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Do you still recommend becoming a lawyer? Ask the Lawyer – Orange County Register

Question : I remember you encouraging others to pursue legal careers. But lawyers are hardly viewed with much respect. Some are accused of hurting the police, others of attacking someone because they don’t like their politics. Are you still giving up on a legal career?

RM, Marina Del Rey

Ron Sokol

A: The way you word your question makes me think. Indeed, I understand that in China, the symbol for lawyers is that of two dogs barking at each other. There is, however, another side to the coin. There are many benefits to attending law school and becoming a lawyer. Ultimately, it is a “weighing the pros and cons” analysis, which is based in part on an individual’s goals.

I don’t regret practicing law. In fact, I will continue to do so. For me personally, it’s a boost. I cannot guarantee that others will find it appropriate, enjoyable, enriching or productive. What I can say is that there are many options with your law degree, which is one of the reasons why becoming a lawyer can be positive. For example, you have a variety of choices regarding the type of law to practice: civil, criminal, tax, real estate, commercial, workers’ compensation, among others. Additionally, a civil attorney can, among other options, pursue personal injury lawsuits, family law lawsuits, immigration lawsuits, or handle business transactions.

A lawyer may also teach, write, and, over time, seek to become a judge. A lawyer may go to court, or a lawyer from the office, or both. Jobs are available in both the private and public sectors, and you can choose to pursue or be on the defense side. There is also an advantage to knowing the law, whether you become a practicing lawyer or not.

Research indicates that there are more than 340,000 lawyers in the United States, and women make up just over 50% of that number. Annual income (according to research) exceeds $100,000. The employment outlook indicates that employment is expected to grow by up to 8% between 2022 and 2031, faster than the average for most occupations. Some 39,000 lawyer positions are planned each year during this period.

To be clear: I am not trying to persuade anyone to take the “path of law.” It’s a personal decision. In my opinion, there are several reasons why this can be a good choice. Is this the most fun I’ve ever had? OK, that would be a bit of an exaggeration.

Question : Is there a time when a lawyer can let go? What I mean is, can the lawyer simply appoint others to do the work and only appear when necessary, while still lending his name to the company? Isn’t that what these high-volume lawyers do?

Air Conditioning, Long Beach

A: I know lawyers who are “figureheads”. They lend their name and presence to a company, but most of the work (especially grinding work) is done by others. But I don’t know how a lawyer can “roll”, because the job is too demanding. There are important ethical rules to follow and not violate. The law changes; staying on top of things is crucial. There are many delays. There are intricacies with all kinds of contracts and many details to deal with if you have a legal matter. Obviously, some lawyers are very successful in recruiting other people, especially those who manage staff and cases. But it is difficult for me to understand the word “coast”. I think a lawyer can become more and more confident in their skills and find solid help, but in my experience, being good at law is a must.

Ron Sokol has been a lawyer for over 40 years and has also served at various times as an interim judge, mediator and arbitrator. It is important to keep in mind that this column presents a summary of the law and should not be treated or considered as legal advice, much less as a substitute for a true consultation with a qualified professional.

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