What Are the Pros and Cons of Becoming a Lawyer?

pros-cons-becoming-lawyer Credit: Robert Daly/Caiaimage/Getty Images

Advantages to a career as a lawyer include higher than average incomes, job growth within a firm and social connections, according to The Law Dictionary. Disadvantages include the narrowing job market and abundance of people with law degrees, student loan debt and long work hours.

A career as an attorney is very stressful, according to About.com. Heavy case loads, client needs and the toil of work involved to make partner at a firm have psychological impacts. Many attorneys also work more than 40 hours a week, reducing the leisure time that helps to alleviate stress. At the same time, job options for new attorneys are fewer than in the past while admissions to law school are on the rise. Law school students also take out loans to pay for an expensive legal education that does not guarantee a job. According to the American Bar Association, some studies indicate that attorneys face higher rates of depression than the rest of the population.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median income of an attorney is higher than the average median income for many other professions. Even new attorneys have the potential to start off at a higher than average rate, according to The Law Dictionary.