The benefits of being an attorney depend on several factors; however, seven of the most common benefits of being a lawyer include:
The benefits of being an attorney include being able to select from a wide variety of career options in the public and private sector. If your calling is to make the world a safer place for you, your family, and everyone else, you may choose to become a criminal prosecutor. On the other hand, if you believe our criminal justice system is grounded on the principal that everyone is innocent until proven guilty and everyone has the right to competent legal counsel, you may choose to become a public defender. Of course, some people believe this but choose to be a criminal defense attorney in the private sector because private attorneys tend to earn a great deal more than attorneys in the public sector. In addition to criminal defense, you may choose from many areas of law including domestic law, real estate, corporate/business law, bankruptcy law, immigration law, or estate planning. If there is a law that covers a particular subject, you can choose to specialize in that specific area. You can also choose to become a sole proprietor who handles several areas of law for many clients or a corporate in-house attorney working for one client.
Among the many benefits of being an attorney, the financial rewards and emotional rewards are at the top of most college-bound students seeking to study law. Lawyers have the opportunity to earn a lucrative income. The average annual income for an attorney in the United States is $114,970 per year as of 2014 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor. The highest 10% of attorneys earned more than $87,200 per year. Salaries of experienced, specialized attorneys can be much, much higher depending on the field, geographical location, employer, and level of experience. Of course, money is not the only reason why people choose the legal field as their career. The emotional rewards of being an attorney can be even more satisfying than the financial rewards. If you are passionate about your chosen field of law and you believe your top priority is your client, assisting people achieve a positive outcome for their problem is extremely satisfying. An attorney usually sees a person during one of the worst moments of their life; therefore, it can be extremely rewarding to help this person find a successful resolution to their problem.
Another one of the many benefits of being an attorney is the mental stimulation an attorney experiences when working through complex legal theories, statutes, and case law to find a solution to a legal question. Most lawyers possess exceptional analytical skills including reading and writing skills. Practicing law allows you to use your mental skills each day in effective ways to solve problems for your clients. Because each case is unique, you must use your full mental capabilities to research, speculate, hypothesize, and formulate legal strategies to effectively solve problems for your clients.
Some lawyers never argue a case in a court room or they argue very few cases in court. On the other hand, some trial attorneys are in court almost each week arguing a new case. If you enjoy the challenge of going up against another attorney to argue legal theories and points to prove your allegations are correct, becoming an attorney will give you ample opportunity to argue and debate legal theories and various interpretations of the law.
For many, the work environment is one of the benefits specifically considered when choosing a career. Most lawyers work in law firms, government agencies, or corporations where they are afforded an actual office with four walls rather than a cubicle in the middle of a “bull pen” from a cubicle. Being a lawyer typically includes the benefit of having a certain level of prestige that affords you certain benefits that other employees may not receive (i.e. office, ability to set hours, expense accounts, decorating budget, etc.).
Benefits of being a lawyer do not stop at “being a lawyer.” The skills you learn in law school and in the early years of your practice easily translate into alternative legal careers.
Unpredictable schedules, demanding billable quotas, long hours, and very few days off have been a major complaint of many attorneys. The desire to achieve a better work-life balance has encouraged many firms to work with their employees to provide more flexibility as an attorney. Many law firms are now offering telecommuting, alternative work schedules, tiered pay scales, expanded family leave including maternity and paternity leave, reduced billable hours, and virtual assistants to reduce work load. The benefits of being a lawyer are increasing as law firms and other employers see the value of providing additional flexibly for their employees in increased productivity and efficiency.
A freelance lawyer, sometimes called a contract lawyer, is a lawyer who does legal work but isn’t associated with a law firm. Freelance lawyers are independent contractors. They work for themselves in their independent businesses and work through a written agreement. Some freelance lawyers work for businesses, either small businesses or for the legal department of a larger business, or they work for law firms. Other characteristics of freelance lawyers include:
• They may work on temporary legal projects or on a continuing basis.
• They specialize in everything from bankruptcy to white-collar crime. As independent business people, they can work for clients, depending on how much time they want to give to their business.
• They do all the typical legal tasks, including research; preparing pleadings, motions, discovery requests, and contracts; running depositions; helping prepare for trials: and appearing in court.
• Some may even do paralegal work, for tasks that don’t require a law license.
Not all online lawyer sites are for matching clients and lawyers. For example, lawyers.com provides a database of legal professionals. The site allows you to search for a law firm based on the location and the type of service they provide. You can then get in touch with the firms to discuss your needs for a lawyer.
Can I Hire a Freelance Lawyer to Work Online?
