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People reveal what surprised them most, tips they would offer others, and what they most like and dislike.
Examples of likes and dislikes:
Being able to prevail and obtain the relief sought for a client is, of course, wonderful for both me and the client. For some of my clients, that means not being drained of what money they have by pointless or unwarranted litigations; for others it means not having a criminal conviction on their record."
"having to deal with some clients who are not happy with the outcome of their case and have become frustrated with the court process. Having to pacify them can be time-consuming and aggravating, at best."
The legal system offers a wide variety of career opportunities for individuals concerned with equality, fairness, and justice in our society. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the 2008-18 decade there will be more legal transactions, civil disputes, and criminal cases, largely due to the growth in the population and in the level of business activity. In addition to a career as a lawyer, there are numerous jobs for professionals to choose such as mediators, court reporters, paralegals, legal secretaries, and consultants. Law careers also offer many areas of specialization, including, but not limited to, criminal law, family law, securities law, tax law, real estate law and employment law. Non-traditional legal positions also exist for individuals not interested in working in a law firm, with options to be found in business, real estate, taxation, education, and social services, as well as other areas.
A law career can be challenging and demanding, with skills varying by occupation. Most jobs require strong written and oral communication skills to handle large amounts of complex reading and writing, as well as the ability to effectively present arguments in a clear and concise manner. Strong research skills are also a critical component of many jobs, requiring individuals to navigate through many sources of information. Other skills usually required include strong analytical, listening, customer service, time management, and organizational skills.
Although educational requirements vary by occupation, most law careers require some form of specialized education and training beyond high school. Training for certain occupations such as a paralegal, legal secretary or court reporter may be obtained in less than two years through an associate’s degree or certificate program at a community college or vocational school. Educational requirements for lawyers leading to a J.D., or Juris Doctor, are more intense, with individuals needing to complete a minimum of seven years of higher education, including four years of undergraduate studies and three years of law school. In addition, lawyers must pass a bar examination in the desired state of practice.
There are a wide variety of jobs for individuals interested in making a positive impact in the legal system, with opportunities working in such places as private firms; local, state and federal government; corporations; education; and non-profit organizations. The following are some legal career choices: