7 Things Nobody Told You About Lawyers

by Aaron Finch

The law is a fascinating subject. It’s one of the few fields with a deep-rooted history that predates written records, and it’s been an essential component of society for so long that people often take it for granted. 

With so much history and complexity, you might reasonably assume that lawyers are well-understood. In truth, there are many misconceptions about this profession – including what lawyers actually do, how much they’re paid, which universities make them best, and on and on. Seo service for a law firm is an attempt to correct some of these false assumptions.

Below we’ve got the seven biggest things nobody told you about lawyers. 

1. There Are Two Kinds of Lawyers

Although the type of law most people are familiar with is called “litigation,” there’s a different kind that deals with non-contentious matters. This includes things like real estate and corporate law, contract negotiations, and lots more.

 While litigation is the bread and butter of the media – with dramatic stories of high-stakes trials – it only accounts for a small portion (about 25%) of all legal work overall. Therefore, if you’re looking to become a lawyer in hopes of being involved in complex court cases or torts throughout your career, litigation isn’t necessarily the best route to take.

2. The Law Isn’t All About Car Chases and Courtrooms

Speaking of complex court cases, in reality only a very small portion of legal work actually involves litigation. On the contrary, most lawyers spend their day-to-day lives in offices, doing research and writing contracts or memoranda. 

The majority of lawyers work at firms; some choose to work as in-house counsel for companies; a very tiny fraction are employed by the government or nonprofit organizations. While it’s true that there is no typical day for a lawyer, those who aren’t involved in litigation tend to be quite settled.

3. Law School Is a Lot Like College

Law school is four years long, and in addition to the usual “reading cases and writing essays” type of classes, you’ll also be taking classes on how to be a lawyer. As an example, IP law deals with issues like patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and more – so you’ll be learning a new area of law.

 However, you might not realize that most schools require students to take classes in areas other than law as well: things like sociology or ethics will likely show up on your transcript at some point!

4. You’ll Be on the Job for Eight Years

Although it’s true that there are some litigators and others who choose to work in private practice (as opposed to firms or government jobs), the vast majority of law school graduates land a job in a law firm. 

Most of these jobs are long-term: most law students imagine they’ll work in a firm for anywhere between three and nine years, but some land jobs at around five years. If you’re graduating after 2017, you’ll likely be able to find a position as early as six months after you graduate.

5. You Have to Be a Member of a Law Society

The first step towards practicing law is becoming a member of the Canadian Bar Association or, if you’re in the United States, the American Bar Association. These organizations provide you with accreditation, so that other lawyers can trust your work.

 Once you’ve become licensed, you can also apply to become a member of the specialized provincial or territorial law societies that exist across Canada and in most states in America. Many graduate schools will require applicants to be members of these societies before they accept them.

6. Law School Is Expensive

If you’re going to law school, you’ll also have to consider the financial aspect. It’s true that scholarships exist, and that funding from the government or employers is available on occasion – but you can’t rely on these. According to surveys, school costs are the largest percentage of their law students’ budgets (upwards of 60% in most cases) – so you’re going to need to take care of all other expenses as well.

7. The Best Schools Might Not Be the Best Ones

If you’re going to law school, you might want to consider the quality of your school, as well as its reputation. While there’s no “best” school in Canada or the United States, some schools have smaller classes and are known for providing students with a more personal approach than others. 

However, there is a strong case to be made for the notion that going to law school at all is sufficient in terms of quality. Instead of looking for the best school, consider whether you can afford a place that’s in a larger city (meaning more networking opportunities) or a smaller town.

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