Questions you should be asking before becoming a corporate lawyer
Becoming a lawyer is something that many people endeavour to be but not all actually become. Those who do become lawyers can often find themselves bored with their profession because they had false expectations of what it would be like.
Certainly, lawyering can be a very rewarding career for the right kind of person. The level of job satisfaction you have will depend greatly on where you work, what field you work in and you own personality.
To find out if being a corporate lawyer suits you, ask the following questions of yourself.
Do you have an extroverted personality?
The legal profession definitely has its fair share of socially extroverted people, but they accept that often they will need to work alone. If you’re someone who craves collaboration, you may find you don’t get as many opportunities to do so as a lawyer.
As you move up the ranks as a lawyer you will get your fair share of drawn out interactions with clients and opposing counsel, but this is still interspersed between long periods of research and paperwork. Being extroverted and collaborative isn’t a barrier to being a good lawyer but those wishing for great deal of social interaction during work might be disappointed.
Do you enjoy researching legal issues?
This is important because the research skills you use throughout your legal education will still be used at every point in your career. If you’re someone who is genuinely bored by researching legal precedent, jurisdictional rules and nuances, you may find yourself hating the daily grind of legal work.
If you’ve started your legal study it might be a little late to test how you feel about legal paperwork. If you’re still considering studying law, perhaps pursue work as a legal secretary or paralegal to get a feel for what a lawyer deals with.
How much do you care about enjoying work?
This question is one that everyone has their own answer to, and all of them are correct. For some people, work is work and it doesn’t need to be enjoyable. Others strongly believe that you should only take up a profession you have fun doing.
Work is a necessity of life and thus you won’t have the luxury to choose jobs that are fun for you to do. Being a lawyer involves a lot of hard work for the high paying rewards it gives back.
You need to find a balance between your interests in law, the fun you may have pursuing it and the potential rewards it can give you. If you don’t enjoy legal work and think enjoying work is essential, then perhaps a legal career isn’t for you.