So You Think You Want to Be a Lawyer

A look at what is in store for future law students


So you think you want to a be a lawyer…well, it’s not as easy or glamorous as popular television shows—like Ally McBeal and Law & Order—portray. 

First and foremost, students can plan on studying for about 7.25 years: four years of undergraduate work, three more years for law school, and then three long, hard months of studying for the bar exam.  

I personally don’t think any one undergraduate degree is best in preparing you for law school. Consider what type of law you’re interested in and focus on a degree in that particular field. Traditionally, liberal arts majors are precursors to law school; however, business backgrounds can be just as advantageous.

More important than what undergrad degree to obtain is the need to take college seriously and obtain a high GPA; the higher the GPA, the more likely to be accepted to law school. 

Another factor for acceptance into law school is the LSAT exam. The LSAT is similar to the SAT, only on a higher level. A combination of a good LSAT score and a good GPA will ensure admittance into the law school of your choice and perhaps an opportunity to reduce the 7.25 years. Some schools offer 3/3 programs in which the last year of undergraduate school is actually the first year of law school. To be admitted to such programs, both GPA and
LSAT scores must be even higher.

Once in law school, there is an old adage that says the first year they scare you to death, the second year they work you to death, and the third year they bore you to death. For the most part this is true…all except for the third year. I wouldn’t consider the third year boring at all. You take a portion of the bar exam dealing with ethics called the MPRE, and you have the bar exam looming in the near future.  

Overall, most of a law student’s time is spent reading. For every hour spent in class, one spends about two to three hours outside of class studying. Obtaining high grades in law school is very important, especially if you want job offers. The better your rank within the class, the better job opportunities you will get.

There are many job opportunities that a law degree can provide, but there are two things that students should consider before pursuing law school. First are the loans that come with getting the degree. Law school can cost about $90,000, which doesn’t include any costs incurred for undergraduate school. Second is that being a lawyer is not always as glamorous or exciting as it appears in movies like A Few Good Men or The Firm. Many attorneys spend most of their time outside of the courtroom researching and writing, not in high-profile trials.

Although this may appear to be a slightly negative point of view, I hope you have a better idea of what law school requires and what your future may entail. Always consider every point of view before making your final decision. Best of luck to you in planning your future.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

This article was written by Jennifer Shaw

Jennifer Shaw was awarded the Juris Doctor in 2004 from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 2004. Jennifer has served as a law clerk for Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, and became a partner with Shaw & Shaw in July 2005.

73 Comments

  1. Cold Hard Facts

    Law school requires an immense amount of work, but it is very intellectually stimulating if you care about being stimulated. However, thinking about going to law school and thinking about being a lawyer are two entirely different things. The practice of law is not an extension of law school. Worry more about whether you want to devote your life working at a law firm, than worrying about law school. Law firms in general are populated by a$$holes. People who literally believe that somehow you have agreed to give them your life in exchange for the scraps they give you in your paycheck. In general, the lawyers with the power and money who will decide your fate are cheap, manipulative greedy bast@rds with no loyalty but to themselves, who could care less about you and your family. Think seriously twice before joining this band of modern day pirates and scum. The legal profession has been grossly corrupted by law students turned lawyers, who only went to law school in order to make a bucket of money. The number one determining factor about whether a case is taken is “how much money can I make off it?” An associate is not a colleague – but a piece of machinery to be used to make money off of. Here’s how it works. Partner gets client – gives associates files – bills client for work of associates – pays associates as little as possible – keeps difference. More associates – more money. An associate is but a cog in the partner’s money making machine. And, of course, the partner believes it is entirely fair that he pays the associate as little as possible, because that is what the market will bear. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the partners will generally lie to you to make you believe otherwise. If you resist, well simple enough. We’ll just fire your a$$, and replace you with another desperate associate. There are far more sane places for a lawyer to work besides a law firm. Try government. Try solo practitioner. Many lawyers, unfortunately, believe that the only thing that counts in life is how much money you make. They are greatly mistaken and are wasting their lives. Don’t be one of them!

