Practising law is both a noble pursuit and a huge responsibility. It requires a sharp mind, a hectic working schedule and a strong sense of integrity. Legal professionals speak a language of their own and tend to stick together. They’re rewarded with a high salary for the work they do, but it’s by no means an easy career path.
Will it suit me?
Practising law is generally reserved for the most dedicated, intelligent and hard-working people among us. You need to be an excellent researcher, a tenacious arguer, to have a strong sense on social justice or all of the above. Those who are attracted to the legal profession tend to be highly academic, very career driven and/or very passionate about social justice.
Legal secretary, lawyer, paralegal, solicitor, law clerk, criminal lawyer, immigration lawyer, civil lawyer, tax lawyer, property lawyer, family lawyer, legal aid, judge, magistrate.
In order to become a lawyer in Australia, you need to complete a law degree at university, then undertake a Practical Legal Training (PLT) program, which is also known as a graduate diploma in legal practice. In addition to these qualifications, you must be deemed a “fit and proper person”, which requires you to submit character references, admit any criminal or academic misconduct, and disclose any information that might be deemed unfavourable.
So it’s a pretty rigorous process. If you think you might want to become a lawyer one day, it’s probably best to stay out of trouble, be careful about what you post online and study really hard.
Is it a good industry?
Lawyers are among politicians and sex workers, as some of the least trusted people in society. They also tend to experience high levels of stress and work super long hours. In a study from 2015, 64% of lawyers reported being happy, which is more than half, but they’re not great odds.