Friday, December 28, 2007

And on the plus side . . .


I’ve been pretty snarky about why someone shouldn’t be a lawyer (you’re only an attorney if someone has hired you . . . )

But let’s go over why you might want to . . .

Money: You can make a decent living. You may not make stratospheric amounts of money, but most of the lawyers I know who are decent at what they do make a fair living. By fair, I mean $100,000 U.S.D. There are those who make much more and some who make less. And because you work by the hour generally, you can determine how much you make. You may not be fantastically rich, but you should be comfortable.

Small Business: If you work for yourself or in a smaller firm you are now a small businessman. It has its hassles for sure, but it also has its perks: Get there when you want. Leave when you want. Need to be out for something? Who cares? Now most of my lawyer friends who practice law do work hard. I.e. put in a full day. But, they don’t have a boss (other than the clients which aren’t the same, at all). I once worked at a place where my boss would have a Friday afternoon drink. Yes. Friday afternoon, somewhere around 3 pm, he’d have a glass of scotch. And so would I. If you’re a grown up, that’s a nice end to the week.

Bookish Work: If you’re a fan of bookish work, i.e., you’re the teensiest bit nerdish, but aren’t technically oriented, law is nerd work for the innumerate. Really, if you don’t like reading, don’t go into this area of work. But if you do, that’s about all you’ll do. Sure, there’s some writing, but at some point, you may even get out of that.

You Can Help: Some of the things you do will really help your clients. It won’t happen all the time and the law is a frustrating beast at times, but there will be some days where everything goes right, the heavens part, and the beams of goodness will rain down on you.

Mental Challenge: If you work in a technical area of the law (such as anything with a tax component, but by no means limited to that), the sheer puzzle of it all can be challenging and fun in its own way. A stunt man friend of mine (odd saying that, but it be true) said “oh, that sounds like fun” when I told him what I do which made me laugh. It is fun, if you like chess puzzles or that kind of thing. So yes, there can be a certain mental satisfaction. Furthermore, if you’re in this kind of job, you aren’t really doing “adversarial” work. Constantly being at loggerheads with someone might be your cup of tea, but I was very glad to find something where I didn’t feel I was against someone every living minute of the day . . . ‘cept for the IRS that is.

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