What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Being a Lawyer?

There are several advantages and disadvantages of being a lawyer, but one of the biggest advantages is the salary. The median annual salary of a lawyer in the United States was $113,530 in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The high earning potential is just one good reason to become an attorney. Lawyers also enjoy a certain level of prestige in their communities and have the opportunity to specialize in one or more areas of law.

Lawyers also have the opportunity to help people. Defense attorneys help people accused of crimes get fair trials. They may even help people who have been wrongly accused of crimes prove their innocence. Prosecutors help the victims of crime by taking accused criminals to trial and working to have them convicted. Other attorneys help their clients by drawing up contracts, giving tax advice, and ensuring real estate transactions run smoothly.

Legal work is very intellectually stimulating, giving attorneys the chance to flex their problem-solving skills and complete complex tasks

Despite the many advantages, there are some drawbacks to becoming a lawyer. The high salary often comes with long work hours. Attorneys may work late into the evening and on weekends to ensure they bill enough hours for their firms.

Lawyers are responsible for handling complex legal transactions, defending people accused of crimes, and helping crime victims get justice. The weight of these responsibilities makes practicing law very stressful for some attorneys. Many attorneys also graduate with a significant amount of student loan debt.