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  1. #1
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    Default Any Lawyers/Solicitors or anyone studying Law on the Hub??

    Hi - I have been feeling a bit lost in my life lately (I think i'm having a mid-life crisis or something LOL) and am looking to change careers. Law interests me and I was hoping there was someone out there who could answer a few questions for me??

  2. #2
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    I've been a lawyer for 9 years now (eek!). Happy to answer any questions as best I can

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    Thank you both so much for replying. Missie_mack you have answered one of my questions already, although I pretty much assumed that it wouldn't be hugely family friendly. Can this depend on the area you work in though?? I was also wanting to know if I have what it takes to even do the course? Do you have to be a real 'smarty-pants' (no offense!) or do those of us with average intelligence also stand a chance of passing? I am by no means a dummy, but I was never top of the class either IYKWIM!? I love reading and studying and I believe I have the potential to learn, and Law is something that interests me. But will this be enough? How hard is it?? Oh and another thing that is worrying me is that I unfortunately have a real phobia of public speaking. I suppose it might be something I can someday overcome, but is there an element of this within the course/career??

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    I have been a lawyer for over 12 years and worked in both private practice and the community sector.

    The community sector, this being community legal centres, is very family friendly, e.g, part time truly means part time. There is no billing but the pay is a lot less than in private practice. Having experienced both there is no way that I would return to private, regardless of the fact that I would be earning more, at least on paper.

    When you break down the hours and expectations placed on lawyers in private firms compared to those in the community sector the wage disparity really is not that great.

    Also you get real and honest gratitude from clients in the community sector.

    As for studying law I found it really boring but it was not difficult provided that you can argue a point clearly.

    I loathe public speaking but you really can get to a place where you can at least get by and overcome most of the nerves.The majority of lawyers do not go to court anyway as they hire barristers for trials.
    Last edited by MsTruth; 03-08-2013 at 18:33.

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  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MsTruth View Post
    I have been a lawyer for over 12 years and worked in both private practice and the community sector.

    The community sector, this being community legal centres, is very family friendly, e.g, part time truly means part time. There is no billing but the pay is a lot less than in private practice. Having experienced both there is no way that I would return to private, regardless of the fact that I would be earning more, at least on paper.

    When you break down the hours and expectations placed on lawyers in private firms compared to those in the community sector the wage disparity really is not that great.

    Also you get real and honest gratitude from clients in the community sector.

    As for studying law I found it really boring but it was not difficult.
    Similar experience here. I've been a lawyer for about 15 years and I've also worked in the private, community and public sector. I personally find it a challenging and rewarding career for the most part.

    I'm currently in the public sector part-time and find it a great work/life balance, one I couldn't achieve in the private sector.

    I also agree that a law degree is quite dry but not necessarily difficult providing you have the drive and stamina to see it through. There is a lot of reading involved and most of it is not at all interesting(Company, tax and admin law I'm looking at you).

    There are also many different areas of the law so you can find something that suits you. I personally enjoy advocacy and practice as a barrister. Appearing in Court for me is the most satisfying part of my job but plenty of good lawyers I know hate going to Court and much prefer doing the work of a solicitor.

    Maybe you could try some work experience in the field before you commit all of those resources (both time and money) on legal studies. The reality of being a lawyer is vastly different from most people's initial expectations. I know many unhappy lawyers who wish they had done something else.

    ETA- I also know a few people with law degrees who don't practice as lawyers but who have successful policy careers in the private and public sectors.
    Last edited by DailyDiversion; 03-08-2013 at 19:01.

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  9. #6
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    Yes as the others have said, private practice in a large law firm is not family friendly at all, but fortunately there are other options. I now work in government and find it a lot better (and more rewarding too - the whole point of a private law firm is for the partners to make lots of money - this was definitely not the reason I wanted to study law, lol).

    You can totally get through a law degree without public speaking, I did! All of the things like moot court and mock client interview competitions are extra-curricular things and I kept my distance from all of that.

    The course is certainly challenging - three-hour-essay-only exams are not for the faint hearted. But it is certainly doable as long as you have the time and the energy, and there is lots of help if you need it. You have to develop a particular way of thinking/seeing things to succeed in law, I don't think this is necessarily about intelligence, more about attention to detail, being able to analyse things critically and solve problems.

    I highly recommend going to some uni open days and talking to the lecturers and current students to get a better idea of what it's all about and what it's like.

    Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by shelle65 View Post
    You have to develop a particular way of thinking/seeing things to succeed in law, I don't think this is necessarily about intelligence, more about attention to detail, being able to analyse things critically and solve problems.

    Good luck!
    I completely agree with this as well. It's not so much a matter of intelligence but analytical, objective thinking is essential. I do remember that the dispassion required to be a lawyer was quite confronting at first. I also remember reading something when I was at uni that law school f***s with your brain or your way of seeing the world and to a certain extent this is also true.

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  13. #8
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    The thing with a law degree is I think you need to know what you want to do with at the end of it. Well, it helps anyway.
    Last edited by NancyBlackett; 08-08-2013 at 21:03.

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    I have a law degree but have never practiced. Some may say that's a waste, but it got me into a good position in govt which allows me a fantastic work life balance.

    Like others have said, my friends in private practice work really long hours and none are particularly loving it. They earn a lot more money than me, but then they are expected to bring in a lot of $ to the firm and attend matters outside their usual working hours.

    As for studying it, I think anybody can make it through, particularly if you have an interest in the area or have an argumentative & analytical mind.

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