Laws provide the framework upon which civilization flourishes, yet rather than being set in stone for all time, law is a living, breathing entity, ever-changing as people and society evolve. While the forefathers of the U.S. Constitution put a great deal of thought and debate into the written words that became their legacy, the interpretation of those words continues to change along with cultural norms.
One of the celebrated American presidents, Abraham Lincoln, was a lawyer, and so were several other key figures in our country’s history. While we may not all get to be president one day, we could certainly rise to the constant challenge of defending our constitution and the rights of citizens throughout the country and beyond.
It is lawyers who protect the public and keep the law vibrant and relevant. Lawyers prosecute companies who threaten public health, unethical business transactions, terrorists, crime syndicates, and much more. They become the conscience of a nation, ensuring that our values and way of life are enforced fairly, and that justice is served. While this profession can be lucrative for successful litigants, it can also be an intensely rewarding way to serve your community.
In most cases, a legal career begins with a four-year undergraduate degree, then a three-year program at an accredited law school, followed by an examination administered by the American Bar Association. If you are presently in a different career and are contemplating a career change, you can begin your path with an online liberal arts associates degree. With a focus on Social Science, you can begin delving into topics like “American Constitutional Government” or “Information, Ethics, and Society” to see if this material holds your interest.
One of the best ways to get your foot in the door while still in school is to complete an internship with a firm of your choice. Once you have completed educational requirements and passed the Bar exam, you can then join a legal firm as an associate while you continue learning from your colleagues and managers. After you have proven yourself as a qualified and effective lawyer, your firm may decide to promote you to partner, or you might choose to strike out on your own.
Work Life Balance
While the salary can be attractive to many, lawyers are at a high risk for burnout and tend to have a poor work-life balance. This is something to consider if time with family or friends is valuable, or if you are seeking a career that will allow you to travel regularly. Lawyers tend to work long hours with rarely a day off, especially when they are just starting out and struggling to make a mark in the world. Additionally, you may feel the pressure of having student loan debt to pay off in the early days of your practice that will keep you at the office burning the candle at both ends.
A Day in the Life
While some movies and stories would have us believe a typical lawyer’s day is full of glamor and drama, the most common needs of the average citizen can tend toward simple but timeless topics. A glance at a professional firm like preszlerlaw.com can give you a glimpse into the world of a typical lawyer, but don’t let these topics fool you. Accident litigation has made whole industries and product lines safer. Family litigation has caused us to more thoroughly investigate local, state, and federal laws when considering impartiality and family wellbeing.Lawyers in the trenches everyday make our world a better place, from demanding fairness from insurance companies to prosecuting corporate greed in the opioid crisis. The bottom line is, if you’re interested in a career in law, your country needs you.