Lawyer career

speedman

New Member
I know there are some posters on here that are in the legal field but I just dont know who. I was wondering what is a lawyer career like.. (high pay, long hours, etc...?)

I'm a senior in high school and I'm looking at either becoming an airline pilot or lawyer. The thing is I have little info about the legal field and id like to find out more about it before I decide what to do.

The only thing I do know( well about 95% sure) is that I will be getting a 100% academic scholarship to the Univ. of Florida which means i wont have to worry about undergraduate loans when im either in law school or flight school. Thanks in advance!!
 

BoeingDrew

Well-Known Member
I have a few cousins that attendended University of Florida, now there lifetime Gator fans
.
Sorry I can't offer any insight, I'm only in High School.
, but great job getting into U. of F. Good Luck.
 

MissedApproach

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
i wont have to worry about undergraduate loans when im either in law school or flight school.

[/ QUOTE ]Does your scholarship cover flight costs? I have a full tuition waiver scholarship but I still have to take out loans for flight training.
 

JHines

New Member
As a general statement, the legal field will provide higher than average pay and also higher than average stress and hours. It is competitive in terms of hiring, but it is not nearly as hard to just get a job as is professional flying.

The field is quite varied. Lawyers do anything from personal injury litigation ("ambulance chasing") to patents and trademarks to taxes to employment law to writing wills. The field is becoming more and more specialized and the number of "general practitioners" is going down. For example, because of the tax implications, the stakes can be so high in estate planning that wills (which might seem like a simple and basic item) are usually done by a specialist.

As a lawyer, You can practice in a corporation, a big firm, the government, or a small firm, each of which has its own pluses and minuses. Once you are licensed, it is also possible to go out and open your own firm, but it's difficult to start out that way. In law firms, you generally start out as an "associate", paid a salary. After 5 to 10 years, you may be made a "partner", which entites you to a share of the firms profits and also gives you managment responsibility.

The pay varies a lot. For example, a litigator in a big urban center who wins big lawsuits might make millons of dollars a year. A public defender or other government employee, or a legal aid attorney might only make in the $30K range. As an average, it is reasonable to expect to earn between 60,000 and 100,000 as a starting salary in a big city. Firms that pay that much will definitely expect you to produce between 1800 and 2200 "billable" hours per year. You might have to work a 60+ hour week to make that many hours than can be billed to a client.

I am a patent lawyer. I have an engineering degree plus a law degree. Most of what I do is writing patent applications and shepherding them through the U.S. Patent Office.

Key points of advice:
(1) Try not to go for a "pre-law" degree. Get something else to give you a fallback career and to broaden your experience. Like airlines, law schools don't really care what your degree is in. With the way that some degree programs are being "watered down" nowadays, a degree in a hard science or math-oriented business degree would be great for flying or the law.
(2) The most important consideration in law school is the school's reputation. This will have a major impact on your job search. Remember the old joke about "what do you call the guy who graduated last in his medical school class? Doctor!" The same it true for lawyers, but even the "C" students at Ivy league schools get better jobs than those at lower-ranked schools.
(3) Like flying professionally, you will be subjected to an extensive background check and character review in order to get a law license. This will include all of your medical records and any court records, including parking & speeding tickets and juvenille records (even those that would be considered "sealed" otherwise). So, best to keep your nose clean and watch the partying in college. I know of at least one guy who went all the way through law school and then was barred for life from taking the bar exam.
(4) Grades, grades, grades - anyone who graduates law school has a basic level of knowledge. What you want to do is to have a high class ranking so you get on the list of those who get on-campus job interviews from big, prestigous, high-paying firms.

OK, sorry for the rambling. Want to know anything else, email me.
 

speedman

New Member
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<font color="white"> </font> Does your scholarship cover flight costs? I have a full tuition waiver scholarship but I still have to take out loans for flight training. <font color="white"> </font>

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What I meant was I wont owe anything to just get the degree. ill probably have to take out loans for flight training or even law school.
 

speedman

New Member
JHines: Do law firms look at the undergraduate school's reputation and the law school's reputation or do firms just look at the law school's reputation?
 

