With all career paths, when deciding which is the best for you, think about what it is that attracts you to this career. A career in law challenges your intellect, inspires complex ideas and gives you the chance to make a difference to people’s lives.
So why is it that you are considering a career in law? It could be based on your understanding of what jobs within the legal industry are required and the belief that you have the personality and experience for it.
How can you tell if a career in law is going to be a good fit for you?
One thing you do know very well is yourself. Be honest with yourself and consider how well you know your strengths, weaknesses and character traits. If you are wondering if you are still suited to a career in law, you may want to begin by asking yourself a few simple questions.
Do you want to be a lawyer?
If you answer no, a career in law is not right for you. Although many people say it will prepare you well for other careers and can train your brain in various ways, it is not worth studying a course when you have no intention of pursuing a career as a lawyer.
What is your main motivator?
When you first apply for a job in law, you will often be asked about your motivation for choosing this career path. Many prospective law students are attracted to the profession by the appealing potential for a higher salary. You should not make your decision on your career based on your salary prospect.
Even if you manage to obtain a high salary, you may still find that the work is not the right fit for you and could end up dissatisfied to the point of leaving the profession.
Do you have any legal experience?
Obtaining hands-on experience is an invaluable way to determine if law is the best career path for you. If you have completed an internship or worked for a law firm where you really enjoyed the nature of the work, taking the next step and applying for a course is highly likely to be the right choice for you.
Considering conducting an informal interview with a current lawyer to get a true feel of the day-to-day activities and responsibilities of the profession. Check out your university’s alumni network and get in contact with fellow graduates and students about the career options. Remember, the daily activities of each law professional are very different. If you decide to pursue a career in law, be sure to find a niche that is best suited to you.
What hours are you willing to work?
A career in law, although personally and professionally rewarding, does require a significant amount of your time, which will vary from one specialisation to the other. You are required to be able to handle stress effectively, as the law profession is often a highly demanding environment. It is not unusual to work a twelve hour day during particularly busy times and this requires unwavering motivation and excellent time management skills.
There are few lawyers who will consistently work 40 hours per week. If you require the time to focus on other projects or interests, you may need to consider an alternative career path with a more flexible work schedule. A career in law is a great environment for those seeking a fast-paced professional environment, who are willing to put in the extra time to achieve exceptional results.
Are you interested in a particular field that lends itself to law?
There are many lawyers drawn to this career path by an interest or passion that is not traditionally legal. Those who possess a strong interest in education, sports, healthcare and entertainment may be well-suited to a career in law, which offers a diverse range of professional specialisations and legal services.
The Certificate IV in Legal Services (BSB42215) will provide you with the necessary skills to work in a legal service environment, with employment opportunities in roles such as legal assistant, assistant paralegal, legal secretary and legal receptionist. This course is ideally suited for those without prior experience looking to start a career in legal services.
Professional Skill Requirements
- Communication - You will be required to write a range of legal papers, which will require excellent spelling and grammar skills. You will also be expected to respond to arguments and requests in a very clear and concise manner.
- Interpersonal Skills - Lawyers interact with a wide range of people, many of whom may be in a highly emotional state. You are required to maintain a friendly and professional stance and be able to talk to clients from a range of backgrounds. You must be able to relate naturally and confidently to a wide range of people in order to truly understand their needs, empathise and communicate exactly how you are able to assist with their case. This requires confidence with both colleagues and clients, in written communication as well as face-to-face or over the phone.
- Ability to Process Information - The ability to understand a large amount of information and the essential points from many cases, at any one point in time, is crucial. Lawyers are needed to process facts quickly and need to be able to apply their legal knowledge with accuracy and understanding. This requires an in-depth understanding of legal theory and the practical implications of what you have learnt.
- Organisation Skills - Lawyers need to be able to manage their time effectively. Long hours and very busy workloads are prevalent in this career, so you will be required to work in as efficient a manner as possible.
Studying law equips students with a variety of core skills and knowledge of the legal system, ready to start a career in law:
- Research - Thoroughly investigate different case studies and points of legislation.
- Critical Analysis - Students read primary sources and must make up their mind with their own judgement.
- Synthesis of Complex Ideas - Law students will need to become accustomed to a whole new language and are also required to communicate in industry-specific terms.
At Kangan Institute, we offer an Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice (22276VIC). This course is designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills required to provide advice on legal services, interpret legislation and manage legal practice administration. It is ideally suited for those looking to start a career in legal services or professionals already working in a legal environment who would like to upskill for a new position with a formal qualification.
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