Questions to Ask a Lawyer About Their Career

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You may be considering a career as an attorney, but before making a commitment to a law school or an employer you want to find out specific information about the practice of law. An informational interview with a practicing lawyer will provide an opportunity to discover whether this career path is one that you can truly envision for yourself.

What Is a Typical Day Like at Your Firm?

  • To get a sense of what a law career is really like, ask a practicing attorney what her typical day consists of. Ask her to be candid about such details as amount of meetings she attends, paperwork and briefs that need to be attended to and what it is like to work with clients she represents. Inquire about the work hours, interaction with partners and office environment.

What Do You Enjoy and Dislike About Your Practice?

  • A practicing attorney may be willing to provide the specifics about what he likes and dislikes about his work. He may discuss working with clients, going to court, filing briefs, traveling and any other details about his specific practice. Expand upon this by asking what motivated him to go into the field of law in the first place, which will give you an indication if he is achieving his intial career goals.

What Personal Traits Are Key to Success?

  • If you are considering a career in a specific practice of law, ask the attorney what personal traits are critical to success. She may suggest drive, a strong work ethic, the abilty and willingness to put in long hours, objectivity, superior interpersonal skills and other factors as the key to success in that law specialty. Be honest with yourself about whether or not you possess the personal traits that have been mentioned.

What Skills and Experience are Needed for This Kind of Law Practice?

  • It is important to know what skills and experience are recommended if considering a specific practice of law. An attorney may suggest certain courses, work, internship or life experience as important elements that will help you find success as a future attorney. Ask the lawyer what prior experience he may have had prior to starting his career, such as participating on the law review or the electives he may have taken while in law school.

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