This is our office newsletter. It consists of articles and/or cases.
I give lectures to high school students and others who may want to be attorneys. Below is an article for all those who are interested in becoming attorneys.
SO YOU WANT TO BE AN ATTORNEY!
Many high school and college students may be thinking about being attorneys. Law school is a possible option for them after college. Below are a few factors to consider.
WHAT TYPE PERSON WOULD BE HAPPY AS AN ATTORNEY:
- The most important thing about being an attorney is that you like to help people. Whether helping around the house, helping a little old lady across the street or helping a fellow student with homework or with a ride home. The critical factor is that you want to help people and enjoy it.
- It is a great help to enjoy reading. Law school and practice involve a lot of reading. If you look upon reading as a chore, it is difficult to succeed in law school or practice.
I WANT TO BE AN ATTORNEY TO MAKE A LOT OF MONEY:
- This is the worst reason in the world to want to be an attorney. If this is your attitude, you will either fail, end up in jail or both. Why?
a) Many attorneys will handle other people’s money. If you are greedy, it will get you in trouble. You will end up taking money that does not belong to you. After all nobody is looking over your shoulder right then and it is so easy to steal the money. Sooner or later, it catches up and the attorney ends up in trouble with the state bar or law enforcement.
b) In dealing with clients if you are only interested in the money it will come out. The client will realize you are not really interested in helping him or her with their legal problem. You just want their money. Being able to detect this is a sixth sense built up through life experience.
IF I LIKE TO ARGUE, WILL I BE A GOOD ATTORNEY?
- Probably not. Far more cases are settled in negotiation than in court arguments. Negotiating skills are more important. In negotiation and in court, you often accomplish more by using tact and consideration than coming on strong with bluster.
- By its very nature law practice is somewhat confrontational. However, it is not nearly as much so as indicated on TV and other popular media. However, keep in mind that in law, as in every other field, there are some attorneys who are jerks (very few).
- Even if you are in court there is a lot of time at the office doing the paperwork of preparation for court and documents that need to be prepared after court.
IF I BECOME AN ATTORNEY WILL I BE IN COURT VERY OFTEN?
- Possibly. Many attorneys hardly ever set foot in court. They may do research or not be involved in law practice at all. Law school is a great background for many different occupations or fields. As an example, more presidents of the United States have been attorneys than any other occupation. Business leaders may be attorneys who are not involved in law practice but in the business field.
WHAT TYPE OF SCHOOLING DO I NEED TO BE AN ATTORNEY?
- Usually you will have a Bachelor’s degree from a four-year college in any subject.
- Law school usually lasts another three full-time years.
- You still have to pass a bar exam to practice. This is similar to the high school exit exam but far more difficult. It is a two-and-a-half-day test. If you pass or fail any one section you still have to take it all over again. Even those sections you passed.
- If you are interested in law schools, go to http://stu.findlaw.com/schools/ which has links to most law schools and paralegal programs. They are in state or alphabetical order.