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Debate: Do I want to be a lawyer?

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Pro

  • Judges rise above adversarial sides and make judgements.
  • Lawyers can move become law teachers/profs.
  • Law school gives you enough education to qualify for any field.
  • Lawyers are rewarded for great individual accomplishments. Lawyers are rewarded for achieving a high profile and being exceptional in some way: winning the most cases, bringing in the most cases, billing the most hours.
  • Legal training teaches comfort with conflict. Lawyers have a keen ability to get comfortable approaching conflict and dealing with opposing views and parties with respect and a cool head.
  • There are many fields within the law to practice. "Do I Want To Be a Lawyer?": "One's decision-making process can also be skewed by the difficulty of defining what a lawyer does on a day-to-day basis. There is no "typical lawyer." The legal profession today has embraced specialization to a significant extent. There are ifferences in workload, client contact, work environment, compensation and overall quality of life, depending upon whether one specializes in criminal law, family law, personal injury or defective product litigation, trust and estate law, business transac ions and litigation, tax law, employment or labor law, environmental law, patent and trademark law, civil rights litigation, or in other specialized areas. There are many "professions" within the profession of law. The only meaningful way of determi ing whether you may want to be a lawyer is to look at the type of skills that a person must develop and ultimately become proficient at in order to be a competent lawyer in any area. Even though there are significant differences in the various practice ar as of law, the essential skills required of any lawyer are very much the same."
  • Lawyers are involved in galvanizing events in people's lives. "Do I Want To Be a Lawyer?": "1.Do I enjoy working closely with people regarding significant events or issues affecting their lives? Lawyers invariably are involved in galvanizing events in the lives of people. This involvement may occur in a face-to-face setting or through less intimate contacts involving legal documents. You will need to be comfortable and secure with the realization that your advice, counsel and actions will have a significant impact on the lives of your clients."
  • Lawyers are tasked with solving a client's problems. "Do I Want To Be a Lawyer?": "2.Can I empathize with a client's situation, yet have the ability to objectively analyze the issues and their consequences in light of the existing law? The main task of a lawyer is to solve a client's problem. People come to a lawyer for help in solving their problems. A lawyer must be able to empathize in order to properly understand the needs and concerns of his or her client, but a lawyer must develop objective, analytical skills to identify the potential legal issues that must be addressed and then to formulate a plan to reach a result that is consistent with the desires of the client as well as the requirements of the law."
  • Lawyers can significantly affect the lives of others. "Do I Want To Be a Lawyer?": "You will have the ability to beneficially and significantly affect the lives of many people throughout your career."
  • Lawyers get to argue both sides of an issue. "Do I Want To Be a Lawyer?": "5.Do I enjoy being an advocate? Can I argue both sides of the question with enthusiasm? A lawyer's personal satisfaction must come from helping others achieve a desired result or avoid or ameliorate the consequences of a difficult situation. A lawyer must provide th client with sufficient information concerning all possible alternatives to allow the client to make an informed decision. Ultimately, the client must decide what is best for himself or herself. The lawyer must be able to accept and advance the client's decision, even if he or she would not have personally chosen the particular course of action, so long as the attorney stays within the ethical parameters of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Whether one is writing a will, negotiating a contract, litagating a lawsuit, or settling a divorce, a lawyer is advocating the personal needs, desires, and goals of the client. One need not be flamboyant or overreaching to be an excellent lawyer, only capable of persuasively articulating concrete positions."
  • Lawyers get to study and stay abreast of the law. "Do I Want To Be a Lawyer?": "7.Do I like to read and study? A lawyer never stops reading the law. From the day one enters law school until the last day before retirement, a lawyer must keep abreast of the ever-changing law. Whether it be statutes, agency rules and regulations, or court decisions, a lawyer may never assume the law remains static. Each and every competent lawyer must dedicate a significant number of hours on a regular bas s to educating himself or herself. This study time may be added on top of the many hours spent in the law library completing legal research on very specific issues of law pertaining to particular cases."
  • Lawyers engage in a life of constant learning. "Do I Want To Be a Lawyer?": "You will be exposed to a variety of people, events, and areas of knowledge that you might not otherwise have experienced wit in the confines of your own personal life. The practice of law is a broadening and educational experience. However, the practice of law is not for the lethargic, the lazy or the clock watcher. It is an ongoing, never-ending, demanding life experience. As is true in any area of life, whether you are in medicine, science, education or in law, your attitude towards life and your work is all important. In simple words, you should be one who truly enjoys learning and who strives to do all that you can with your work."
  • The law can be a good way to see the world. Depending on the type, the law can be a great way to see the world. Corporate law in particular.


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Con

  • Lawyers often considered narrow-minded and rigid in marketplace. New York Times: "Lawyers trying to switch careers say they are often typecast as narrow-minded, confrontational and unimaginative."
  • Success in the law relies on "killer instinct."
  • The law is an adversarial, not harmonious, system.
  • Litigation is full of conflict and stress.
  • Clients don’t always tell the truth.
  • Losing cases can be particularly distressing.
  • The practice of law is soul deadening.
  • Some won't hire lawyers because they are too argumentative/competitive.
  • Lawyers are not known for being team players.
  • Lawyers are more often deal-breakers than deal-makers.
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