A degree in law is a highly-coveted asset for any professional and it will open doors within most industries. Few degrees provide such a wide-ranging variety of career opportunities. Regardless of how much prestige and income you may receive as a lawyer, there are plenty of things you need to consider before dedicating your life to learning and practicing law. Below are just a few of those considerations to help you choose the best path forward for your career.
Don’t Expect a Corner Office
As soon as you have your shiny new degree in your hands you’ll land that corner office, right? Wrong. It takes years of work and many hours of overtime, not to mention dedication to honing your craft to achieve the coveted corner office status. Law school provides you with the knowledge you need to succeed, but most freshly-minted lawyers lack the experience needed to own a courtroom or even a boardroom.
Soak up every ounce of knowledge and experience you can get while you work your way from the bottom. It might take years, but if you put in the work, that office will be yours.
Have an Honest Conversation With Yourself
Why did you go into law? Do you just want a fat paycheck or do you want to further a cause? Do you have the proper skills and drive to achieve the lofty goals you’ve set? Take the time to align your career path with the goals you’ve set. If you find out you hate battling it out in the courtroom, you can decide to pursue a path advising a company’s legal department.
Regardless of which path you choose, it needs to be something you’re passionate about. There will be years of hard work for less-than-ideal pay. To get past the initial slump, you need the drive to pursue your career day after day.
Law School Won’t Teach You Client Acquisition
You might have all the skills in the world and are a fantastic, well-rounded lawyer, but that doesn’t amount to anything if you don’t have clients. Law schools teach you how to be a lawyer, getting clients is a whole other ball game. Enter a mentorship program or internship early in your law school career. Investigate how everyone acquires clients and build your skills early on before you graduate. When you finally have that degree, you’ll have an invaluable skill set that will launch your career quickly.
Consider Working for a Senior Attorney
What better way to learn new skills and the industry than by working with an experienced senior attorney in your chosen pathway? Most senior attorneys have more work than they can feasibly handle which provides great opportunities for law professionals to practice their skills. While the hours might be long and the workload overwhelming, you can gain the experience needed to make it on your own while networking with seasoned pros.