Considering the attractive pay-package and the number of challenges that come along with the interesting job profile, you might have decided to pursue the career of a lawyer after high school. But just like any other profession, here too, you need to face certain professional hazards, especially during being a newbie.
The common responsibilities of an attorney includes giving advises to a client regarding his rights about a particular subject, arguing a particular case for the client, in front of a jury, drafting wills for individual as well as companies, helping a company for a special license etc.
While you get to enjoy a number of factors being a lawyer, you also have to go through the challenges of this profession, and these include –
1. Long hours of work – While the usual working shifts for lawyers are typically long, they need to work during weekends, or even at odd hours in order to write briefs, do the essential research and meet with clients, at times. As studies have shown, a huge percentage of full time lawyers work for 50 hours or even more than that, a week, while 40 hours a week is considered to be the full-time schedule. And quite obviously, working for long hours affect the health as well as family life of the attorneys, in the long run.
2. Huge amount of Stress involved – Stress is one of the inseparable parts of being a lawyer, and it comes in a number of forms. First of all the fact itself that you are dealing with a man’s future is quite stressful, and then again, not only you have to deal with long-lasting, difficult cases, but you also might come across some litigants, clients or defendants who may go to the extent of giving threats to you. Moreover, you also need to perform flawlessly, in order to get promotions.
3. Competitive job prospects – The job prospects for lawyers are not quite smooth, especially from the financial aspect. Competition for the job is quite high and it is supposed to increase in the coming days. As researches have shown, there has been more number of people graduating from law school than the available jobs.
4. Hugely expensive – It usually takes at least 3 years to complete a full time law course and students are advised not to do any part time job during the course, so that they can focus on their education, completely. This means, you have to take more student loans in order to fund your course, and this is not quite cheap. As of the reports of 2009, students graduating from private law schools had a debt of $92,000 and those from public university, had a debt of $60,000.
5. Job Dissatisfaction – The demands and stress of law practice that one has to go through during the career, have caused high level of career dissatisfaction, leading to suicidal tendencies and depression, among lawyers and it has also been reported that a certain percentage of lawyers are not going to recommend this profession to youngsters.
6. Advanced technology – With the invention of advanced technology, law practice has changed to a great extent and it gets a bit difficult for senior lawyers to become habituated with this advanced software. Moreover, the invention of software tends to swallow the jobs of lawyers.
7. High expectations – Due to excellent scopes of earnings and selective hiring process, it is a bit difficult to get selected by the large law firms, and once you are chosen, you need to maintain high level of competence.
8. Overnight travel – Since large law firms cater to many national as well as international clients, you might have to travel overnight to some of the remote parts of the country as well as the globe.
9. Mundane tasks – New lawyers are usually responsible for certain tedious tasks like that of document reviewing, multi-jurisdictional research, cite-checking, while the more important assignments are left for the experienced attorneys.
10. Excellent academic credentials and experience – Usually, all the large law firms are harder to break in, as you need to have superior academic credentials, training from reputed law schools as well as considerable relevant experience. Even if you have all these, you need to pass through the tough exams, and survive the extreme competition.
Cally Greene is a blogger and works with SparksDUIAttorney.com as Online Consultant. She likes blogging about Social Media Strategies, Online Marketing and Legal Issues. You can follow her on Google+.