Individuals in the legal profession can secure their future by ranking in the top percent of their graduating class in order to stand out amongst the crowd of applicants. The legal field is predicted to see growth in employment opportunities as laws become more and more intricate and the need to hire lawyers to filter through the layers of documents continues to increase. Law school may earn you a degree, but industry experience will earn you a job. In most firms, you will have to work your way up the ladder by starting with tedious ground work such as filtering through endless documentation. Legal professionals must obtain a large knowledge base of law information pertaining to different circumstances in order to be well versed for any case. Some law firms specialize in specific areas such as legal issues concerning Health Care, and often times large corporations have their own legal department because their legal case load is too big to hire an outside lawyer. The law industry can be divided up into corporate law or litigation.
Corporate law offices focus on work with legal issues such as mergers, bankruptcy, or financing. Working in the corporate sector has more job security than other law positions; however, you are expected to work long hours and might have to defend an unethical client that may put your own personal ethics into question. Job security is due to the necessity of legal advice especially in economic times of crisis when bankruptcies and foreclosures are prominent. Working directly for clients typically requires offering discounts for multiple projects or initial interest rate freezing to entice the client to commit to the business relationship. In house corporate law usually pertains to companies that have their own department specifically to handle day to day actions in the company. These employees receive comparable salaries and are able to work typical work hours, which enhances their overall life balance. Contrasting corporate law is the litigation side, which focuses on the aftermath of legal issues. Litigation work may include employee mistreatment or class-action lawsuits.
Large law firms are globalizing their offices and decentralizing their employees across the country. This allows employees to choose from a greater range of locations to work in and enhancing the visibility of the company. Having multiple offices at multiple locations allows the company to work with a wide variety of clients while enhancing their name recognition as well as revenue. Law firms, as with most industries, are consolidating from multiple small firms into large companies that create a more dominating presence, enhance credibility, and allow the client to feel secure. Large corporate firms are located in prominent cities such as San Francisco and often have multiple offices other than their headquarters. Positions in this field are highly competitive, but also highly compensated. On the positive side, working for larger companies broadens your area of practice and consists of more job security, but ethical and commitment questions must be considered.
If working for a large law firm does not seem appealing, there are many options to consider such as working for a smaller firm or even working on your own. Middle sized businesses need legal assistance pertaining to overall assistance or specified areas in which employees can work hands on with the client earlier than if they worked in a large corporate company. No matter what type of company you work for, the work can be tedious and cumbersome as you sift through piles of documents. However, the positions within the company vary including a legal aid lawyer, nonprofit attorney, and even an assistant U.S. Attorney. The government employs a large number of lawyers to defend the federal government. Overall, if you don’t mind putting in the extra hours, a job in the legal field will result in high pay, high prestige, and high career growth and security.
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