19 Pros and Cons of Being a Lawyer

As long as human society exists in its current form, lawyers will be essential.

They help negotiate lawsuits, criminal cases and can provide legal assistance for a variety of cases and situations.

This career can be very rewarding financially and emotionally for the right people, which makes it a great field to consider.

Here are a few pros and cons for you to understand.

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Pros of Being a Lawyer

While being a lawyer can be a challenging career choice, it’s often a very rewarding one for the right person.

Simply put, there are many reasons you might enjoy being a lawyer, all of which can affect your engagement in this field.

Check out the pros below to learn more about what this job offers you and whether it’s suitable for your specific career needs.

1. Potential to Make Good Money 

Lawyers are one of the highest-paid professions in the world, a fact that can vary based on a few factors.

For example, you might get an entry-level job with a legal firm and make less than partners.

That said, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that lawyers make a median pay of $127,990 per year or $61.54 per hour.

That makes this a great career if you want to earn good money.

2. A Busy and Exciting Career 

Do you want a job that keeps you busy and rarely has a lot of downtime?

You might want to become a lawyer!

This field is one of the busiest and most exciting and often includes the chance to work pretty consistently.

After all, there are always lawsuits and criminal cases that need lawyers like you.

For people who love busy careers, becoming a lawyer is a great idea.

3. Potential for High Career Advancement 

Depending on your skills and your willingness to work, you could advance very far in a lawyer’s career.

Some lawyers will move beyond entry-level jobs in other fields, such as corporate law.

In these markets, you can become an important and in-demand legal professional who can make good money and advance your career much further than you might expect.

4. Cases Will Challenge You Regularly 

As a lawyer, you’re going to be challenged regularly in potentially rewarding ways.

For example, you’ll have to master new laws, defend difficult people, and learn more about this career regularly to advance further.

If you’re someone who likes the chance to feel challenged and move forward in their career, this might be the best career option for you.

5. You Can Really Help People 

Lawyers play an important role in society: they help people who have been injured or who need legal defense get the proper support that they deserve. As a result, an ethical lawyer often helps people in many ways and can really make a difference in people’s lives. If you’re someone who enjoys helping others, you’re likely to fall in love with this job.

6. Chance to Make the World a Better Place 

Not only can lawyers help individuals, but they can change society and make it a better place as well.

For example, you can pursue major cases that punish people who have wronged large groups of individuals, such as class action lawsuits against tobacco companies.

There are few professions that give you the chance to truly “save the world,” and a lawyer is one.

7. Some Lawyers Become Judges 

Did you know that most judges were lawyers who got appointed to their positions after working very hard as a legal professional?

If you’re interested in a judicial career path, you might want to become a lawyer to get started.

Judges often have the opportunity to make an even bigger impact on the world by ruling on important cases and ensuring that 

8. Chance to Interact With People

As a lawyer, you’re going to be constantly meeting new people and interacting with a broad range of individuals in many fun and interesting ways.

For example, you’ll likely have many clients and will get to know them all too well.

Just as importantly, you can use these connections to build your network connections and become a happier and more successful person.

9. You Could Become a Partner

Though it’s not always easy, some very skilled lawyers often progress to becoming partners in their field.

For example, you could get picked up by your employer and get your name in the firm’s listing, giving you more prestige.

Becoming a partner is also financially rewarding and a great way to advance your legal career even further if you’re interested.

Cons of Being a Lawyer

Now, being a lawyer isn’t all great news, and many people find this career very challenging.

Furthermore, it simply might not suit some individuals and could be wrong for your personality.

As a result, it’s important to take the time to understand the following negatives of this career.

Doing so can give you the insight that you need into this fascinating but often frustrating job. 

1. You’ll Work Long Hours 

As a lawyer, you can expect to work very long hours handling many cases.

It’s common for lawyers to work six to seven days a week on a big case or simply to handle their load effectively.

There’s a shortage of good lawyers in the field, which makes this heavy workload hard to avoid.

While some jobs may not include this issue, expect it in court-appointed roles.

2. Clients May Be Demanding 

Lawyers often run into very demanding clients or people who simply aren’t satisfied with the work that their lawyers do for them.

As a result, you might end up getting into fights with your clients or even trying to deal with abusive clients.

This situation is frustrating, and there isn’t much you can do about it because you have to do what is right for them.

3. Some Lawyers Get Sued 

There’s a real chance that lawyers can get sued by their clients or other individuals based on case results.

This situation could result in financial loss and other problems that could affect your career.

For example, if you get found guilty of negligence in a civil or criminal case, you could not only lose money but serve jail time and even lose your license to serve the law.

4. Not Every Lawyer’s Job is Great 

If you’re like the average person, you probably have the image of a rich lawyer in your head: unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

Not all lawyers get rich and many work in difficult and thankless jobs that may be challenging and unrewarding.

Some might get stuck in these positions simply because of their geographical location and struggle to make a livable wage.

5. Constant Relearning is Necessary 

As a lawyer, you need to be constantly abreast of all the changes in law that may occur throughout the year.

Therefore, regular training is essential, as is constantly relearning important points.

Lawyers often go through extensive job training that, while helpful, may take up a lot of their time.

If you don’t want a job that requires this kind of work, pass on being a lawyer.

6. Lots of Expensive Training 

Did you know that lawyers have to get what is known as a juris doctorate before they start their careers?

This degree requires a lot of training and expensive law school work that can put you in severe debt even before you get started in your career.

Thankfully, a good job should help you pay this debt quickly, but it’s something to consider if you’re interested in this career path.

7. Potentially Dangerous 

While rare, there’s a serious risk that you could experience real dangers in your life as a lawyer.

For example, if you fail to exonerate a member of a gang, their gang mates may retaliate against you.

Furthermore, you might get death threats or experience physical violence from family members.

It’s important to know of this (rare) potential before starting this job.

8. Burnout is Common 

While the exciting and often fast-paced world of being a lawyer is often very stimulating, it can also be exhausting.

Lawyer burnout is a real problem and can affect even the highest-paid and most successful attorneys.

Simply put, you’re likely going to work many long hours on multiple difficult cases and struggle to get the rest that you need to stay healthy.

9. May Be Challenging Morally 

You’ve probably heard the cliche that you can’t trust lawyers: it’s been the central point of many jokes and even films.

Unfortunately, there’s some truth to this because, as a lawyer, you may be asked to defend someone you know is guilty.

You must do the best that you can to provide them with a fair trial, even knowing they’re guilty, which can be very hard for some people to handle.

18 Pros and Cons of Being a Lawyer – Summary Table

Pros of Being a LawyerCons of Being a Lawyer
1. Potential to Make Good Money1. You’ll Work Long Hours
2. A Busy and Exciting Career2. Clients May Be Demanding
3. Potential for High Career Advancement3. Some Lawyers Get Sued
4. Cases Will Challenge You Regularly4. Not Every Lawyer's Job is Great
5. You Can Really Help People5. Constant Relearning is Necessary
6. Chance to Make the World a Better Place6. Lots of Expensive Training
7. Some Lawyers Become Judges7. Potentially Dangerous
8. Chance to Interact With People8. Burnout is Common
9. You Could Become a Partner9. May Be Challenging Morally

Should You Become a Lawyer? 

If you’re interested in a financially rewarding career in the law that can truly help people, consider becoming a lawyer.

Note that you’ll have to go through a lot of training, as mentioned previously, including extensive college degrees.

That makes this job a little tough for some people to manage.

However, if you’re excited about law school, it’s a great job for you to consider. 

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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