Universal guidance for a career in law 

 

There are a number of dilemmas and difficulties most lawyers-to-be and junior lawyers meet, e.g.:

 

–  Should I study law?

–  Should I become a lawyer?

 

–  Which area should I pursue?

–  How to find a training contact?

–  How to find a pupillage?

–  Should I become a barrister or a solicitor? 

–  Differences between a barrister and solicitor?

 

Should I study law?

 

 

A law degree is a challenging degree, but one which equips you with good research and reasoning skills, and one which brings you closer to understanding social structures. A law degree requires a great deal of reading, but requires little to no mathematical related abilities, spacial ability and similar. Due to the large amount of reading, it requires good organisational skills.

Should I become a lawyer?

To answer this question, one needs to think about the question: 

Why do you (I) wish to become a lawyer?

Why do you (I) wish to become a barrister? Why do you (I) wish to become a solicitor?

 

A career in law is slightly different from many careers for a number of reasons, including that:

  • No new knowledge

As a lawyer one is placed in a position where one does not gain any new knowledge while working – only learn about law or cases – knowledge that has little to no application outside work. The situation is different when one works in other professions such as academia, research, or professions such as physics,  maths, psychology, genetics, engineering – where generally one continuously gains new knowledge.

  • Not producing or creating 

As a lawyer one does not produce or create anything. One merely takes words from one judge and ‘brings’ them to another; or from legislation to court. This can lead to burnout, because other than making money, it is not easy to find another incentive for the work. AND

  • Cannot contribute to justice 

There is the common misunderstanding that as a lawyer one can contribute to justice. This is because, as a lawyer, you will represent the clients that seek your help. In addition, you will aim to win to build a reputation and to make a living. Moreover, even if one claims that they only represent the party that is ‘right’, one can only at chance level tell when it is just for a party to win over another. There are many variables. Therefore, as a lawyers one can contribute to justice at chance level.

Therefore, it is important to address this question before all the stages: commencing the legal studies, BPTC / LPC, or pupillage / training contract.  

 

 

 

Barrister, Solicitor or other?

Check the relevant pages 

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Schools programme 

Explaining to schools pupils about a career in law

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Minding the Law

by Anthony G. Amsterdam and Jerome Bruner

is a must-read for anyone who wants to develop legal thinking beyond that of analysing the law for the benefit of getting the next case.

 

Also available on Amazon