Questions you should ask before studying law
Law is one of those high profile professions like medicine or finance that people choose to pursue a career in for a variety of different reasons. Some people are motivated purely by the average salary they can expect while others are truly passionate about forging a career.
It’s important that you are sure of why you want study law as it is one of the most highly intensive academic fields. Assignments are tough and margins for error are minimal, it is something you really need to commit to.
It makes sense that law is a hard profession to study as it weeds out people who would make bad lawyers should they graduate. A lawyer needs to be an objective professional who has a high attention to detail and a good rhetorical understanding of the philosophy of law.
Let’s take a look at some questions you should be asking yourself before pursuing a degree in law.
Why is the legal profession appealing to you?
You’d be surprised by how many people say they want to become lawyers because of a TV show they saw which romanticised the legal process for them. While these media portrayals of lawyers obviously have some truth behind them, there is a big lawyer of show business in front of them that obscures that the job is really like.
If you think you’ll finish your degree and immediately start taking high profile murder trials and making big speeches then you’re more naïve than most. As mentioned, this is a romanticised version of law that rarely ever mirrors reality.
Do you tolerate/enjoy doing research?
Contrary to popular culture, the majority of legal work is heavy research and long hours. You may end up doing a month of legal research to spend a few hours in a courtroom.
It’s important that you are someone who can handle the large amount of paperwork you’ll need to do to support the case you are working on. If you dread doing research for school assignments then you’ll absolutely hate doing legal work.
What kind of lawyer do you want to be?
A law degree can open you up to several different career paths outside of just a practising at a law firm. You can get work in the public sector or even enter politics with a law degree.
As for kinds of lawyer, you could be a corporate, criminal, family or even a wills & probate lawyer. The possibilities are fast after getting your law degree so it’s good to know exactly what you want to do with it.