  2. kayla

    i want to be a lawyer in the future and i am looking foward to it but reading this article isnt making me want to be one so much now. i mean i still do want to be a lawyer but this lady is making it sound boring and long. i think being a lawyer would be hard and stressful but intresting and fun too. and then the cold hard faccts person is sayin not to go to law school. well dont i have to go to law school in able to be a lawyer?? and i know people will lie to me but thats part of life and part of the job.

  3. MarcusArellious

    Kayla I would suggest you don’t be a lawyer.

  4. Monica

    I think you should do what you want even if it seems like it will be difficult. Reading all these posts didnt leave me with such positive veiw about going to law school and being a lawyer but I know that I want to be a lawyer no matter what. So I will pursue my dream no matter the difficulty level. Besides, I like to dream big!

  5. Matt

    I’m just starting law school in fall and this article didnt dissuade me at all
    One should be as prepared as possible for all the challenges that doubtlessly lie ahead. There are people who are hardened and have turned bitter by the process, but there are likely just as many out there who ,despite life having not gone as perfectly as they planned are leading great lives and careers. If your afraid of hard work and an authoritative power structure law should be the last place you look to for a career, but if it’s something your truly set on, go for it!

  6. jazlyn

    i reaaly want to be an lawyer.i love to defend myself as well as others,and i think someone should do right and fight for people rights.i do as well have experience with becoming an lawyer.i have been to acedemic schools for becoming or pursuing your careers,and there i tried to pursue my dreams,and becoming an lawyer.

  7. jazlyn

    i want to become an lawyer!

  8. Lanise

    I am thinking of entering the field of law. I am intrigued by the new experiences that it may uncover. However, I am in my forties, and getting ready to graduate my youngest child from high school in two years. I am in counseling as a high school counselor with several upper level master degrees under my belt, but the fulfillment of it all leaves me in a place of complacency, becuase it’s pretty much the same everyday. I am a life learner and love learning and being on the cutting edge of academics. I’m afraid I may be too old to start law school at this time in my life. Do i have the skills to make it, am i just going through some mid life crisis, or what? How do I know?

  9. carbonelite

    i wanna b a lawyer bcuz people dont know law we live under maritime admiralty law n codes names n all Caps r corporation not human no nationalities for us n America we outlae n cant redress da constitution only sovereign individual

  10. Deshaun whitaker

    Im going to the ninth grade at john Tyler high school in Tyler Texas.And i won’t to be a lawyer to death,but this article is making me won’t to change my mine about my future.So like what should i do for my up coming freshman year in high school?

  11. Kostas Liapis

    Anyone know how much a graduate with master in law speak 3 language can earn in Poland please?

  12. Lauren

    I am 15 years old and I have decided I want to pursue the career of being a lawyer. I am determined to follow my dreams and I believe I obtain the correct qualities and aspects one should have to sustain this job. I know along with this perminent decision comes the hard work of pushing on and never giving up. I can argue very well, I love to read and I can persuade a person to believe my opinion in almost any circumstance. I’m ready for this and I know I’ve been through enough to maturely see things through a realistic point of view with positive intellectual thoughts. So all in all, I have made my desicion to finish high school with honors and a high GPA and then take four years of college with an additional three years of law school, to then pass my bar exam and become a lawyer at the age of 25 with a legal license to practice in court. CASE CLOSED! *no pun intended

  13. Charlie

    I must make up my mind about what career to pursue and I believe I can fit the lawyer profile and/or the ability to work with law. But my working habits are of an average quality. In other words my grades are not 4.0′s. Could this be a big problem? Another concern of mine is what “Cold Hard Facts” said about lawyers being unmoral egocentric people, if this is so, will some one like me who cares about others a lot have a hard time being a lawyer?

