The complexities of our legal system have created hundreds of legal career options that serve a variety of core and non-core legal functions. From lawyers, judges and mediators to paralegals, secretaries and consultants, the legal professional’s role is expanding and evolving to keep pace with the ever-changing legal system.
2. Growth and Opportunity
In the last several years, the legal profession has experienced staggering growth. A steady rise in profits and revenues, expanded headcounts and significant salary increases have provided plenty of job opportunities in a broad range of legal positions.
The legal profession is one of the most lucrative industries in today’s job market. Double-digit growth in recent years has produced healthy revenues and rising salaries. Associates in the nation’s largest law firms start at $150,000 to $180,000 and partners earn average salaries in excess of $1.2 million. Many non-lawyers also reap significant financial rewards in the legal profession.
4. Client Service
At the heart of the legal professional’s role is client service. Whether you are a lawyer representing a multinational corporate client, a paralegal assisting abused women obtain restraining orders or a law clerk researching a tax issue for a new business, the fundamental purpose of the legal professional is the help others resolve their legal problems.
Increased segmentation and specialization in the legal profession has spawned a growing number of legal specialties and sub-specialties that cater to almost every legal interest. Legal professionals who seek a career in litigation can specialize in criminal law, employment law, family law, products liability or dozens of other practice areas. Legal professionals who prefer a career in corporate law can specialize in tax law, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, finance or another corporate practice area that satisfies their interests.
6. Intellectual Challenge
Navigating an evolving legal system, advances in technology, vast bodies of case law and the demands of the legal profession creates a stimulating intellectual environment for the legal professional. Lawyers and non-lawyers alike must grapple with conceptually challenging issues, reason with logic and clarity, analyze case and statutory law, research complex legal issues and master oral and written communications.
Historically, the legal profession has weathered economic downturns quite well and should do so in the future, in part due to the growing geographic and practice diversification of many law firms. In fact, some practice areas such as litigation, bankruptcy and reorganization, residential real estate foreclosures and regulatory compliance will actually benefit from an economic slowdown. As a result, legal professionals should find plenty of job opportunities in any economic climate.
In a culture that views high pay, impressive schooling and societal power as hallmarks of success, the legal profession has long been regarded as a noble and elite profession. This image is further boosted by the portrayal of legal careers in the media as exciting, glamorous, fast-paced and desired. As a result, the legal profession has held its allure and careers in the law remain is one of the most sought-after professions in today’s job market.
More firms and corporations are crossing international borders and expanding across the globe through mergers, acquisitions, consolidation and collaboration with foreign counsel. The globalization of the legal profession provides today’s legal professional with a world view and the opportunity to serve international clients.
The legal profession is continually changing and evolving, bringing new challenges and rewards. Legal professionals must be problem-solvers and innovators, willing to assume new responsibilities, tackle new challenges, master new technology and navigate an ever-evolving legal system. This dynamic legal landscape makes each day unique and fosters an enjoyable, fulfilling work experience.