This is going to be the hard truth most lawyers who work in law firms they work crazy hours if you don’t like writing I would say being a lawyer probably isn’t for you, because you will be doing a lot of writing a lot of reading.
My life as a lawyer how I got here what it’s like law school how to apply to law school how to take the bar exam you guys are really interested in my life as a lawyer so I wanted to share with you about, should I be a lawyer? should I go to law school, and my story and how I ended up here so you guys can kind of understand whether or not being a lawyer.
Is for you and if the law profession is something that you want to get into because there’s a lot of things to take into consideration and I feel like a lot of people don’t do the research before they get into it or they do but they don’t truly listen like I did before I begin.
I just want to saying that this is going to be the hard truth it is going to be what my opinion is on being a lawyer there are so many lawyers out there and each one has a different opinion so this is just mine I just want to give you guys a truth about my feelings towards being a lawyer and what to take into consideration when you’re thinking about becoming one.
It may be tough to swallow some of this but I hope you guys really just take it with a grain of salt and do your research fully before you get into any career. First of all I wanted to say, that it was never a dream of mine to become a lawyer I didn’t grow up thinking I was going to be a lawyer I actually thought I was going to be an environmentalist. I remember in eighth grade we study geothermal energy and I thought it was really exciting so I was, like I’m going to be an environmentalist.
I’m going to be an environmental scientist I’m a study geothermal energy in Iceland and it’s gonna be great then it hit ap bio time and I realized, I am really not gonna science so I entered college. I started studying political science because it’s an easy degree it’s, something that is pretty universal so I thought I’ll just start up that way my mom runs a non-profit she kind of gave me the idea of maybe doing public policy because, she knew I like to write so I thought political science might be a good way to start that off halfway through my freshman year.
My mom called me and said you know have you thought about going to law school a lot of people who are in the government or public policy end up going to law school. First and then they become policymakers and I thought well honestly I don’t think of myself as a lawyer I’m not very.
I’m not going I don’t like talking to people very much so I don’t know, why I would be a lawyer but she said there’s different types of lawyers and you know. Just give it a try so I did a little bit of research I applied for an internship called Justice Corps. I got in my sophomore year so I decided to go and learn about what it meant to be a lawyer.
I picked family law because I thought that was a little more interesting, so I basically helped people to file domestic violence cases in the Family Court they would come and they would seek our free legal advice, we would listen to the story take down notes help them. Fill out the paperwork and then get them sent over to the judge, so it was interesting and I thought this was something that I could see myself doing potentially so I continue down that path next step was to take the LSAT so I took a class.
I said before the LSAT I took the LSAT and then I was like well, I guess I’m applying to law school so I applied to law schools and I ended up getting into Chapman and I’ll have a story about the process of going into law school and why, I chose Chapman and that rate I was like well.
I’m I guess I’m going to law school so I went into law school it was it’s three years it was the three hardest years of my life never studied that much in my life. I’ll have a whole video about that too my thoughts on law school but after that I made it through somehow and I took the bar exam I took the California.
Bar Exam studying for it is a whole nother beast which I will also cover in a different article I took the bar exam the first time and I passed miraculously praise God and I started applying for jobs and basically my first job was in house. I’ll also have a story all about my career and how I was able to go in house right away and what that means to go in house so basically, I just kept down this path of being a lawyer. because
I started out that way and I’m the type of person that if I start something I generally finish it, so I just found myself working as a lawyer even though it wasn’t something that I was super passionate about and it wasn’t something that. I had been dreaming of as a little kid, I think the first thing to really take into consideration if you’re thinking about going to law school or becoming a lawyer is what are your reasons for becoming a lawyer obviously.
I didn’t know what else to do, I don’t have any special skills and I didn’t have any special passions so I just started on this path and I ended up being a lawyer, but for you you really need to ask your self, am doing this just because it’s prestigious, just because my parents told me to just because I saw it on TV like really dig deep down and figure out.