  14. Larry

    I have put a-lot of thought in becoming a lawyer. After reading this article and other comments. My decision to become a lawyer is still solid and unwavering. I will become a lawyer. Someday I will start my own firm I will fight for my clients not based on there ability to pay or not pay. My selection of clients will be based on there need and my ability to fight for them. JD.

  15. Liz

    In this article it states that it is mostly book work and writing, which this is an accurate description. The only reason I want to be a Lawyer is to get where I want to go. My long term goal is to be a FBI agent. Becoming a Lawyer will make me have a higher chance of doing what I want to do, in fact, if I don’t get where I want to go, at least I am going to do something I am very passionate about: fighting for what is right. I will not back down. If people give me shit, I will fight them and I always win an argument. So fair is fair.

  16. marie

    I wanted to be a lawyer but English is not my first language. If I rate my English skill it would be 4 out of 10. I work as a Telephone Representative right now and talking with hundreds of people everyday gives me confidence to have conversation in English but then they are all plain and simple. If I would take 1st level of this program do you think my English would be that bad? I do not know why I have this imagination of a professor pointing my face and saying “you won’t make it because of your do not speak English!” I finished BA in college. I came from Philippines where Education is taught in English but still I’m fully aware I’ve been having trouble with grammars and vocabularies. I feel like doing Law I have to be armed with high-profile-engish-skilled brain first…I graduated in 2010- been a while, and I’m turning 32 full of doubts. Help!

  17. marie

    *because you do not speak english

  18. Ahmia

    I want to be a lawyer and i am trying to figure out what should i take for collage to prepare for law school? Can anyone pls tell me? Thank you! :)

  19. Ahmia

    College i mean :)

  20. Ryjacork

    Ive wanted to be a lawyer for as longa s I can remember. Ive always had a passion for the law, and its the only thing Ive ever given serious consideration to as a job. But latley Ive been scared to death reading all the horror stories about how tough the job market is.

    I dont want to wind up flipping burgers with a law degree and a 100,000$ student loan. I dont know what to do now…

  21. Jalebo

    I understand it will not be easy. I will have to get a bachelor degree, get a good GPA, make it into law school, and pass the bar test to become a lawyer, and I know that collage and law school is not always going to be a ball and it is going to be stressful and hard. I understand that being a lawyer is going to be stressful, hard, and boring at times and there might be points I don’t love my job. Plus I’m probably have to deal with greedy people, jackbutts,and jerks at some point in my career. Although I strongly believe in myself and the fact that I can make it through everything, and once I did I would be able to help people and and make a difference. I want to be lawyer, I just hope I’m not dreaming too big and that things go the way I plan.

  22. Saiful

    I want to be a lawyer when I grow up later ! I don’t care what people think of me, as long I am doing things in right way, I’ll go on with it. Thus, being a lawyer needs lots of enthusiasm, courage and discipline. Many people say being a lawyer is troublesome in focusing laws rights and some other laws culture of education, but for me I do think anything can be possible if we try hard on it, I don’t want to let my dream down just from random statements and false advertising on the net. I will carry on my hope yet I won’t give it up !

  23. Mel

    Hey CJ, a little correction of another here and there, when you know the time and place… can come off as …educated, or funny, but honey your tyrade was just as ugly as some of the grammer you sit and speak of. Halfway through your rant I found 4 or 5 mistakes in spelling/grammar. Im just saying that you shouldnt be so quick to jump all over someone who has a dream or goal. Its simply ugly behavior

  24. Nick

    I think I want to be an environmental lawyer but I’m not sure? I got my undergrad in Biology, long hours in a library don’t worry me, public speaking has always been easy/enjoyable for me, I like research, analyzing topics, I’m passionate about the environment and helping people. But I don’t have the best writing skills and my ability to memorize information is not always the best. I tend to see issues from a large perspective and then categorize from there. I’m good at thinking outside the box and looking at concepts and ideas from a different perspective. However, I’m still not sure if law school is for me? Although, a lot of things in my life currently seem to be pointing in this direction. Ultimately what attracts me to the law profession is the idea of using the law to make a change and help people. Money, however, is not the most important aspect of my reasoning but I want to make a good living in order have a secure family and pay off my debt I will accumulate while in school. Is law school for me??

