Like any other career in various fields, the legal profession too is a constantly evolving one. The present day scenario in the legal field is beset with severe competitiveness and it is therefore natural that any law student embarking on a new career has to decide on a specialisation after much careful thought. The process should start much before passing out of law school and involves great interaction with professors and visiting faculty of legal luminaries.
As one walking into a fruitful legal profession you have to evaluate first what area of law interests you the most. There is a wide spectrum for you to choose from – civil law, family law, criminal law, patents and intellectual property law or even one that focuses on property conveyancing in Melbourne or wherever you want to set up your practice. Here too, you can either decide to start your own legal firm or be a lawyer and attorney in an established one. The challenges of each are completely different from one another.
Here are some of the possibilities prevailing today in the legal scenario.
Starting your own law firm – This has to be treated like any other business and you will do well to find out the basics from your instructors in school who have started their own practice. You can be sure that the tips you get from them will be invaluable and will stand you in good stead in the long run. Finding a good location, hiring research staff and legal assistants and having good infrastructure in place are some of the first steps. You can also consider taking expert advice from a business consultant. The advantage here is that he/she will be able to guide you on the financials and the administrative aspects while you take care of your core legal functions.
Core legal careers – The other option for you is to join an established legal firm and pick up the ropes of this line of work. You can thereafter choose either to carry on and make a name for yourself as an attorney and become a partner in the firm or branch out on your own and start your practice. What then are the openings if you decide to join an existing firm?
- Lawyer – In this capacity, you will be responsible to your client in all litigation cases and protecting his/her rights. A great weight rests on your shoulders as the reputation and goodwill of a legal firm is highly dependent on the proficiency of its lawyers and attorneys. This is why top legal firms like PB Lawyers and others of similar standards take on board only the best lawyers who have already made a name for themselves.
- Paralegal – This is generally where you will start off when fresh out of school. You will be a lawyer’s Man Friday, providing the necessary support services so that he/she can concentrate on core activities like appearing in court or giving legal advice to clients. Your key responsibility areas will include drafting pleadings and doing legal research.
- Conflicts specialist – This is a very delicate role that you might have to play and necessitates great legal acumen. You will be required to research probable areas where conflicts of interest might arise between staff of the firm, clients and even the judiciary.
There are other career options that may be considered in the legal administrative field as well as in IT support to law firms where expertise in the legal field as well as technical areas is required.