The life of a lawyer is not glamorous and is nothing like what you see on television. As a young lawyer, I wish a fellow lawyer would have been brutally honest with me and told me the truth about being a lawyer. Often times people glamorize lawyers and it is a profession that young eager people go into either to change the world or to get rich. However, the reality is the job is far from glamorous and the majority of lawyers are not rich.
1. Balance Life and Work. As a lawyer it is easy to get caught up in your work and take it home with you every day. I make an effort to rarely bring home my work. When I leave my job each day I leave the work behind and turn off the lawyer side. If a lawyer is incapable of turning off the lawyer mode they will easily burn out.
2. Stress. Being a lawyer is very stressful. It does not matter what kind of law you practice the job is still stressful. The way I curb stress is by working out. A lawyer needs to have an outlet to relieve stress.
3. Competitive. Lawyers are very competitive with each other. At times working in a law firm is like being in a tank full of sharks and you’re the prey. The competition is fierce and only the strong survive.
4. Substance Abuse. This may come as a surprise but substance abuse is prevalent throughout the legal community. Instead of releasing stress in a healthy way, attorneys turn to alcohol or drugs to deal with the stress of being a lawyer. Alcoholism is common among attorneys and often a topic that is not talked about throughout the legal community.
5. Change the World. If changing the world is why you want to be a lawyer then think of a different profession. Of course as a college student or a law student you are eager to change the world and think that becoming a lawyer is the way to have such impact. It is rare that you actually get to change the world as a lawyer who is practicing law.
Although, being a lawyer may not have been everything I dreamed of, I am still enjoying the profession and attempting to change the world to make it a better place.