  25. Freshmaninhschoolwanabelawyer

    I thought being a lawyer would be difficult. I didnt know it was going to be boring. I love defending people and fighting for my beliefs, so I thought being a lawyer was the thing to do. This article is sort of discouraging because ive always wanted to be a lawyer, now, not so confident.

  26. Madi

    All my life I have been told I should be a lawyer. I am now 21 and have been attending college but I am still completely undecided as to what I want to be. I feel like the more I learn, the less sure I am of who I want to become. I am a very driven and motivated person who is well spoken, I am just so uncertain. The idea of dealing with high-end corporate scum is not appealing. Hopefully I will figure it out soon though… I’m tired of wasting money towards classes that may not benefit me.

  27. C. A. L.

    The people who posted that they wanted to be a lawyer are probably some of the worst candidates for law school that I could imagine. Please, please save yourself. None of you are ready for law school—not even a little bit ready, if such a parameter even exists.

  28. simon prince

    I want to do Law LLB so I want to know if is there any space for it

  29. sindi

    Eish I found it hard now to be a lawyer I feel it challeging,but I wanna become it one day I feel so let down now

  30. Cheyanne

    I am a young teenager, & I have been wanting to become a lawyer for a very long time. I have had my mind set, for about two years now. And I’m already looking into how much they make, & how long you have to go to school for it. I am not, worried about all the work, & how much you have to study. That’s what i want to do with my life, & I will chase my dreams. I think I am doing great to be 13, & already know what I want to do with my life, & I am looking forward to become a lawyer.. & Very excited!(:

  31. Sorin

    Just as most everyone who left a comment wanted to be a lawyer, so do I. All I have to say is anyone who did not use proper grammer should not count on being a lawyer.

  32. Jonathan

    Lanise, go to law school. Follow your dreams. You’re never too old for anything. I had a teacher, a good friend of mine now, who is around 70 years old and is still earning degrees in school. Dont limit yourself based off of what society sees as a barrier(age).

  33. Kwadwo Asare

    I want to know the number of years spent in school to be a lawyer and also is it a post first degree programme ?

  34. savion legere

    this is are very good advice cause i want to be a lawyer in my country

  35. Bob

    I am presently in Law School. I left a high paying job in a corporate environment because I disliked the culture. Boy was I mistaken. Law School is a cut-throat environment, filled with many underachieving people. Only go if you know for sure you want to be a lawyer. Do not go to Law School for financial reasons, these are the wrong reasons. Make sure that the Law is something that interests you and you’re passionate about. If you go exclusively for the prospect of good money, you will end up hating every second of it – especially now.

  36. J2

    As the son of a lawyer in GA, I know what kind of life you can live:

    A) be the best lawyer you can be, and have little family life
    B) be the minimal lawyer you can be, have a great family, but live a tight lifestyle

    despite these seemingly despondent choices, I intend on becoming a lawyer, and eventually becoming a judge. I cannot stand to see injustice occur knowing that I could have done something about it, and being a lawyer will not only help me accomplish this, but get paid nicely while doing it.

  37. Cele

    Becoming a lawyer has always been a dream of mine – and still is. I am currently in high school. The fact that I would have the ability to defend people, including myself, is something that interests me. I’m not sure if this counts – but I always find ways to win an argument… and I usually do! You could say I’m good at arguing and proving my points. I also heard that some lawyers get to travel around the world, which also fascinates me, as I love travelling. Even if it’s only to work at another office, I still like the idea. I feel that it would gain me a lot of experience, working with different cultures, and maybe even speaking in a different language, to improve the ones I speak (as I speak three fluently). I’m also a hard worker, and I learn from my mistakes. The only problem is that my parents want me to pursue a career in medicine or dentistry (they still like the idea of me becoming a lawyer, but they prefer medicine). I have a question: considering the amount of workload… how hard is law school? And how competitive is it? Thank you.

