CHAPTER 3.4 
A LAW CAREER 


TOPICS

  • LOVES AND HATES OF PRACTICING ATTORNEYS    
  • TYPES OF LAW PRACTICES
  • TRAITS NEEDED TO BE A GOOD LAWYER
  • LAW AS A CAREER
  • WHAT CAN ONE DO WITH A LAW DEGREE


  • LOVES AND HATES OF
    PRACTICING ATTORNEYS

    The New College of Florida Pre-law Handbook is 42 pages of useful information. Relevant to this section is  
    The Love and Hates of Practicing Attorneys (Page 4). To access this website, search Google for
            "new-college of florida" "pre-law handbook." 

    TYPES OF LAW PRACTICES

       
    • It is not uncommon for law students and lawyers to specialize. About.com indicates, with no description, numerous TYPES OF LAW PRACTICES.                   


    TRAITS NEEDED TO BE
    A GOOD LAWYER

     
    You do not have to be a backslapping extrovert to be a good lawyer. Many of the most able, successful attorneys are quiet, soft-spoken persons. In law school, and in the profession, your success will depend on your ability to reason, your skill in communication, your judgment, and your willingness to work hard on behalf of your clients.  
              University of Nebraska-Lincoln 


    LAW AS A CAREER

      
         Before choosing law as a career, it is important to decide why you are choosing to be a lawyer as well as to know what a lawyer actually does. If you have had a legal internship, you probably have considered both of these issues. 
         You may realize that the practice of law involves a great deal of research and detail. Many lawyers think of it as fitting pieces into a gigantic puzzle. A legal practice today is a business as well as profession. It involves billing in tenths of an hour, getting clients, working successfully with support staff, associates and partners, marketing yourself and your firm, and continually keeping abreast of the changes in the field."
         "You may not realize that the profession usually demands long hours. If you want to have ample time for leisure and family, law may not be the best choice for you. You do not, of course, have to work 70 hour weeks, but if you do not, you may not climb the partnership ladder. Know what is important to you. Being a lawyer involves much more than a large paycheck." 

    WHAT CAN ONE DO WITH A LAW DEGREE

     

    Pre-Law Advising at Lowell House gives their answer to the question, What do people with law degrees do? as follows: 
         The up side of having a law degree is that most people, institutions, and/or organizations at one time or another need a lawyer. Recently, demand for new lawyers has been strong, and the typical graduating law student may choose from an array of jobs, including private practice at a law firm; federal, state, or local government jobs; or jobs with nonprofit organizations, such as foundations or advocacy groups. Newspapers, corporations, consulting firms, universities, and countless other institutions also hire lawyers. The law impacts most areas of our lives and law degrees open a wide array of doors. 
         In private practice, the nature of the work tends to vary by geographic region.
    For example, lawyers practicing in New York law firms tend to concentrate on corporate transactional law, litigation (i.e., law suits), tax law, real estate law, and other finance-related matters. Lawyers in D.C. firms may focus on more regulatory, government-related affairs involving government contracts, trade, health, and environmental issues, and communications. Many D.C. firms also have a legislative practice, through which well-connected attorneys regularly lobby Congress and the Administration on behalf of their clients. Many firms in large cities also have substantial international law practices. Private criminal defense work is also widely available.
         Government legal work also varies depending on the agency or department and the level of government. For example, attorneys in the Department of Justice are involved in a variety of civil and criminal matters, ranging from antitrust to civil rights work. Lawyers at city law departments litigate on behalf of their city, which includes defending the actions of government agencies and local government officials. Public defenders' offices, district attorneys and state attorney general's offices also offer exciting legal opportunities. 
         Lawyers practicing in the nonprofit sector may engage in a wide array of activities. Many of these lawyers represent low-income families and seek to address issues associated with housing, immigration, access to government benefits and health care, fair employment practices, domestic violence, and other family matters. This work may focus on direct representation of families or may integrate this work with efforts to achieve large-scale change through policy and/or legislation. Additionally, lawyers play an important role in advancing human rights and other international policy issues through a wide array of international organizations."
         "Finally, lawyers often become judges, legal academics, politicians, policymakers, business people, entrepreneurs, and diplomats."


    May 30, 2012

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