Considering a career in law? Wondering where to begin? Don’t worry. You’re not the first person to feel swamped by the options. First, research some specific roles for an idea – check out family lawyers, personal injury lawyers, or find a truck accident lawyer, for example. Next, take a look at yourself and think about whether you have what it takes…
Empathy (otherwise known as a gut feeling)
You may have heard of the ‘gut feeling’ people experience when they feel like they know what to do based on the pull of intuitive reasoning, but you may have never thought for even a moment about where the gut feeling comes from. The answer is empathy – and that’s something we all have (to a greater or lesser degree) from the age of about four years old. Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, figuratively speaking. When you understand someone else’s issues from their point of view, you may experience the need to resolve the issue as if you were resolving one of your own issues. This, in turn, will drive you to call upon your worldly knowledge and devise a plan, giving you a direction that may not have been there if you hadn’t approached the situation with empathy. See how it works? You may be more suited to a career in law than you think if you experience heightened levels of empathy.
Digging the dirt – research powers
Remember all those history assignments in high school? All those English papers you had to turn in on time? All those project write-ups for science class? If you weren’t the kind of person who enjoyed reading up on the topic in question and presenting your thoughts in a convincing and well researched way, you may find the amount of paperwork involved with careers in law to be off putting. However, if you’re gifted with words and if you find enjoyment in turning a phrase that makes a concrete point, careers in law may be for you.
Tough cookie – clients need you to defend them
There’s a perception that lawyers have an outer toughness that’s something like a poker face mixed with the stare down before a boxing match. That’s because it’s true. You need that. You need to be the last person standing when everyone else’s mouth has gone dry. You need to be able to take the pressure without buckling. Why? Because intimidation tactics are very real, and if you get caught up in a battle for what’s right, coming second is the fastest way to end your career in law.
Perseverance (getting the job done)
This speaks for itself. Some people are in life for a smooth ride. They want things to happen around them and they don’t much mind putting up with certain outcomes as long as their part in things is kept to a minimum. If this is you, you may wish to move on from considering a career in law. Perseverance is paramount. Winning cases is how law is done.