  38. Future lawyer

    Challenge accepted !

  39. muco

    OMG i really wanted to be a lawyer but that lady broke my heart ,for really if you want give someone advices you don’t have to say those horrible things ,yes we all know that it is hardest !!i like big dream thaz why i chose to be a lawyer.Guys don’t give up for your goal,just say God gave me a brain ,i have to use it as much i can ,it’s no for just having fun,we have to use our brain !!!!!!

  40. Josh

    I am a junior in high school, and interested in becoming a prosecutor. What major should I take in college?

  41. nuwanga yainne

    whatever curcumstances im gonna face,whatever difficulties coming in front of me im neva gonna give up on my dream becoming a lawyer.i only started my law studies .i hope i can achieve my goal:)

  42. random name

    Wait! So to become a lawyer you are telling me you have to be an undergraduate. What would happen if you would graduate?

  43. CftxP

    If you want to become a lawyer, you HAVE to go to school for law in order to gain the ability to become accredited anywhere. I also believe that if you truly want to become a lawyer for the sake of doing good, you have to endure the risks and potential consequences.

    I’m only a freshman in college, but the more I hear about how lawyers aren’t getting jobs or what not, the more I think about how a J.D. can lead to other career paths anyway. For example, the mass amount of writing skills you’ll learn in law school + an avid imagination could result in the next great literary work or your amassed knowledge of the law could work in your favor in the world of business. Also, having a J.D. carries a benefit in having the name itself, people know that since you graduated with one, that you have at least some knowledge in the law and are capable of doing that type of work.

    Anyway, I also don’t think you need to have your undergrad in a degree traditionally related to law in order to go to law school (like in medical school) but unlike medical school, no certain courses need to be taken in undergrad (pre-law students actually, on average, score lower on the LSAT than other concentrations) but courses in the social sciences & studies, writing courses, and classes that help you develop your logical reasoning are, from what I’ve read, the best way to prep yourself for law school with high grades in such classes pretty helpful for getting in.

    So I hope you all achieve your goals and I hope I do as well. ;)

  44. Donald

    @Cele

    Have you thought about pursuing the foreign service? If what you really want to do is speak foreign languages and work with other cultures, that would be far more optimal for you than going to law school. There aren’t many opportunities to use foreign language skills in law school outside of legal aid clinics and international arbitration. I have friends who have succesfully managed both, but it doesn’t necessarily sound like you’re primarily interested in law, which involves a lot of legal research and writing, document review, etc. My advice is to go to college with an open mind about a lot of other things you could try, and go to the career services office early on, tell them about your interests, and see if they have some advice about possible careers.

  45. shutup

    Get over it. If you are scared stay on the porch. Idiots. Grow a pair.

  46. future supreme judge of s.a

    im 15yrs old and i have read all the sometimes humorous arguments made by bloggers and it has scared me i hve 2 admit but since my experience of being bullied and seeing other kids suffering the same fate i took it upon myself to never allow ill treatment of anyone ever in my presence and to give all those who cant speak for themselves a voice through me and ensure justice and i have seen being a lawyer as my platform to do so an even at such a young age i have recieved prejudice from boys my age since i am a girl and sometimes it seems like no one believes in my dream but as long as i believe and christ is with me i can do it i was particulary impressed with one blogger who just said challenge accepted and with those words i also bid u farewell and thank you for all your comments whether good and bad

  47. Andrea Frazier

    I am currently a freshmen in college , and I have wanted to become a lawyer since I was in elementary school. Yes , becoming a lawyer will be extremely hard work , but just because of what people may think on it dosen’t mean you listen ! I am indeed young and have yet to find out how hard it is , but that has been my dream and i will pursue it ! Keep your head up everyone and follow YOUR DREAMS because I promise I am !! :)

  48. Azure Ybarra

    i want to be a lawyer but do i really have to go to college for 7 1/2 years i mean I’m still in high school and i have to more years left i really want to be a lawyer though its my dream job in life but, don’t want to go to school that long, i might just join the air force and study my law school there because i got told you can do that? what would be the best thing to do?
    (: please give me ideas!!

