Why do we need lawyers? The answer lies hidden in the profession itself. Lawyers study the laws of the land so that they can help you get justice when you are unjustly sued. Lawyers earn by helping you avoid trouble with the government. They study the little troubles that affect people emotionally, physically or financially, and offers to help by seeking justice in the courts. So, do you want to be a lawyer?
What is Law?
Law is the system of rules set in place by governments, regulatory agencies and organizations to bring equality among the people. Laws are meant to regulate people’s or organization’s behaviors. When set by a collective legislature, laws are divided into statutes. When set by royalties, laws are referred to as decrees. In the private world, organizations create laws and enforce them by making sure all parties involved sign contracts. For a long time, laws set by religious organizations and royalties governed how people lived. Nowadays, governments and organizations set the laws of the land.
In many parts of the world, the law is studied as an undergraduate program that can take up to eight years to complete. Studying law exposes you to a lot of issues relating to legal history, philosophy, equality, fairness, and justice. A law degree covers a lot more areas and opens door to pursue careers in a number of major areas.
Why should you Study Law?
People who are deeply interested in helping others in the matter of the law don’t need much convincing to pursue a degree in law. A law degree is a doorway to a wide range of career opportunities, both within the justice system and out of it. In addition, there are other reasons to study law.
To understand the Laws of the Land
Lawyers believe that a nation without the rule of the law would be impossible to govern. Studying law helps you gain in-depth knowledge about the law and have the capability to help people who don’t have a deep understanding of it. The skills you gain in a law degree prepare you to hold those in power accountable. You learn to help people gain justice and relieve them of their emotional or financial burdens imposed upon them by governments and the powerful.
To Help Make a Difference in the World
Studying law helps you to learn so much about it that you can identify areas of weakness and make suggestions for its improvements. You become part of the solution for solving citizens in your country. In that sense, pursuing a law degree helps you to learn deeply about how government works, what laws are helpful and which one needs improvement.
The Intellectual Benefits of It
Law students learn how to argue in such a way that non-lawyers will find difficulties refuting. You gain a lot of intellectual knowledge that can be applied across a wide range of opportunities. The critical thinking skills imparted to you, analytical skills, the knowledge of laws of the land and communication skills taught in a law degree can be applied almost every other career field. Other skills you gain in a law school include a presentation, writing, research, critical analysis, and commitment; all of which are important.
You Learn both Theory and Practice
Studying law goes beyond books. Many universities have mock courts where you practice law with fellow students. In a real sense, the law is much about practice as it is about the law of the land. Studying the program helps you know both aspects of the law. Many universities use real-life law cases to help students argue out cases, learn how courts work and all other aspects of the field.
Great Graduate Prospects
Many law students get employment within a few months after graduation. There are numerous career opportunities for lawyers. However, there is also the room to further studies through a master’s program or by pursuing law majors and additional training programs.
Lawyers are among the most respected people in the community. It’s a prestige to be a lawyer in many parts of the world. And that also means that you become among the best-paid professionals in the community. The average lawyer earns twice or more the average income for most people and in some cases, lawyers could earn ten times the average annual salary.
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What Skills do you need?
Law students certainly learn a lot of skills while at law school. Some of those skills lie deeply in one’s mental attitude and willingness to be different. Some of the skills are easy to grasp, but are, nonetheless, important to be practiced in the day to day life of a lawyer. There are also other skills, such as those outlined below, which are rarely spoken of, but very crucial for any lawyer who wishes to act and practice the law professionally and ethically.
Listening skills, however unimportant they seem, can make a whole difference in the life of a lawyer. Good lawyers need emotional intelligence-not to be confused with an emotional attachment in order to understand how their clients feel. They must listen keenly to create a connection with their clients. The modern world also expects a lawyer who is empathetic to the client.
Lawyers must have a good grasp of financial literacy. You must be in the capacity to explain to your clients why you charged them a specific amount of fees and why not offer the services free. A good understanding of how to run a business, your future law firm may be, is also needed in the modern world. Learn how to make a balance sheet, keep up with financial markets and be a good manager.
Lawyers need more than simply being team workers. You are expected to have collaborative skills, function with other people and produce a greater outcome than the individual efforts combined could accomplish. In other words, you are expected to function better as a member of a team. You bring out the best in you, and other lawyers do the same in order to make the best case possible for your clients.
This is probably the most underrated skill by many professionals. Lawyers need to be good time managers to perform at their best. The work of a lawyer demands an ability to prioritize and re-prioritize. It demands that you learn to let go some of your work to meet the client’s deadline. You quit the blame game and complete cases in good time.
Admission-What are the Entry Requirements?
- Pass in GCSE with high grades and attain at least C in both math and English.
- Have an international Baccalaureate pass score of 33 with no subject scored below 4 (European students).
- Pas IELTS tests.
- High school diploma in North America with a high pass grade level.
- Demonstrate interest in studying law.
- Recommendation letters.
- Hold a bachelor’s degree in any field (Requirement in US law schools).
- Pass TOEFL exams.
Duration of Study
For the average student joining college, it takes approximately 7 years to graduate with a law degree. In the U.S., you have to acquire a 4-year bachelor’s degree after which you join a 3-year law school program. In the UK and other parts of the world, a Bachelor’s degree in law takes three to 4 years to complete, but that does not guarantee you to practice law. In most cases, you are expected to further your studies for an extra four years before you can be allowed to be a lawyer.
What are the Different Fields of Study?
There are more than 10 different fields of law. Universities expect you to know what you want to pursue despite the fact that they teach you about a wide range of law types. It’s therefore important of you to learn about the different fields of study within the law.
- Criminal law
- Corporate law
- Bankruptcy law
- Civil rights law
- Entertainment law
- Family law
- Environmental law
- Immigration Law
- Health Law
- International law
- Employment law
- Military law
- Tax law
- Real estate Law
What are the Job opportunities?
With technology improving and laws continually being amended and broken, job opportunities for lawyers will continue to increase. The following are some of these opportunities:
- Legal executive
- Company secretary
- Business Manager
- Data Analyst
- Investment banker
- Compliance official
What is the Expected Salary?
Although the field of law is wide and varied, the salaries of lawyers have one similarity: They are high. The average annual salary of a lawyer stands at $130,000 in many developed countries. In big corporations, experienced lawyers earn in the upwards of $500,000 with lead lawyers earning millions of dollars. Fresh law graduates can also expect starting salaries twice or triple those of other jobs.
Top 10 Law Schools in the World
- Harvard University, USA
- University of Oxford, UK
- University of Cambridge, UK
- Yale University, USA
- Stanford University, USA
- New York University, USA
- London School of Economic and Political Sciences (LSE), UK
- The University of California, Berkeley, USA
- Columbia University, USA
- University of Chicago, USA