Starting off your career as a lawyer

I’d just like to give prospective legal wannabes an idea of what a lawyer is and where they go to work. If you’re hoping to enter this wonderful world of legalities, I have put together some basic “need-to-knows” below:

  • What is a lawyer?
  • Where do they work?
  • Salary and more career information

What is a lawyer?

Hollywood has given us a warped view of what lawyers do and how they behave. There is a lot of exaggeration in many portrayals of lawyers as slick, wealthy professionals. In most cases, the more well-known firms’ lawyers do in fact make very good money. But most lawyers put in an awful lot of time and energy to earn the big dollars.

The District Attorneys (DA), like we see on Television, do prosecute defendants accused of committing heinous crimes. But on the other hand, some lawyers never see the walls of a courtroom or indeed speak a single word before a judge. These lawyers sit behind desks with tonnes of paperwork, doing research or drafting up contracts.

At the most basic level, lawyers advise and represent businesses, individuals and/or government agencies in criminal and/or civil legal affairs.

lawyer career

Where do lawyers work?

Lawyers can work for big firms or small practices in a private manner, or they can work for the government as public servants.

Lawyers may find jobs as district attorneys or as defenders to a member of the public. They could also work for the federal government.

Private sector work attracts many lawyers to the big firms, where they will usually specialise in a specific area such as tax, divorce, environmental law or data protection. I’m not sure which is the most attractive to me, what do you think?

Salary and more information

  • In America, the average lawyer’s salary is approximately $115,000 per annum.
  • Lawyers can expect to work long hours in the office beyond the typical “9 to 5”.

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