Lawyering at its finest

Lawyering at its finest

"I busted a mirror and got seven years bad luck, but my lawyer thinks he can get me five." - Steven Wright


Since I started high school and told my mother that I didn’t want to be a doctor, she assumed I meant that I wanted to be a lawyer instead. To my mother, a lawyer comes into a court room, argues the absolute solution of justice and fights for the truth!


So, essentially my mother wanted someone from the Justice League that would always do the right thing and have super powers, I guess?


*Note: If I had to choose my super power, I would have to the power to be chosen to have the green lantern ring. Seriously, he can do some crazy stuff. But hopefully I wouldn’t have some horrible backstory.


This post is going to be honest and real about becoming a lawyer and what my internship has taught me. Every day, I talk to about 20 different lawyers at my office. I work with them, learn from them and do research for them. I will tell you that being a lawyer is entirely different than what I thought it would be. I literally thought I would just go to trial, do some paper work and that is it. NO. I was very wrong. Being a lawyer is nothing close to an easy job. You not only have to be the best you can be, but also have incredible focus and direction. Without focus and a lot of understanding of law and policies, you will not become a successful lawyer.

If you have read any of my past blog posts, you know that I usually make lists to make sure I'm clear and concise ideas with my thoughts. This time, I will put a little twist on it and make a point, an objection and an explanation of the evidence.


Point 1) Being a lawyer guarantees you a job!


Objection: Most lawyers will argue that there are too many lawyers right now. I have heard that 10 years ago, being a lawyer was a rare profession, but now law schools are offering more aid and also accepting more students. However, do not think this means there are any better deals.

Evidence: According to an article in the New York Times, “Employment has improved only marginally...with unemployment at 6 percent, many fewer lawyers working at law firms and a leap in the percentage of solo practitioners."


Point 2) Being a lawyer means you are above just doing paperwork.


Objection: If interning with the Office of the Attorney General has taught me anything, it’s that everything is paperwork when it comes to being a lawyer. There is discovery, producing documents, initial disclosures, amended complaints, quash documents and a long list of other paper files that need to be done to even have the case considered to be legitimate.


Evidence: Go into any law office ever, and you will see the evidence unfold in front of your eyes.


Point 3) If you want to be a lawyer, you will be going into a job that means sitting at your desk all day.


Objection: As a lawyer, you do get to go to a decent amount of places, sometimes across town to get files. I have even heard stories of lawyers traveling with expenses paid to different countries for clients.


Evidence: It doesn’t matter if you have a big or small firm, you will do some traveling. Small firms travel across town, yet large firms can go to different states, if necessary. The variety and frequency in this case is up to interpretation.


Point 4) Being a lawyer means you are always fighting for justice.


Objection: Lawyers will often fight for the absolute truth of the law. It is what is expected from the state.


Evidence: Lawyers have clients, and clients have expectations, so be real here. You want your client to win, and losing is never ideal.


Point 5) I can agree that law school is expensive, but I can pay it back quickly with some firm that will offer me a six-figure salary.


Objection: With a 4.7 percent expected increase, salaries for lawyers with 10 or more years of experience moving to a mid-sized law firms could nearly match the salaries of new hires at large law firms next year, potentially reaching $268,500 compared to the $279,500 expected at large firms. This can work to the benefit of experienced lawyers.


Evidence: However, first-year associates can expect the most modest raises in the coming year, according to the report, with an average increase across firm sizes of 2.4 percent. First-year associates at small firms are expected to make the least money off the bat in 2016, somewhere between $55,250 and $79,500.


Of course, this is just one opinion. If you have an idea to go to law school, don’t let this blog discourage you. Law school is life-changing and turns you into a servant of the law. Believe in yourself and your education; if you want to be a lawyer, be the best you can be!


TWC Student Spotlight: Hailey Jenkins

Hailey is a student, political science major, future lobbyist and an active student in TWC.

Let's see how she is doing!


Interning in an environment like D.C., no matter what your job may be, is an invigorating experience. Being around successful people with an array of backgrounds has expanded my horizons and opened my eyes to career paths I had never considered before. Along with your superiors, peer influence plays a large role in The Washington Center experience. Having so many driven and passionate students in the same space is energizing and motivating. Being in the nation’s capital stimulates you to want to do more and be better every day.


I have had the fortunate opportunity of having a very flexible internship that allows me to research and network on my own quite often. The most enjoyable part has been attending think tank discussions led by some of the most knowledgeable people in Washington and learning about a variety of our nation's top priorities and issues. By seeking learning experiences outside of the specific issues my internship site handles, I have been able to find the topics which drive me and refocus my possible career path options.


When picking an internship, I recommend choosing something outside of your comfort zone or even with a focus that you are unfamiliar with; this will give you the best environment to learn and try new things. Always ask for more, do more, and take up learning opportunities outside of your site. The capital is an environment like no other; every time you choose to engage in the culture and opportunities the city offers, you will be better for it.


Read Pedro's previous blog posts

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