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In general, what type of person is best suited for a career as a lawyer?

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On 7/9/2018 at 10:39 AM, MissJE said:

And the only lawyers I've met who discourage people from obtaining a law degree are those who are bitter about their own lives/jobs and are projecting that onto other people.


11 hours ago, leafs_law said:

I disagree with this. I frequently warn people away from law, despite loving my job.

In my experience, it is true that most students do not know what a career in law is going to be like. They think it’s like suits where you do criminal one day and corporate the next. They think it’s a magical ticket to a lifetime of wealth. They don’t realize the time commitment that is generally required. They don’t consider the costs of exorbitant tuition and lost opportunity. They don’t realize the stresses and responsibilities and the tedious tasks that come with the interesting ones.

So, I’ll tell them about as much of that as I can. Then I’ll tell them about why I like the job and why I think I’ll never leave it. I’ll tell them that I make a good wage. But then I have to hammer-in my point that I’m in the minority... because I am.

And the more I hear from undergrads, the more it becomes my responsibility to push them to not consider law. Someone who wants to be a wealthy and famous criminal lawyer, or work for the UN on human rights missions, or even Bay Street or bust types. If that’s all that will make you happy, you should be told that the chances are slim.

There's something about having an anonymous stranger disagree with a statement I made regarding my own experience that really grates me. Perhaps you meant to say, "I've had a different experience"?

In any event, imo there is a difference between a lawyer sharing their own experience and offering words of wisdom to uninformed or overly eager prospective law students who haven't yet done complete research on what being a lawyer could really be like, and telling that same prospective law student that they shouldn't pursue law because they're are not the right "type" of person. As if there's a finite description of the "right type". I gathered from OP that these conversations somehow involved a discussion on this given the content and title of the post, but I could be wrong.

I'm not sure what makes any lawyer think that it's their responsibility to warn prospective students away from law. Help inform them, sure. Offer to mentor them, even better. But a bit of rose-coloured glasses (probably) never hurt anyone who was thinking about a career as a lawyer. 

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1 hour ago, providence said:

A lot of students come into law school wanting to do “human rights law” or “international law”, by which they mean Anal Clooney

I’m actually pretty sure that’s not what they mean, seems like a fantasy of a different sort…


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5 minutes ago, RNGesus said:

I’m actually pretty sure that’s not what they mean, seems like a fantasy of a different sort…


Lol. I mean they talk about globetrotting to other countries to save the world, making submissions to the UN, etc. 

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My experience is that you need to want to be a lawyer to be suited to being a lawyer (or any other career). Seems too simple? Might be.

Deciding what you want to do for a living is secondary to who you want to be in that career. Anything you do will have up sides and down sides the ups will hopefully outnumber the downs for you.

Most of the time little of your future life will be as you expect it. At any given juncture you just have to decide if you want to stay where you are at, or change. There is always the opportunity to change course once you are well down a certain path in life, including practicing as a lawyer. Yes that is unconventional, yes there will be lots of reasonable agruements to not change but you can if you hate everything about being a lawyer.

The likelihood is that there is something in you that has drawn you to Law so I would suggest that is what really what makes you, or anyone else, well suited to Law.

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