Being a Lawyer

Law practice is so diverse that it is not possible to describe the so-called typical lawyer. Each lawyer works with different clients and different legal problems. However, certain basic legal skills are required of all lawyers. They must know how to

  • analyze legal issues,
  • find the common links in diverse documents,
  • advocate the views of groups and individuals within the context of the legal system,
  • provide intelligent counsel on the law’s requirements,
  • write and speak clearly, and
  • negotiate effectively.

Becoming a lawyer is hard work, but very rewarding in many ways. It is important, intellectually stimulating, challenging, and always changing. It can be financially lucrative and prestigious and can open doors to many successful directions in life. Lawyers help people, change lives, and even make history. There are few other professions that have such broad potential.

As a lawyer, you can help shape future laws and provide legal services that help address equality in the justice system, represent athletes and entertainers, help yourself to start a new business, and so much more.

Depending on your interests, you could become a specialist or general practitioner.

  • Specialists are lawyers who focus their expertise on one field of law—real estate, entertainment, criminal, and patent law, to name a few. These lawyers are typically employed by larger law firms that provide a full range of legal services.
  • General practitioners handle a variety of law issues, and therefore have more opportunities to work in several areas of law.

Can I have a personal life and be a successful lawyer?

Everyone must make decisions about balancing their personal and professional lives. Like many professions, law careers can be demanding. However, you will learn time-management techniques in law school. After you graduate from law school, you will be able to apply time-management skills to your professional and personal life. Earning a law degree can help to put you in control of your life.

DiscoverLaw.org PLUS Programs

First- and second-year college students: Get the skills you need to succeed in law school by attending a four-week summer prelaw program. There’s no cost to attend, and participants receive a small stipend.

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