  49. Mike

    Realize: If you are one to quit on something you made a goal to achieve that is small, such as a test/study/date/relationship, you’re going to quit when the moment of truth comes in your career.

    You can’t lose sight of what your desire and passion is. You have to see through the bad times to know and feel the good ones. Now believe me, it is all worth it. Success if never given to you (neither is currency), you are the soul contributor to success. You could be handed a job at the biggest firm in america, but fail because you didn’t work hard enough to prep or you indulged in the glory of being appointed to such heights, before you have actually reached your goal (succeeding is reaching your goal). Failing is giving up on your goal, losing sight of it, or being satisfied where you stand on the brinks of success.

    A successful PERSON is one that reaches a goal then formulates another goal. Hard work pays off. If you are being treated like dirt as an assistant at a firm, that is just fine, you are only going through what you authoritative employer has already gone through. This is a cut throat profession. If you can’t handle the late nights and long weeks, then you don’t deserve to be a hot shot – plain and simple. Although, this does not mean you’re in the wrong profession, as many are claiming the case to be. It is that you are not in the right mind set. We are all capable of achieving what we want to achieve, but not everyone is capable of believing in the sacrifices it takes to get there.

    Doubting yourself is surrendering. Never surrendering can only lead to success. No one knows the path we will take, but if you stick to the right influences and the proper code, you path always leads to a checkpoint worth advancing to.

    Set minor goals. Encourage others around you. Be humble. Be aggressive. Be loyal to others and to yourself. Don’t give up on a goal because it is too hard or you have lost your way. Be ready for anything that is thrown your way. Learn from your mistakes. Take on new challenges. Bring your originality to the table. And finally, never lose sight of your “homecoming” (finishing of a job/goal). It’s your odyssey to embark, and always know that there will be suffering for everything that is worth anything to you.

    If you can make it through the first few years of being a foot soldier to a firm (with your goals in mind), the gates open up to unlimited possibilities. Not just in law, but in making a difference in the world. Money can burst into flames and be become earth, but you will forever live with Self.

    Wisdom, knowledge, and experience are of the utmost importance to every beings’ right of passage to an end.

  50. Brian

    Why not? mu dad’s a lawyer…try guys, because the world is not an easy place to live in…

  51. Brian

    oh btw patton lawyers are very uncommon, on average they make a fair amount, hope this helps

  52. DJ

    i know it is a hard work to be a lawyer, but just follow your dream if you want to be a lawyer i know i am. But being in 10th grade gives me a lot of time.i am adamant about being a lawyer that nobody is going to change my mind.

  53. Bj

    I’m an undergraduate student who is currently seeking my degree. This post helped me understand somethings and some things I already knew. I just got to get my G.P.A back up to a 4.0 so that I can get into the law school of my choice.

  54. ebony

    Hi im 11 years old and my dream is to be a lawyer since i was seven and i am up for the challange and i just wanted to know if have to knpw alot about math?

  55. davies adeniyi dare

    i am an ssce graduate i belive in law because i know it is my dream i am willing to become a lawyer no matter the condition i will get there pls dont give in every thing u do

  56. Should You Be A Lawyer?

    Be aware that lawyers are subject to much broader and more restrictive rules on conflicts of interests than business or careers. For example, in non-lawyer business jobs, no-competes are generally limited to 2 or 3 years, and the former employer has the burden of proving valid reasons exist to limit the employee’s right to work where he/she wants.

    In law, the lawyer is in theory barred from working on any conflicting matter forever. This duty applies even with prospective clients who meet with the lawyer in his/her professional capacity but end up retaining another attorney. Also, these restrictions are “imputed” to all lawyers in a given firm, so when an attorney who switches firms, the layers at the new firm also are subject to these restrictions based on the lawyer’s work at the prior firm. These restrictions can make it more difficult for lawyers to switch firms or take on new clients, especially the longer the lawyer has been practicing.

