People who don’t practice law tend to have a preconceived notion of what a lawyer actually does or how he actually got to become a lawyer. It leads to many myths tied to law or lawyers. Lets take a look at five myths that are tied to practicing law according to aboutcareers.com.
1. Becoming a lawyer is a guaranteed path to financial success:
Not every lawyer is comfortable financially. For one, after attending those additional years of schooling, a lawyer has far for student debt than say someone who received their traditional four year degree and went right to work. Lawyers do not just catch on anywhere and receive a job. The most financially comfortable lawyers work for the largest firms in the world. These firms tend to have over 100 attorneys and make up 1% of all law firms.
2. As a lawyer, I can eradicate injustice and affect societal change:
Litigation is not clear cut in the sense that good trumps evil. Because you’re client did the right thing or was victimized is only half the battle. If you don’t play the law strategically, you can still lose despite your client being innocent. You still have to present a valid case and play your hand. More often than not, cases end up in compromise rather than right defeating wrong.
3. I will make a great lawyer because I am good at arguing:
Just because you can always strike a good argument and make a great conversation out of it does not mean you’re cut out to be a lawyer. You have to be logical, do research and essentially persuade a jury or judge that what you’re preaching makes sense and actually happened.
4. Litigators lead a thrilling, high-powered and glamorous life:
With so many law shows out there like Suits, Law and Order, or Franklin and Bash, its easy to think that all these lawyers live thrilling and extremely comfortable life. That however is not the case. Lawyers are not actually in a courtroom as often as you think they are. Practicing law requires a lot of research done on your own from your office. Less than 1% of all cases go to trial.
5. The work of a lawyer is intellectually challenging:
Lawyers are constantly doing the same practices over and over that the work is actually mundane. Newer lawyers in large firms are often in charge of doing a large portion of the work which can become mind numbing.