There's a reason why so many people turn to law as a career. It can be one of the most intellectually exhilarating and challenging careers out there. From making a difference in the lives of others, to the personal fulfillment that comes along with taking on the path of a legal career, there is no shortage of enormous benefits to pursuing a career as an attorney.
And while the legal industry brings with it a unique set of challenges, many will agree that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. So is becoming a lawyer worth it? Here are some of the key perks for your consideration when making the decision to pursue legal career.
1) Big Earning Potential
Attorneys are some of the highest paid professionals in the United States, with some lawyers making upwards of millions a year. According to the US Bureau of Labor statistics, the median lawyer salary was just under $130,000 a year in 2021. On the higher end, you have attorneys like Bill Neukom, lead attorney with Microsoft for over 2 decades, who has an exorbitant net worth of $870 million.
On the extreme end, you have corporate billionaire lawyers like Wichai Thongtang, while not American, have proven that with the right strategic approach, and right client base you can make an extraordinary name for yourself in the legal world.
In other words, if you are willing to fully commit yourself to your career, then you can dominate your industry and become one of the world's most sought after lawyers. Even if you don't attain celebrity status in the legal industry, attorneys still earn well above the US national average annual salary.
2) Opportunity to Make a Difference
“Sleazy lawyer” jokes aside, attorneys play a crucial role in society by advocating for justice and upholding the rule of law. They work to protect the rights and interests of their clients, whether those clients are individuals, businesses, or government entities. Attorneys also serve as legal advisors, helping their clients navigate the complexities of the legal system and make informed decisions. In addition to representing clients in legal matters, attorneys also play a role in shaping the law itself. They may work on legislative initiatives, draft legal documents such as contracts and wills, and file lawsuits to challenge existing laws or policies that they believe are unjust.
By advocating for their clients and working to ensure that the law is fair and applied fairly, attorneys make a difference in society by promoting fairness, equality, and the rule of law. They also serve as a check against abuses of power and help to hold individuals and organizations accountable for their actions.
So even though benefits and salary may be appealing, the truth is that many people choose the legal field because the satisfaction of making a difference is worth its weight in gold. They have the means and the ability to help people through some of the most traumatic and emotional periods of their life by being a guiding light and an informative resource.
3) Intellectual Stimulation
Being an attorney can be intellectually stimulating for a number of reasons. First, the legal profession requires a high level of critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Attorneys are frequently faced with complex legal issues that require them to analyze large amounts of information, identify relevant legal principles, and come up with creative solutions to problems.
In addition to the intellectual challenges of legal practice, attorneys are also exposed to a wide range of legal issues and subject matter areas. Depending on their practice area, attorneys may work on cases involving business law, criminal law, family law, intellectual property law, and many other areas of law. This variety of legal issues can keep attorneys engaged and intellectually stimulated as they learn about new areas of law and apply their legal knowledge in different contexts.
Finally, attorneys often have the opportunity to work on cutting-edge legal issues and to be at the forefront of legal developments. Whether they are working on cases that have the potential to shape public policy or participating in legal research and writing, attorneys can find intellectual stimulation in staying up-to-date on the latest legal trends and contributing to the development of the law.
4) Broad Range of Practice Areas
The first year of law school doesn't require you to decide on a practice area as you would a major at a university. But once you’ve mastered the basic fundamentals of law, you'll need to narrow down what your specialty will be.
The great news is that there are a wide array of major areas of law practice to choose from. From bankruptcy law, to environmental law, to intellectual property law, attorneys can select an area of law that they are passionate about or that aligns with their personal values and career goals.
Having many practice areas to choose from can also provide attorneys with greater career flexibility. For example, an attorney who starts their career in criminal law may choose to switch to a different practice area, such as family law or employment law, later on in their career. This can allow attorneys to pursue new challenges and continue to grow and develop professionally. In addition, having many practice areas to choose from can provide attorneys with the opportunity to specialize in a particular area of law and become an expert in that field. This can lead to increased job satisfaction and opportunities for advancement within their chosen practice area.
5) Transferable Skills
Attorneys are fortunate in that they possess a number of transferable skills that can be applied in a variety of different settings and careers. These include:
Communication skills: Communicating complex legal concepts to a variety of audiences, including clients, judges, and juries comes naturally to attorneys. They are able to clearly and effectively present arguments, both orally and in writing, and are comfortable speaking in public.
Research skills: Conducting legal research and being able to locate, analyze, and synthesize information from a variety of sources is on an attorney’s daily to-do list.
Problem-solving skills: Attorneys are skilled at analyzing complex problems, identifying legal issues, and coming up with creative solutions.
Time management skills: Attorneys are skilled at managing their time and prioritizing tasks in order to meet deadlines and efficiently handle multiple cases or projects.
Negotiation skills: Attorneys are skilled at negotiating settlements and agreements and are able to effectively advocate for their clients' interests.
Leadership skills: Attorneys often have strong leadership skills and are able to manage teams and delegate tasks effectively.
Nunchuck skills: Just kidding.
These skills are valuable in a variety of different fields, including business, education, politics, and non-profit organizations. As such, attorneys who possess these skills may find that they are well-suited to a wide range of careers beyond traditional legal practice.
Some of us simply weren't built to work a 9 to 5 confined to a desk all day. Therefore, it cannot be understated that being an attorney allows you to have control over your schedule and work environment to a certain extent. This can be especially beneficial for attorneys who have families or other personal commitments that they need to balance with their work.
Attorneys have the option of working in a private practice setting, where they have the freedom to dictate their own hours, choose the cases they work on and be selective about the clients they represent. Attorneys in private practice can also choose to work part-time or on a flexible schedule, which can allow them to have more control over their time.
What's more, a great deal of practice areas are recession proof, meaning many lawyers were able to continue working and earning during the shutdowns of COVID-19. Thanks to the ubiquity of cloud technology solutions and video conferencing software, many law offices were able to go 100% remote. Needless to say, the flexibility of being able to work at ease remotely is enormously appealing.
It takes an enormous amount of hard work to not only to finish law school but also to pass the bar — one of many reasons attorneys have been one of the most respected professions for centuries. And there are a number of other reasons attorneys may feel pride for their career choice:
Advocating for justice: Working to uphold the rule of law can give attorneys a sense of purpose and mission can be a source of great pride for attorneys.
Making a difference in society: Promoting fairness, equality, and the rule of law is an admirable endeavor. It’s not uncommon for attorneys to do this for free from time to time.
Using their skills to help others: Attorneys are skilled at analyzing complex problems, identifying legal issues, and coming up with creative solutions. Using these skills to help their clients navigate the legal system and achieve their goals is nothing if not honorable.
Achieving personal and professional success: Attorneys certainly aren’t immune to feeling pride in accomplishments such as winning cases, advancing in their careers, or earning recognition and awards within the legal community.
Because of their unique and well respected position in society, becoming a lawyer is often globally seen as the epitome of success.
Why Become a Lawyer? - The Question is, Why Not?
While it's not always an easy profession there is no shortage of satisfaction that comes along with it. Ultimately, finding satisfaction in a legal career comes down to each person’s unique circumstances. There are plenty of valuable perks that come along with becoming a lawyer. Only you will know the answer to whether they are the right fit for you.