We have seen many legal dramas and movies which showcase the gritty, fast-paced world of lawyers. From Suits, Boston Legal, to Marshall, these are just a small number of examples of the various lawyer entertainment content out there.
But, contrary to popular belief, lawyers don’t just bust you out of jail or work undercover for years to bust out a drug ring. Their work involves a lot of studying -even after passing law school- a lot of late nights and a lot of patience.
So, read on to see what being a lawyer actually means…
Qualifications Needed To Be A Lawyer
The path to becoming a lawyer is a hard one that starts early on. You will need a minimum of 5 GCSE and two A levels to get into a university. Even though it’s useful to study for a law degree, it’s not a requirement and you can take conversion courses such as the GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law) or the CPE (Common Professional Examination).
Keep in mind that most lawyers will want a 2:1 degree but any additional experience is a plus point combined with whatever you graduated with.
Once you have graduated, it’s time to study again to become a full-fledged lawyer. You will need to take the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) for Barristers or the Legal Practice Course (LPC) for Solicitors. It takes a year to complete and currently, many universities are offering it too.
Salary Of A Lawyer
Being a lawyer is hard work and you will be rewarded appropriately for that through your salary. This job is one of the highest-paid graduate professions and you can earn up to £36,000 early on if you pick the right employer.
From here, you will only go up. Some lawyers earn more than £50,000 for providing legal advice alone. Although, this may change depending on your specialism, your employer and your location.
Duties Of A Lawyer And The Skills Needed
Representing a client and advising them on their legal situation is the basic responsibilities of a lawyer. Your client can be a single individual or a whole company. It can be a court proceeding or a deal behind closed doors. Whatever the case, you have to do what is best for your client.
A lawyer’s job is different each day. From finalising a divorce, drawing up a will to just advising on minor legal issues, it’s a position with no boundaries.
The duties you will need to do as a lawyer are:
- Preparing for and attending court hearings
- Drawing up contracts and other legal documents
- Negotiating in court and out of court
- Explaining the law and giving general legal advice
- Settling disputes and supervising any agreements
- Researching and gathering evidence
- Analysing legal documents
- Supervising Legal Assistants.
Being a lawyer is all about being the best debater so you will need to be argumentative and fight for your side to the end.
Good judgment and analytical skills are all a must since you will be spending half of your time reviewing legal documents to see if they will help your case. The below skills are also a bonus point:
- Good at negotiating and debating
- Doesn’t lose their cool under pressure
- Good communicator (both in writing and speaking)
- Good at maths for the analysing requirement of the job
- Attention to detail
Being a lawyer has great job satisfaction, especially when you win a difficult case. It is also a well-respected and well-paid job.
What’s important is that you have a passion and interest in the law world.