    Partly for these reasons, lawyers typically don’t pick to pick which side of a case they are on. Most environmental work, for example, is for businesses seeking to minimize compliance costs. Criminal defense attorneys usually don’t get to pick just the innocent or overcharged defendants.

    If you want to go to law school, my suggestion is to first read the Rules of Professional Conduct that govern the profession, especially the rules on conflicts, then get work experience as a legal assistant prior to deciding if you would like to be a lawyer.

  57. ADEDIRAN

    In other hands some people do say, to be a lawyer is not as easy as possible .Neverthless i will try my best with all effort to fight and become a lawyer .Am ready to face/ confront any challenges ,at the end of the day i make sure i achiev my goal. Dont afraid do as u wish .All is well.

  58. Carloz

    I started college undecided on what I want to be in the future. I’m currently a freshman at a community college and so far I’m taking my basics and now I decided I want to be a lawyer. What should I do?

  59. Nelson Lawyer

    My Goal is to become a lawyer, I have the mind set ever since I was in my junior year in school and now am planning in focusing on my mission and my vision rather than my dreams!! A lot of bloggers are not ready to face the challenges and not ready to become a lawyer.. To become a lawyer and defend people is not an easy task but be prayerful and believe that God have your back and proceed in your Goal!! I will never step a foot back in achieving my goal but work more harder to be successful..

  60. Milan

    I’m 15 in the 9th grade and I have a lot of potential and work ethic to become a lawyer. Next year I hope to join JROTC to build my leadership skills, and maybe even join mock trial. Being a lawyer is mostly all about writing, and which I excel in English, and will take English Honors next year. I feel like being a lawyer is for me and will teach me a lot about myself, and show skills I never knew I had. I don’t care about the hardships and setbacks I WILL BE A LAWYER!!! :)

  61. Chris

    The clichés (“Follow your dreams!” and “I WILL be a lawyer!”) that I’ve read on this page show very clearly that most people here are entirely clueless about what being a lawyer entails.

    As a lawyer, you will spend most of your time researching and writing. As a law student, you will spend 50-60 hours a week working in an emotionally destitute environment. If you have the “luck” of being hired by major law firms, you will have to forego any significant time with your family and friends. Your hobbies will virtually cease to exist.

    Most people here are apparently not even old enough to write properly, and have not experienced a cut-throat school environment where work takes over your life. If you are not even in college yet, wait before you give this career path any more thought.

  62. Ashley

    I’m 16 and in year 10 I know that this is early but I’ve been thinking about it and I would do what ever it takes to become a lawyer. I know it may take a while but I think I have what it takes to become a lawyer, it may take years but nothing like that is going to change my mind.
    I hope that in going to love the job and get the best amount of education I get from it as I can ❤️

  63. holly

    You need to have skills to succeed in any job. College does not provide you skills. In order know what you really want in life, you must have a clear sense of self identity. College will not provide that for you. legal work requires much reading, researching and paper work. It does not take more than the willingness to do the work and common sense. You must also be able to critically think and reason. Cross examination is a skill that college cannot give you. No college can prepare you to be an attorney on its own merits. A 4-5 year undergrad degree is moot and a waste of money. i do not deem shallow written proposals and recommendations to be valid entry requirements for law school. Are you going to allow the prosecutor to use a written testimony against your client? I would think that you would want to cross examine the person testifying.

  64. holly

    For the grammar police:

    Excuse my typos. “In order to know what you really want in life” “I do not deem”

  65. Rebel Vick

    Life is not about how much money you can make for yourself. That is a bit small minded in reality. I believe life is about the many chances to make a difference for the betterment of life on earth. You can accomplish this without abandoning your morals and ethics. We all have a major responsibility to leave this world in better state than in which we came into it. Whether you choose the study or law, engineering, medicine, or arts. When it’s all said and done, will you write you name on paper where it will fade or on stone where it shall always remain? Don’t lose yourself in the rat race for riches and fame. You where meant to be GREAT!

