Being a lawyer has its perks and setbacks. If you owe thousands of dollars in student loans, you already know the setbacks. However, the perks are limitless, such as being the legal authority at the dinner table, having high earning potential and finding constant mental stimulation at work. Even though you may not win every case and your desk may be completely covered with files, being a lawyer has many advantages that you wouldn't trade for the world.
Food for the Brain
If you had to perform secretarial duties, you'd probably be bored you out of your mind; however, you never experience a dull moment as a lawyer. Even though a lot of your time is spent researching and analyzing problems and preparing legal documents, your mind is still stimulated since you're interested in the subject matter. Because you devote so much time in your work, you don't have to feel guilty when you watch mindless TV or read fluff magazines during your time off.
If you were that high school student who started a petition to save the lunch lady's job during school layoffs, this is the perfect profession for you. As a lawyer, you get to help people solve problems and live happier lives. Just as doctors are saving lives every day, lawyers get to do the same by rescuing their clients and freeing them from legal troubles. No matter if you are with the defense or prosecution, you're helping someone obtain justice in society.
Even if you owe a ton of money in student loans, don't worry because there's a good chance you'll earn back the money quickly as a lawyer. According to the U.S. Bureau Labor of Statistics, the median annual wage for lawyers in 2010 was $112,760. Salaries of experienced lawyers vary according to the type, location and size of their employer. Lawyers who become partners in law firms have a higher earning potential than those with their own practices.
Perhaps you're not a show-off by nature, but you get to be one when you're a lawyer. Unless everyone in your family is a lawyer with the same specialty, you will always have something special to offer in conversation. If you're an immigration lawyer, you'll be the source of immigration legal advice for your family. But if your friends or family ask legal questions you can't answer, you will have developed a network of lawyers with different specialties that you can recommend.
Even if you don't want to be a lawyer forever, it's a good profession to gain marketable skills. It is universally respected, which can lead you to other professions you may wish to pursue. As a lawyer, you're able to sharpen your critical thinking skills, observe and analyze different personality types, and know and understand how the law affects everyday life and business. The education that you gain from law school and practicing law is invaluable no matter where your career ends up.
2016 Salary Information for Lawyers
Lawyers earned a median annual salary of $118,160 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, lawyers earned a 25th percentile salary of $77,580, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $176,580, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 792,500 people were employed in the U.S. as lawyers.
Cooper Veeris holds a bachelor's degree in English from Fordham University and lives in New York City. In addition to contributing regularly to various websites as a writer, she has experience teaching different populations and age groups including early childhood, junior high and high school students, and adults living with mental illnesses.