Job Title: Lawyer
Type of Company: I run a small law firm.
Education: Juris Doctorate
Previous Experience: I have been an attorney since I graduated law school in 2003.
Job Tasks: I am a personal injury and family law attorney. I represent people who are injured in motor vehicles accidents. I also help people who have family issues that need to be addressed in court. I occasionally help people who are buying or selling a house. Once in a while, I will agree to represent someone who has a criminal case pending against him or her because he or she broke a law. Sometimes it may involve something simple but serious like shoplifting, or something more serious, like getting into a fight. I have a small office in East Boston, so I have a very diverse set of clients. Many of my clients have come to the United States from Spanish-speaking countries. They are often taken advantage of by other people. I speak with people on the telephone most of the day. I will often meet with clients in my office to review documents and have them sign agreements which allow me to represent them. If I agree to represent them, I will often go to court and present their case to a judge or jury. When I go to court, I need to wear a suit and dressy shoes. Lawyers are not allowed to dress casually when they go to court.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part is I get to help people. The worst part is the court system is very over-burdened which makes the process very slow. The courts, which are so important to our society, often do not have enough money to pay for employees, interpreters, and other key people needed to make the system work.
Job Tips: Being a lawyer is often very stressful, but it can be very rewarding. You have to be willing to work very hard for your clients because they depend on you. You have to enjoy reading, because as a lawyer, there is a lot of reading involved! But you get to meet a lot of interesting people.
Additional Thoughts: One of the things that disillusioned me most was the lack of integrity I encountered in lawyers and in the system as a whole. I found it very discouraging at first. It has helped me, though, to keep myself honest, and to work hard.
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