If you’re thinking of working at a law firm, you probably have a lot of questions. What’s it like? What will I be doing? Is it the right job for me? In this post, we’ll answer some of those questions and give you a better idea of what to expect if you decide to work in this field. Keep in mind that everyone’s experience is different, so these are just generalities. Hopefully, they’ll help you make an informed decision about your career. Enjoy!
The factors to look at
When it comes to Financials
Much like other industries, pay varies for lawyers based on what they do. Generally speaking, junior associates are paid the least, followed by senior associates and then partners. Trainee lawyers at large city firms are paid more than £40,000 per year and work towards qualifying for a salary of around £100,000. Mainly, your salary will be dictated by the type of clients you handle. A family solicitor handling high-value client cases, for example, will get considerably a higher pay than a legal aid practitioner. Once you become a partner, pay varies greatly depending on the type of firm you work for.
The Size and Culture of a Law Firm Matters
Big, small, corporate, boutique – all of these types of law firms have different approaches to internal culture. Big firms are typically known for their strict hierarchy and inflexible structure. These types of places often feel like the movie Wolf of Wall Street. Smaller firms tend to be more relaxed and casual. It’s not uncommon to go out for drinks after work. If you’re interested in a growing or entrepreneurial environment, then this is the type of place to look.Finally, many firms are finding ways to combine these two worlds into something different altogether. Results-oriented cultures have become popular among big firms in recent years, leading to more casual dress codes and relaxed work environments.
Which Type of Law Do You Want to Practice?
This is a crucial question for anyone looking at law firms. Will you be practicing criminal or corporate law, or will you focus on family and personal injury cases? The type of work you do will determine the kind of clients you’ll represent and the kinds of partners you’ll work with.
It’s difficult to have a good work-life balance when you first start at a large firm. You can expect 60+ hour weeks, especially if you’re working on big cases. Partners are often very busy, so it might be up to junior associates to cover for them whenever they’re away from the office.The hours get better as you move up the ranks. Senior associates tend to put in 50-55 hour work weeks, and partners are even less busy. Mid-level associates (4+ years of experience) can expect to work around 40 hours per week, with no weekend work except on court days. To avoid burnout, try to avoid the “grind” if possible. Take weekends off and know when it’s time to stop working for the day.
What You’ll Be Doing
So what exactly will you be doing as a junior associate at a law firm? Generally speaking, you’ll be researching cases, drafting documents, reviewing evidence and attending meetings with partners. As your experience increases, your responsibilities will become more complex. You might be asked to draft briefs for court or conduct interviews with clients.
The Day in the Life of an Attorney
A typical day as a criminal defense attorney for an individual who handles both civil and criminal cases usually begins with getting to the office early so you have time to write a detailed schedule of all your hearings, meetings, and important phone calls. If there’s a case going on trial that day, you need to get yourself organized to make sure you’re prepared and don’t miss anything important. When court begins, you’ll probably spend the majority of your time in the courtroom preparing with your client for what is to come.During a trial, you need to be on top of every detail of your case so that if something unexpected happens or one of the other party’s attorneys tries to trip you up, you know how to react.
Is It Worth Working in a Law Firm?
Law is a challenging job. However, it is one of the most rewarding career paths you can go on. It is important to remember that many big law firms have struggled in recent years and have had layoffs or experienced difficulties in paying partners their salaries. You should also be aware that being a lawyer can involve a great deal of stress If you have a good work/life balance, enjoy working in a team and can handle high levels of stress or legal jargon, then being a lawyer might be the right career for you. The prospect of earning a large salary should also not be your only incentive – it’s important to pick a path that interests you..