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The path to becoming an attorney isn’t a short one, and it certainly isn’t simple. If you’re thinking about going into law, then you know you’ll be committing quite a few years to the process of getting there. Find out what lawyers do, how to become one, and how much you can expect to earn.
As a lawyer, you will be hired to legally represent an individual, a corporation, a business, or some other type of entity within a court of law. You may have specialized in an area like immigration, divorce/family, business, or the many other areas of the field.
Your duties will be dependent on what type of attorney you are, and what type of law firm you’re in.
You’ll work with the government, in a law firm, on retainer with a corporation, or as a self-employed lawyer.
Maybe you’re just fulfilling your destiny, coming from a long line of lawyers, or maybe you are thinking that becoming an attorney is just a good way to support yourself. Whatever your reason, you have decided to become a lawyer. Here’s what you’re going to need to do:
The Bar Exam will allow you to practice in the state you took it in. Some states have reciprocity in other states. However, if you plan on practicing law in more than one state, then expect to take more than one Bar exam.
Once you’re practicing law, you’ll be working more than the typical 40-hour work week. It’s not uncommon for lawyers to work evenings and weekends, especially when in the throes of a case.
The median salary for lawyers in the United States is $120,910. Median means half of the lawyers make less, while the other half earns more. Some lawyers earn much more than $200,000 annually. If you own your own firm, you’ll most likely make less than you would as a partner in a firm. But, it’s also not uncommon for attorneys to be self employed. You will have to do what works best for you.
There is average employment growth projected between now and 2026, with 65,000 new positions opening. Competition will be strong: Many students head into law school on a regular basis. This means that there will be more lawyers looking for an associate position at a law firm than there will be availability. Willingness to relocate may be necessary.