It can be a hard choice, deciding whether a career in law is really for you. Often, we are pushed into decisions by external factors, like friends and family. Is it really what you want, though? If you are considering a career in Law, you need to make sure you have a realistic idea of the stringent requirements and commitments expected of you. Whether you want to be a class action lawyer, or a high flying defense attorney, no career in Law is a smooth ride.
So, what are the challenges you will face?
Well, the first hurdle you are going to have to jump, is the academic aspect. You need to get the right grades even to be considered for a course in Law. There are preferred grades and required grades; these change often. You need to get the necessary grades at least, but scraping by may make it harder for you. If you want the best possible chance, aim for the preferred grades.
Law school admissions will always prefer to take a student who ranks in the top elite at college. They have a lot more applications then there are spaces, so you really have to try your hardest to stand out.
Next, you are going to need a specific set of personal skills.
Academics are crucial, but you also need to be naturally confident and have empathy and apathy; you need to understand people’s needs. You also need to be able to absorb vast amounts of information in a short time span. After absorbing this information, you will have to analyze and digest it to work out the implications of what you have absorbed.
You should also be aware of your industry, of political events, so read newspapers and keep an eye on the news.
Most importantly, you have to keep a cool head. You will probably have to work for 12-hour shifts on a regular basis; losing your cool is not an option.
If you have all this, then great! You are probably cut out for a job in Law.
So, what does the life of a lawyer look like?
Firstly, you will have to work long and irregular hours. Secondly, you will have to be willing to cancel plans with family and friends often, as work may come in unexpectedly. You are going to have to be happy with traveling around the country, perhaps even the world. You will probably have to pay extortionate rent rates to live as close to work as possible.
In return, you get an immensely rewarding career. One that allows you to challenge yourself constantly. One that is constantly changing, no two cases are ever the same. You will most likely be paid exceptionally well for your time.
A career is Law is definitely not easy, but if a career in Law is right for you, you will know it, and it will not matter how hard the journey is.