DeBlogs > Karim Lalani > why-i-want-to-be-a-lawyer
By Karim Lalani /
September 8, 2014 /
Posted in: Academics, Jobs and Internships, Student Life /
I think we can assume that being a lawyer isn't as glamorous as a great show like "Suits" depicts, but being a lawyer definitely has some similarities. As a kid, I remember wanting to be lawyer. I used to lie (innocently) a lot as a child. I couldn't even tell you why I did. I remember my mom always telling me to be a lawyer while I grew up. Now, I'm hoping it becomes a reality. The other day, a friend asked me why I wanted to be a lawyer, and I was a bit surprised by the question. I never really even asked myself that question.
It's a tough question to answer. Why do I want to be lawyer? What kind of law should I practice? Talking to individuals in the field, it seems to be a process of give and take. The private sector, although lucrative, is time consuming. If I want to go that route, I will have a six figure salary and live well, but I doubt I would have time to enjoy it my first ten years. With first year associates needing to acquire anywhere from 1800-2100 billable hours a year, you're looking at a 60-80 hour work week. On the flipside, you have government and non-profit work. Quite fulfilling work, time to enjoy your life, and an average salary where you can expect to be paying back loans for a while.
I've been told that, as a lawyer, you will look at both sides to every issue. For this issue, I look to combine both career possibilities. I want to be a part of that fast-pace lifestyle as well as give my time and energy to help those who cannot afford legal services. Hopefully I can find a job that satisfies both aspirations of mine. The more I learn about the law, the more frustrated I get with it. This only reinforces my desire to go to law school. I want to know about the law and what we can do to fix it.
My response to the question: I want to manipulate the law in my favor, and by doing so, effectively fix it. Yes, it's idealistic and probably irrational and unrealistic, but my belief nonetheless. I hear, from many intelligent people, not to go to law school. With an ever-increasing number of students attending law school and not nearly enough jobs for all of them, it's a big risk with a limited chance for a big reward. Their arguments are perfectly logical, but I am a believer of doing what you want to do and what makes you happy. I want to be a lawyer, and I want to try and help people in that capacity. I am still ignorant, and I know my opinions will change as I learn more, but my core beliefs will remain the same.
Once again, I know I am an idealist, but if something you want to do is within your grasp, I don't think there should be any question of embracing it and striving to achieve it. It's not easy to succeed in your desires if you don't try. I have learned this through my experiences and am better for it. I want to be a lawyer because I know I will put more effort into it than anything or anyone else, not because I need to, but because I want to. Luckily I realized my goals fairly early and am constantly finding more reasons to love my choice. I don't know what will happen to me in the next five to ten years. I don't know what I will be doing. But if I can challenge the laws that we all abide by and hopefully, by changing it, help more people than just myself, I will be happy.