  66. Paula

    You know for all the high schoolers who dreams to become a lawyer, I totally understand you. Being a lawyer or going to law school is not a challenge on whether you can survive the 50-60 hours of work you need to put in or how much money can you possibly earn but its a battle against yourself. You’ll be tested on how well you cope with this kind of environment and the only way to achieve what you want is to win against yourself. If you’re unable to do that, move on into something that will suit you better because age and money should not stop you from exploring the world. If there’s a will, there’s always a way.

  67. Jennifer

    I don’t know why everyone is droning on about how tough it will be. It is. The issue is the lack of jobs…2 lawyers for every job right now. It’s wonderful you want to do civil rights…defend the voiceless…environmental law…challenge yourself…but it’s pointless if those jobs aren’t available. Law is not all about ideals, it’s a business. A business that took a huge hit during the recession and with the advancement of technology (coughs, legal zoom). Coming from a young attorney who entered the field for many of these reasons: wait. Wait until the market corrects itself and the job you want will be there. I’m doing bank regulatory law right now which is okay but no were near my aspirations. It’s highly likely I’ll end up going back to school to be a nurse practitioner so I can actually get a job that is intellectually stimulating helping people.

  68. Shaunna

    It is perfectly reasonable to want to research reasons why to be a lawyer but to then ignore the truth that being a lawyer isn’t as easy is as it looks is pathetic. Did any of you even read the article? Or the comments by individuals who know the process and the life? If you had all done that not so many people would have commented that they want to be a lawyer.
    Ignorance is not bliss. Read the comments and the article and if you still want to be a lawyer, your problem. Just remember, just because you’re a lawyer doesn’t mean you’ll have a nice house, 2.5 kids and a husband or wife. You won’t get the American dream out of this job unless you’re ruthless. And everyone commenting that they want to be a lawyer still lives with there parents. So don’t act like you’re tough enough for the job when you’re soft.

  69. Roy Philippines

    I’m in the last year of my undergraduate studies and now preparing myself to enter law. I seriously practice myself reading, writing and researching something. The above comments are somewhat discouraging. But still, i will pursue! it’s my dream and no one can dictate me. No words can break my firm grip. If your heart cannot stand with those negative comments, surely law is not your passion. Let us challenge ourselves brothers and sisters. Don’t forget God who has plans for us, better plans than we expect :) . God Bless!

  70. miranda gibson

    I honestly love the fact that being a lawyer is all challenging mostly because I love a good challenge , and basically becoming a lawyer isn’t only a few steps , yes it takes a lot , but do you get what you want ? I am ready for all of this whether its a little harsh or not , I wanted to be a lawyer for years and that’s my dream , so I will achieve it , and I will do whatever it takes , I want a good start and end in my life , I am engaged and I want to be with my fiancé for the rest of my life he signed up for draft so I will be a lawyer , I think we both dream big and we will achieve our dreams together

  71. miranda gibson

    I think all the hard work is just a bonus to becoming a lawyer- no it’s not gonna take a few easy steps it’s gonna take some hard work but it’ll all work through. If it’s something you really want to do I’m sure you can accomplish it, I am engaged and my fiance and I are really happy together, he might sign up for draft and I am to become a lawyer we both have big dreams but we will accomplish them together ♡

  72. jorge

    hi all…I wanna b a lawyer one day can someone tell what it takes to be one???

  73. YA

    I am currently 11 years old and have thought about becoming a lawyer or prosecutor. My mother is a lawyer, and has encouraged me to do the same. I, however, do NOT want to defend people; in fact, I am terrible at it. I have decided that I will become a prosecutor. I have already planned which high school I will be attending as well as the college and law school; I have straight As so I think I’ll be fine. I do. I think I will want to have children or be married; in fact, I think I’ll be married to my career. It might look difficult, but I plan to get there eventually.

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