Why do you want to be a lawyer? do you want to save the world? a lot of people say they want to help people and that’s a great reason but really thing is becoming a lawyer the best way to help people because, I would have to say there are a lot of people out there who claim they want to help people as being a lawyer and I don’t think they’re really doing that you may start off that in the beginning but as you go through law school and the burdens of law school debt and trying to find a job incorporate America, you may find that your goal or your passion for helping people is getting lower and lower on your standards and you may not end up helping people the way you think you are, if you’re really passionate about something else. I know you probably hear this a lot from other or people out there that you should really do what you want to do and don’t do it just because, someone else told you to or because you think you’re gonna make a lot of money.
Because it will not buy your happiness and let me just tell you that right now being a lawyer is tough it is not easy and you’re going to be in a lot of debt so really think about the reasons why, you want to be a lawyer and if your reasoning is that it’s just a passion of yours you really like the law you like reading the law you like to negotiate and debate with people you’d like to write a lot then maybe look being a lawyer is for you but there’s just a lot of things to take into consideration.
My second piece of advice is to really know, what you like to do what kind of work excites you this is advice that I would use across all careers it doesn’t only have to be applied to if you want to be a lawyer but think about what you’ll be doing on a day, to day I know some of you watched my day in the life.
You can click up here to watch but it’s really different between each lawyers there’s different kinds of lawyers. There’s transactional lawyers and there’s litigation lawyers, I’m a transactional lawyer because I work in house I don’t ever go to the courtroom. There’s also the whole other side that you see on TV like suits where they go to court they argue with a judge with opposing counsel most of what I do is through paper and through email or through phone conversation. so it was a lot different do you like to get up in front of a judge do you’d like to talk a lot do you like to argue and debate and try to pick apart your opponent’s arguments, that’s not something I like to do at all so I would never be in a litigation lawyer and maybe you don’t like paperwork.
Maybe you don’t like writing if you don’t like writing, I would say being a lawyer probably isn’t for you because you will be doing a lot of writing and a lot of reading so that’s one thing if you don’t like sitting at a desk all day you don’t. Like staying at a computer you don’t, like dealing with slow bureaucracy sometimes because let’s just say the courts are not the fastest moving parts of America and you might get frustrated with certain, things if you don’t like dealing with clients that’s another major thing because a lot of lawyers of course. I’m a little different because my client is basically the company but generally most lawyers have a bunch of clients that they serve you are at the mercy of your clients and I remember my first boss told me clients are the enemy and I have to admit that he’s right, because they just don’t tell you the truth all the time and in the end you’re the one that’s on the hook and you have to figure out how to work around their lies or their lack of information.
So if you don’t like dealing with people if you get frustrated easily that’s gonna be one thing that could be a cause of stress so really think about what you’d like to do what kind of work situation, you’d like to see yourself in if you’re in high school and you don’t really know.
The lives talk to other lawyers ask them, what their day is like shadow?
Lawyers work in a law firm just get as much exposure as possible because you want to know what you’re getting yourself into my next piece of advice is to really figure out what kind of work-life balance you want so much of how you’re trying to figure out what you like to do during work it’s also trying to figure out what kind of work-life balance you want.
Most people work 9:00 to 5:00 but a lot of lawyers and I would say probably maybe 75% to 80% of them work almost 60 to 80 hours a week, when normally most people work 40 hours a week again being in-house is different, I really only work 40 hours a week and I almost never work overtime but that’s a whole nother situation most lawyers who work in law firms they work crazy hours.
They’re at the mercy of their clients they’re constantly working it doesn’t matter where they are because their clients ask them to do something they have to do it it’s really difficult to sort of balance work and your life and having a life outside of work you basically go in let’s say at 8 a.m. and you leave at 10 p.m. by the time you come home you’re getting ready for bed and you’re going to sleep it’s really hard to have time for anyone else and on weekends you’re probably working even more because you have to catch up on other things like maybe you neglected, if you have a family or if you want to have a family it’s going to be really difficult to balance both unless you have a spouse that’s very understanding and someone that can take care of the kids or the family or just your home while you’re away being busy so really.
