I remember as a high school student pondering what I should do in my future. For a long time I was headed towards an engineering degree. Then I realized that our family didn’t need another engineer, and so at the last minute I swerved dramatically in the direction of the humanities, and left my pure mathematics behind me.
Ultimately, I believe that was a good call.
However, in retrospect, I had no earthly idea what I was doing – I didn’t know any lawyers, didn’t know what they did, didn’t know how to study law, and had never really looked into it beyond my habitual watching of Boston Legal on TV (these days I’m told I should watch Suits – although I haven’t yet…)
Some guidance would have assisted my decision making. What follows is a short extract from my E-Book on the topic of what to think about when becoming a lawyer. For the full version, you can buy the cheap book in full by following the links on this site.
The question you need to ask yourself is this: do I really want to become a lawyer?
WHY BE A LAWYER?
“Up until 35 I had a slightly skewed world view. I honestly believed everybody in the world wanted to make abstract paintings, and people only became lawyers and doctors and brokers and things because they couldn’t make abstract paintings.” – Frank Stella
Hopefully as you have progressed in your life so far, you have gotten into the habit of reasoning (at least a little) with yourself about the question: why?
Asking yourself why you want to do something, and taking the time to articulate a proper and honest answer, can be a stark wake up call to some who have headed for so long in a particular direction that they actually don’t understand the reasons for it anymore (or never had any reasons in the first place). I strongly recommend you do it: now. In fact, after you read this chapter, stop reading for a bit and go and have a proper think about why it is that you actually want to be a lawyer. Take notes if that helps.
A decision to take up legal studies and then a subsequent decision to begin a career in the law is potentially long term, and not to be taken lightly. You are doing yourself a distinct disservice if you don’t carefully consider your motivation for doing it, and then examine whether that motivation is really going to give you the incentive you need.”
In the book I discuss in more detail some of the motivating factors that you might consider, including:
- Power and Influence;
- Intellectual Stimulation;
- Helping People.
If, like me, you would like some assistance to guide you in your decision making, then I encourage you to learn as much as you can from every source available. Maybe that’s the book from this site, maybe it’s talking to friends, family, teachers or lawyers that you know. Either way – an informed decision is always better than relying on the “ignorance is bliss” principle.