I want to be a lawyer, but is it for the wrong reasons?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by Senor Hound, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

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    I have heard a lot of people on here upset with law enforcment, companies, and other groups because they are being told what and what not to do. I do the same thing. I just found out a few weeks ago that I have the right to refuse a search of my car without warrant (In the US). At work, they talk about how companies will push employees around cause they little guy doesn't know what he can and cannot do.

    I want to learn the law, not only for me, but to help others out. I know I'd have to charge similar rates to others (gotta pay of law school somehow), but the idea of helping others out in this way REALLY appeals to me. Even working for a company to help minimize liabilities sounds interesting. In all, the whole field sounds very intriguing (other than criminal law... not for me).

    Anyway, as a total stranger to me, what do you think? I went and talked to a lawyer about this (which was cool cause we talked for a half an hour, and he was a busy guy), but he was almost no help as far as telling me what a lawyer REALLY does from day to day. He just told me not to bother, basically. But I wanted some other opinions.

    This won't be something I do for some time, but I want to start thinking about it now. So if anyone can give me some advice, or if you know of some good websites for aspiring lawyers, I'd appreciate it.

    And maybe some day, I can find my dream job of working for the ACLU! I know its idealistic, but a guy's gotta dream! :)
     
  2. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    I worked for the ACLU Nebraska for two years in college. I was an unpaid intern, but it was awesome. And I also wanted to go to law school and work with Constitutional cases and argue before the Supreme Court. Then I met beer and my grades went to hell...
     
  3. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

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    Court is not the part that intrigues me. Truthfully, I would be fine with not going into defense or prosecution (as I understand what these jobs are about now), which is cool, because I hear these jobs are harder to come by (it seems that's why most people get in to law). I like the idea of having a good comprehensive understanding of the law and using that to assist people. Helping people out is where I get my jollies :)

    I don't want to move any mountains or anything, but I think I would enjoy it. I just wish there was some way to REALLY get an idea of the day-to-day work of a lawyer. Are there any career blog websites out there anyone knows of? I'll look around myself for now.
     
  4. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Sorry to be piping up, when law is something I know nothing about, but I feel that in reply to your general question on what "a lawyer does from day to day" you won't get a conclusive answer, since the area is so vast, and the reasons for why a person or a company needs a lawyer to help them are as varied and diversified as all the walks of life are. What is one lawyer's day-to-day life need not be the other lawyer's day-to-day life. To me it seems like asking a doctor what makes his day-to-day life, and for them also much depends on where they work, how they work, who they work for, what their speciality is, who their patients are... you can't get a general "this is what it is like" view of things. I think you would need to be there and experience things yourself. More so, since anything you will find and read is written by an individual, and again it is only that individual's experience and feelings about said experience. The next person might go through the same and report things all differently, since his emotions were all different, as well as his perception and all.

    But I wish you luck! The job may feel "tough" on you, though. Very...
     
  5. altyfc

    altyfc TPF Noob!

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    In my opinion, whatever job you do... you should pursue something you're going to enjoy.

    Life is too short to be stuck in a job that you hate, even if it pays well.

    Go for something that you really like - be it in law or something else - and I think you can't go too far wrong.
     
  6. Jedo_03

    Jedo_03 TPF Noob!

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    Well... there's always be a job in a Legal Advice Centre (or whatever you may call them in the US of A)... Here in Australia we have Legal Advice Centres where you can "drop in" for legal advice on a diversity of matters.
    AFAIK, it is just advice though - what to do - where to go next...
    Maybe enough earning$ to finance a 40d and some L glass - but never make you as famous as Perry Mason...
    I hear that lawyers and legal advisors make triple the income of medical types which makes me wish I'd chosen Law... too late now...
    Jedo
     
  7. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'll repete what the lawyer said, Don't bother becoming a lawyer. More work than necessary, too broad of a field to just drop into for no particular reason.

    Just sit down infront of your computer and read all about laws. Start with local laws and work up to state and federal. Read the actual written laws them selves not some half assed inturpritations. Doing it this way is less restricting and far more useful.
     
  8. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    I have been working very closely with a lawyer for the past 3 years prosecuting a substantial law suit. A lawyer needs great contacts with specialists in a variety of fields that he can use related to cases. This means forensic accountants, psychiatrists, surgeons, police etc. There is a considerable amount of day to day paperwork. Reports from various experts make up a large part of a case and these need to be initiated and paid for, initially often by the lawyer. They also of course need to be read and remembered by the lawyer. The lawyer I am working with, only takes about 10 cases per year. The photocopying charges per case can average $20,000. The lawyer also has to know all aspects of the laws and in some cases even has to go to court to get information under the so-called Freedom of Information Act.

    He also by the way works on many Saturdays and Sunday mornings and has a considerable staff of legal assistants. Communication is also time consuming with clients, specialists, insurance companies, and opposing lawers, judges etc. Key boarding is of course absolutely essential as well since blackberrys and email is also used extensively.

    skieur
     
  9. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    You want to be a lawyer?

    What happened...did you get tired of your soul?
     
  10. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    :lol:
     
  11. Rhys

    Rhys TPF Noob!

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    It's a good profession if you can present arguments clearly, concisely and effectively. It does tie you down to a specific country or state though.
     
  12. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replies. I really don't know why I posted something like this on a photo forum, but you guys are so smart you were able to give me good answers anyway :)

    I'll think about it some more, and see where it takes me. Right now I still have about 3 years left of undergraduate. IF I feel like taking on anything after my bachelor's I might go with an MBA. I was told by the lawyer that if money is your goal you'll be better suited to middle-to-upper management. I don't really know what my goal is, so I guess I'll have to do some soul searching, and then possibly some soul-selling (right Alpha? :) )
     

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