of your family and friends, and you will be able to assist them in the future if they require the services of a skilled lawyer. In contemporary society, studying law has a good reputation as well; many people will aspire to be like you. But it’s not all about the name. Lawyers are subjected to a great deal of criticism.
4. Independence: You could start your own law practice if you don’t want to work for a law firm or for anyone else.
After earning a legal degree, one can opt to start their own business, join a partnership, serve as a public servant, work for a corporation, or work as a junior lawyer in a large law firm. Working with several clients appeals to some people since it provides them with a lot of social energy to enjoy. Others choose to work with a single customer for a lengthy period of time since it provides better job security and regularity. It’s all about making a decision.
5. Dynamic nature: You will not get bored with your career as a lawyer since the cases you will work on will frequently be fairly hard, and you will be required to work quite long hours on a regular basis. In truth, each instance will be unique, and you will need to adjust to new conditions on a regular basis. While this may be difficult, it will keep you in a mindset of trying to accomplish as much as possible.
To guarantee that you are giving the greatest potential outcome for your clients, you must use your analytical skills on a daily basis. You’ll be solving problems, speculating on scenarios, formulating theories, and devising a legal strategy to help your client win their case or reach a settlement.
Disadvantages of being a lawyer
As with everything that has an advantage, there are also disadvantages of being a lawyer, some of which are:
1. High level of stress: This industry has greater incidence of depression, mental health issues, and suicide. You’ll need a strong stomach to deal with these situations emotionally well. The atmosphere at your client meetings will frequently be tense, so prepare for an emotional rollercoaster.
2. Cost of legal education: Even for law schools with a less-than-stellar reputation, attending a top U.S. law school can cost upwards of $40,000 each year. New graduates don’t always make enough money to pay off their loans. Furthermore, new law graduates may not always be able to repay such a large amount of debt.
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3. Choice of clients: People who use legal services do not fit into a single, clear demographic that can be assessed for marketing purposes. There are just as many wealthy, sophisticated, and arrogant people as there are poor, messy, and unlucky ones. If you practice in criminal law, you may not even be sure if your client committed the crime that brought you together in the first place.
4. Long working hours: A lawyer’s working hours will vary a lot depending on their area of practice and location. Some are putting in more than 90 hours each week. There’s more time spent on business management and client development than billable hours in some situations. The average lawyer’s work weeks top 60 hours.
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5. Competitive atmosphere: The majority of people who work in large law offices are highly ambitious, and their careers are their first priority. Your coworkers will try everything they can to get promoted, and may even bring you down on multiple times if they think it is in their best interests.
It is advisable that law enthusiasts evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the legal profession before they venture into that space. It gives an insight into the tremendous difference a lawyer can make in the lives of people.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.