Have to think about what’s important to you if you’re someone that you can’t see yourself working more than 40 hours a week and you want to have your own lone time you want to be able to spend time with your loved ones and your family members, I would say being employers not for you unless you can find a good job. like mine that’s in-house and even then to set certain boundaries for yourself to not overwork because there are being a lawyer’s a high-stress job and I know there’s tons of people out there you get super stressed during certain peak seasons or just in during their entire lives and I just feel like it.
Just cuts your life short and why would you want to go through so much stress when it’s not worth it in the end so think about, what kind of work-life balance you would like lastly to take into consideration for being a lawyer is how financially stable do you want to be a lot of people think that lawyers make a ton of money. But it’s on a scale there’s people that make a ton of money here there’s still people that don’t make their very much money and my first job I made about fifty five thousand dollars. I’ll go into a whole story about why that was but basically most first-year associates that work in law firms probably make over a hundred thousand so think about, how much that is but how much work you’re doing also you will be in a lot of debt unless you get a full-ride scholarship and if you do that’s amazing.
I would take it I would run with that because law school debt is no joke, I had about one hundred and sixty thousand dollars in tow and I came out of law school because I took three years out for my tuition plus living expenses as I wasn’t making any money, so if you’re thinking about how much you’re gonna have to pay that off over ten twenty however many years it a huge burden and if you’re not making that much or if you’re living in a city that’s expensive like New York, or you have other expenses you need to pay for it take that into consideration.
If you don’t have to go to law school if you don’t have to go to grad school I would honestly say it may not be worth it because some people think they will go to school and they’ll learn a lot more and then look at a high higher paying job but do you really need that to get where you want to be in life because, you are going to school you’re at the store, you’re being stressed from school, you are being further back in your career than other people who are not going to school and then you’re in debt so isn’t really worth it to get your master’s degree in something if you don’t really need it is really worth it to go to law school if you don’t really want to be a lawyer don’t just go because, you think and we’ll see what happens because that’s a big mistake to make and you’ll be in a lot of debt because of that the job market is tough for being a lawyer and sometimes it might be hard to find a job right away or a job.
That you think will pay well you might have to work like I did as a legal assistant first you’re doing something that’s not quite as glamorous and you’re not going to get paid as much so if you have all that debt then if you have this idea you’re going to be making six figures right away then you’re gonna be in for a big surprise so just set your expectations.
Now understand what is your final financial situation going to be like maybe you just got married and maybe you’re thinking about going to law school but came husband or wife support you while you’re there do you have kids.
Maybe you have family members that will be able to help pay for you and pay for you during law school that would be great maybe you can live at home and save money just think about your own situation like for me I moved out I wasn’t able to live with my family. So I had to pay rent plus living expenses such as eating on top of the fact that you’re not really making any money for at least the first year and a half of law school you just really have to take into consideration all of the factors. I hope this is helpful for you guys I know when, I was thinking about going to law school I talked to a lot of lawyers and I asked them if they liked being a lawyer and what it took to become a lawyer and a lot of them told me. Are you sure you want to go to law school? are you passionate about the law? and I didn’t listen to them I thought, whatever I’m gonna go anyway so what does it matter and I wish I listened to them because if I had to be this if I were to go back and do all this over again I don’t know that, I would go to law school and I don’t know that I would become a lawyer.
I am now and I know that God has brought me here for a reason and if anything now it’s to share my information and my experiences with you guys and just to be really honest with my journey and how I got here so I hope you guys enjoyed.
I hope it was informative but I hope I didn’t scared too many of you, and I want to help you out try to navigate this difficult situation of whether or not you should go to law school whether or not you should become a lawyer and just very around this big stuff in life because it is a big decision and it’s something that will affect you for the rest of your life.