5 reasons you should go to law school
My desire to go to law school goes far back to my high school days. I knew I wanted to deal in contracts and business transactions. I wanted to be a sports agent, and pair 2 of the things I was most interested in. Then came college and finally law school. When I was a first year law student, I quickly wondered….”Did I make a mistake?!”
I just was not feeling the preliminary courses law school had to offer. I didn’t want to battle people in court. I was less than impressed with brief writing, and quite honestly, I was concerned. Then came property. This class is one people had warned me about hating, but I loved it—particularly once we got to copyrights. We didn’t spend much time on them, but I knew then, this law thing could work out. I love being a lawyer, am a better writer, and could give endless reasons you should be one, too. For now, here are 5:
1. Cliché, but it’s a noble profession.
Being a lawyer is so much more than the tasks required to help your clients. Lawyers are truly counselors. We not only advise on the facts of the circumstances at hand, but also have to be supportive to our clients, often in times of emotional need. Also, lawyers advise many of the people who have our lives in their hands—legislators and other elected officials, doctors (usually in unfortunate situations), and teachers to name a few. Often, people feel better having a lawyer review or advise on something, simply because of the training you receive in law school. The general trust is constant. There’s not much more noble than this.
2. There will always be work.
I know, I know. Many recent law grads reading this are giving the side eye right now, but it’s true. The job market is rough, but the simple need for lawyers remains. The things lawyers take care of and work on will never go away. There will always be a reason lawyers are needed in general, and more reasons to come. 30 years ago, lawyers with internet, fashion, and technological expertise were not needed in the same way, or as much as they are now. Today we have growing concerns requiring lawyers of these sorts and more. As time moves on, new niches will arise—all will need legal counsel.
3. It will help you help others.
No one gets to where they are alone; we all need help from time to time. The legal skills, analytical training, and advising you get from law school will not only help you be good at your legal job, but they will help you be good in everyday life. Further, the legal profession is one heavily based on networking. We have gatherings all the time, so when you become or work as a lawyer, you meet people and have the opportunity to connect. Other lawyers connect you to their friends, and the network continues to grow. We help each other find work, volunteer opportunities, and contrast the competitive stereotypes often spread about us. Lawyers DO help one another.
4. You can use a J.D. in so many more ways than you think.
L.A. Law was a great show, as are Law & Order and Fairly Legal. However, these shows only paint a narrow picture of what someone with a Juris Doctorate can do. EB has not provided me with enough space to list all the opportunities, and that’s a good thing! Law school-trained individuals have obtained skills they can translate to work in public affairs, government, social services, sports, entertainment, education, environmental studies, and more—and not just as “legal counsel”. These areas do need lawyers, but they need policy analysts, external affairs directors, legislative counselors, community organizers, strategists, and other key roles not requiring one to ever draft a brief or appear in court. Now, don’t get me wrong, those well-known legal roles are extremely important. However, they are not for everyone, and any person considering law school should know they have options.
5. You’ll never stop learning.
Sure, the trick to this may be the required Continuing Legal Education (CLE) licensed attorneys are required to take, but there’s more. Outside of having to take classes/seminars on areas you choose, you also are forced to stay on top of your area(s) of expertise. Whether via CLE or research you must do on your own, being a lawyer forces you to stay on top of your craft, and continue learning that will be useful to yourself and your clientele. This makes you a better attorney, person, and asset to those around you. Who doesn’t want to learn all they can?! Plus, this just builds on the nobility of the profession. Every job doesn’t give you the open door for continued growth. This one does.
About the Author:
Victoria Watkins is a legislative attorney for the City of Chicago. She also writes B.A.F.F.L.E.D., a lifestyle blog, highlighting fashion, law, entertainment, beauty, and so much more.