Many freelancers work online these days. It’s not that difficult with technology, including video and secure document sharing. Be sure the freelancer is licensed to work in your state and look into increased security (attorney-client privilege) for conversations and communications.
How are Freelance Lawyers Different From Law Firm Lawyers?
Law firms hire attorneys full-time to work on projects and they represent the firm in all their work. The attorneys bring in business for the firm, but they get credit for these promotional activities in increased compensation and promotion. Freelance lawyers are not associated with just one firm. They may be more flexible with their time, and they may work from home, online, or in your office.
You can hire a freelance lawyer anytime you need some special legal work done for your law firm or your legal department. For example, let’s say the legal department of your business typically works on contract matters. If your business has just been sued for wrongful termination and you don’t have a specialist on your legal staff, you could search for a freelance lawyer to work for you on this case.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages?
The advantage of hiring a freelance lawyer is the special expertise they can bring to a case. In the example above, getting someone to run a wrongful termination case from within your company can bring you the benefit of the person’s experience.
Another advantage is that hiring a freelance lawyer gives you flexibility in your legal staff. When you are busy, you can hire a contract lawyer, then when the work is done you can let them go. You also don’t have to pay benefits to these workers, since they are independent, not employees.
One disadvantage of hiring a freelance lawyer is that this person doesn’t know your business. It takes time for someone to understand your processes and policies. You will have to spend time giving the person information about the project and your business. If you are in a time crunch, this could take more time than you have.
The other disadvantage is the opposite one. You don’t know if the lawyer is going to be right for this job. There are many excellent freelancers out there, and you don’t know until you hire the person whether they will work out. Be sure to carefully check work references and resumes.
Most freelance lawyers, like other lawyers, work on hourly rates, but it’s also possible to have the person work on a flat fee or retainer basis. The cost varies based on the complexity of the work and the experience of the lawyer.
• Make sure your expectations are clear and complete. In legal matters, you don’t want any misunderstandings or assumptions.
• Don’t try to hire a contract lawyer for a complex assignment if you are short on time. Hire for lower-level work like writing documents or doing research and do the high-level work yourself.
• If you are a law firm, consider how you will handle letting clients know that the freelance lawyer is on board with this case. Law Technology Today says “if the freelancer is engaging in the practice of law and working directly for the client, then informed consent from the client must be obtained.”
Advantages and Disadvantages Of Out Of Court Settlements
Legal settlements can occur in a variety of ways, sometimes involving a courtroom and other times not. An out of court settlement essentially means the involved parties choose to avoid taking a case to trial. When this happens, parties, their attorneys, and sometimes a mediator will negotiate a settlement that does not involve a judge or a jury. While preferences of the involved parties are important in making the decision as to whether settling out of court is best, the specifics of a case are also important to keep in mind. An experienced personal injury attorney will also be able to weigh in with recommendations on whether a case would be worth taking to court or not. Many cases are settled out of court once both parties come to a full resolution in their case. Depending on your situation, an out of court settlement may or may not be the best decision. Listed below are pros and cons of settling your case out of court.
• Reduced Stress: The pressure and anxiety that comes with the process of going to trial can often take a serious toll on individuals. Being involved in a situation that involves legal representation can be stressful enough, without even considering the time and energy that can contribute to the final outcome. Settling out of court can often reduce some of that stress.
• Less Expense: Expenses can add up quickly if you choose to take a case to court. When choosing to go to trial, there are often higher are attorney fees, expert witnesses, depositions between both parties, the time that is missed from work in order to be in court and meetings, and also travel expenses. Such expenses can quickly add up, and you might be worse off financially than if you choose to settle out of court.
• Predictability: A negative aspect of taking a case to trial is having a jury of strangers examine your case, and ultimately deciding the final outcome. With an experienced attorney, a settlement is more easily predicted and can often give you peace of mind, while working with the other party in finalizing an outcome in which you can be satisfied.
• Privacy: Being involved in a court dispute is a very private matter, and many individuals prefer to keep it that way. However, court documents become public record if a case goes to trial. When settling out of court, most of the details involved in the case are kept out of court documents and unavailable to the public.
• Finality: A lot of people do not realize that court settlements can be appealed by the other party. However, when settling out of court, the final outcome usually cannot be appealed. Also, if a case it appealed, it will certainly drag the case out even longer, which will lead to more time and legal expenses.
• Fear of Settling: Sometimes, all desires aren’t always met in out of court settlements. This can often lead to an individual being unsatisfied with the final outcome of negotiations.
• Purpose: Every case is different, and many lawsuits are filed for personal reasons. Some cases involve circumstances that deserve public awareness and the challenging of law. If a case is settled out of court, the awareness of the issue can often go unnoticed.
When you need legal help with a matter in the 84097 zip code, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506