JHines

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
JHines: Do law firms look at the undergraduate school's reputation and the law school's reputation or do firms just look at the law school's reputation?

[/ QUOTE ]

Both, but primarily the law school. The reputation factor shows up most strongly in how the recruiting process works. A firm will often "automatically" interview the top 10% or so of the class at law schools with good reputations, so if you've got the grades you've got an interview.

The same firm might not conduct on-campus interviews at a lesser-known school at all, and you'd be stuck blindly mailing in a resume or hoping that you know someone that works there.
 

Mavmb

Well-Known Member
I got accepted into a couple Law Schools and never went because I decided to be a pilot. Hopefully, that's not a decision I'll end up regrettting. I still think about going to law school again and becoming an aviation attorney. If anybody has any insights into that career, please give me a message. I don't know very much about that career. It seems that many aviation attorneys only do aviation on the side, so I'm not sure how much business they get.
 

tonyw

Well-Known Member
The only thing I would say is that it is never too late to go to law school. You can definitely do it if you want to.
 

Baronman

Well-Known Member
Sorry speedman...but, speaking on behalf of millions and millions of Americans......NO MORE LAWYERS! TORT REFORM NOW!

Thanks
 

jtrain609

I'm a carnal, organic anagram.
You might want to still consider going into law school. I'm thinking about going into law school as a backup for my flying career. My major's of study are in political science and philosophy, so I need graduate work reguardless. Getting a degree in law gives me a heck of a lot better fallback than a master's in political science.

Something to think about.

Cheers


John Herreshoff
 

speedman

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
You might want to still consider going into law school. I'm thinking about going into law school as a backup for my flying career. My major's of study are in political science and philosophy, so I need graduate work reguardless. Getting a degree in law gives me a heck of a lot better fallback than a master's in political science.

Something to think about.

Cheers


John Herreshoff

[/ QUOTE ]


Doing Law school AND flight training sounds like a lot of $$$!!
 

jtrain609

I'm a carnal, organic anagram.
Law school does not cost anymore than graduate school and I need to do one or the other with my major's.

One's just more useful than the other.

Cheers


John Herreshoff
 

JHines

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
Doing Law school AND flight training sounds like a lot of $$$!!

[/ QUOTE ]

Law school plus a flight academy would be a lot of $$$, but if you get a law degree, you have a better than average chance of being able to get all your ratings at an FBO without having to subsist on Top Ramen
 

speedman

New Member
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There's only three words to describe about chosing a lawyer career:

No, No, NOOOOO !!!

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Care to explain why not?
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
The world needs more lawyers don't you think? Almost as much as we need more broke but highly trained 300 hr pilots
 

Baronman

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
Care to explain why not?

[/ QUOTE ]

I can't speak for him, but as a group I think Lawyers have single handedly done more damage to society than any other group (Mabye Al-Qaeda is worse).

In a nutshell....They are like leaches, the produce little yet benefit by creating a system which requires their services.
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
They are like leaches, the produce little yet benefit by creating a system which requires their services.

[/ QUOTE ]
Speedman - a LOT of folks will say this.... until they need an attorney. Then, the song changes.

I've been in the legal field for approx. 12 years. While it's not for me - some folks really and truly like it.

Yes, the pay is comparatively higher than other professions, but so is the stress and workload factor.

At most large firms, new associates can pretty much plan on being in the office 50-70 hours a week. You'll do this for about 5-7 years and then you'll MAYBE make partner... at which point, your hours will then decrease to 49-69 hrs. a week.


SEriously... depending on what type of law you get into, it COULD be a rewarding experience.

Just like some pilots hate airline flying - others love it.

Like everything else - it is a job. Nothing more. Nothing less. Don't go into it like you're going to change the world by being an attorney... because you're not.

Remember what is most important (family, friends - NOT being in the office every day) and look at it as a source of income and you'll be fine.

Don't make it WHO you are, but just what you DO and you'll be fine.
 

MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
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In a nutshell....They are like leaches, the produce little yet benefit by creating a system which requires their services.

[/ QUOTE ]Does that include the 22 lawyers who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Me, I agree with Shakespeare! Of course, Shakespeare's line was one of the greatest compliments ever given lawyers.
 
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