Students can create the life and career that they wants by identifying their purpose. They should take the opportunity to find rewarding and satisfying work—even work that they are passionate about. This passion, of course, could lead to a law or to a law-related field.
According to the Rockport Institute’s Career Development Survey, career satisfaction is both a prized asset and a scarce commodity. A minority of workers surveyed reported that they are satisfied with their work lives and look forward to going to work. The Rockport Institute related this inauspicious finding as positive news:
“The good news is that about 30 percent of us have at least a moderate degree of career satisfaction…. The most exciting news is that about 10 percent of people report that they love their work. This significant minority has somehow managed to pull together all the important elements to have their dreams come true.” The 10 percent who thoroughly enjoy their jobs not only illustrate that it is possible to identify goals and interests, but it is possible to pursue and then achieve those goals. Individuals are capable of finding rewarding, satisfying work. The majority of American workers though are either unhappy or unenthusiastic about their jobs. “40 percent of American workers are at least somewhat unhappy about their jobs. If you include the Neutrals, fully 70 percent of us go to work without much enthusiasm or passion.”
What about lawyers? Are professionals in law more or less satisfied than individuals in other occupations?
“Make your work in keeping with your purpose.”
— Leonardo da Vinci
Many students identify with a career in law on their list of top five careers they’re considering. The American Bar Association (ABA) advises students to engage in a serious inquiry about their career goals before choosing to apply to and attend law school. The ABA contends: “Embarking on a legal education requires a great deal of thought as well as a sizable investment of time, money, and energy.”
To dispel common myths and stereotypes about the legal profession, conduct informational interviews. You must choose this profession based on real knowledge and not on commonly-held stereotypes and misperceptions of the profession. Use the information you garnered in Step 2 to narrow your selection of professionals you would like to interview.
Ask lawyers and professionals questions about their experiences in college, law school, and in the legal profession. Visit the Career Services Office for information on legal careers as well as career counseling.