- What Knowledge Is Necessary for a Lawyer to Work
- Key Skills Needed to Be a Good Lawyer
- What Is Necessary in Order to Get an Internship
- Decide on a Field of Activity
One of the oldest professions in the world is a lawyer. Competent specialists who are well-versed in jurisprudence have been needed in the past, are needed today, and will be required in the future.
Modern higher educational institutions are replenished every year with those who are ready to devote themselves to the service of Themis. Many parents dream of their child getting a law degree, so they start preparing their children for admission from school - they monitor academic performance and hire tutors for specialized subjects.
Let's talk about how to get a job as a lawyer today, what qualities a specialist should possess, and what a lawyer should know first of all to realize his career ambitions.
If you have a need, desire, and goal to become a specialist in the field of jurisprudence, then you have probably more than once wondered what it takes.
Those who decide to link their lives with jurisprudence must clearly see their goal and study hard. Good lawyers are not born but become after several years of study and then practice.
The diploma itself will not guarantee successful employment in a prestigious position with a high salary. If you want to become a good lawyer, then be prepared to devote a significant amount of time to acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills.
In addition to theoretical knowledge in the field of jurisprudence, which educational institutions provide, practice is of great importance. Therefore, many students, even before graduation, look for a place as an assistant or intern in a law office or other structures. In order to gain practical skills, young specialists are ready to perform work without payment. The reason is that jurisprudence is the field where experience is most valued and the employer is not ready to spend time and money on training but wants to get an employee with experience.
Contrary to the prevailing stereotype, a lawyer does not have to be perfectly familiar with all laws, amendments thereto, and by-laws. There are many laws, and human memory has limited resources. It is important that the specialist understands where he can find the answer to a certain question and knows how to use available search systems.
In addition to the ability to operate with information, what should an aspiring lawyer who is looking for a job know? Since the activity of a specialist is related to people, you need to be able to communicate with different clients. Lawyers are often approached in not the most pleasant life circumstances, therefore politeness, endurance, and patience are some of the most important qualities for a lawyer.
In addition, you have to work a lot with documents. In order to avoid mistakes in contracts, drawing up acts and other papers, it is necessary to study the basics of keeping various documentation.
Knowledge of the state language
If you have decided that your vocation is a lawyer, what do you need to know in addition to the above? Those who decide to become a lawyer in Ukraine must have a very good command of the Ukrainian language. In addition to the fact that you must have good and competent oral language, you must know the rules of spelling. Why is this so important? The fact is that more than 80% of the specialist's work is related to documentation. Without competently written language, it is impossible to work where every comma is important. For those who are just thinking about choosing a profession, there is time to pay more attention to studying such subjects as the Ukrainian language and literature. Without a high score based on the results of the external examination, it is impossible to enter a law school.
In his work, a lawyer needs to analyze a large number of facts, and find the relationship between various events in order to establish the truth. You cannot do without developed logical thinking. This skill is one of the main ones in the legal profession if the specialist wants to move up the career ladder, and not spend his whole life in a low position in a small firm.
Practically all information that reaches a specialist must be studied and questioned. A good lawyer does not believe in words, he believes in facts. Sometimes you have to question even your own beliefs and principles.
If you look at job search sites in Ukraine for vacancies in legal specialties, one of the first requirements for an applicant will be the presence of logical and critical thinking.
If in other industries, a diploma of higher education may not be required during employment, then for a lawyer, the presence of such a document is mandatory. Moreover, the more prestigious the educational institution, the more chances the candidate has to get a good job. The fact is that such universities provide better education. It is there that there is an opportunity to communicate with famous teachers who have the considerable practical experience and can share it with students. In more prestigious universities, unique programs are developed, thanks to which, during their studies, young specialists receive the maximum amount of knowledge necessary for starting work and starting a career.
A lawyer is an ordinary person who cannot know everything and remember all the laws and their amendments. The ability to work with the legal framework is not about knowing by heart all possible articles of all available codes. This is about the fact that a competent lawyer knows where to look for norms that regulate this or that sphere of a person's life. In addition to the ability to search, it is also important to be able to interpret the letter of the law in favor of the client. It is no secret that in each law there is an opportunity to use the same norm in different ways. The main task of a lawyer is to skillfully find a way out of every life situation supported by the legal framework.
It is difficult to imagine a more responsible profession because often the destinies of other people depend on the work of this specialist. Therefore, a person who works with the law must be decent and put the law and the client's interests above their own. It is worth noting that in the desire to help the client, one should not forget about the legality of actions.
Decency and responsibility are very important for the formation of a reputation, which has a great influence on the further career of a specialist and his personal life.
Competition can arise from time to time between people in every profession. Remember that it is worth proving that you are better by actions, work, and work results, not by intrigues and dubious adventures. Then even open enemies will respect you. Do not cross the boundaries of tact, and politeness, and treat colleagues as you would like them to treat you.
When communicating with clients, remember ethics, tact, and speech culture. A lawyer must be a bit of a diplomat and an orator, and be able to convey his opinion without harsh expressions, but in a form understandable to the client. When communicating with a client who does not understand the legal lexicon, try to paraphrase specific expressions in such a way that he understands you.
There is no single recipe for how to communicate with each person, as each of us has our own characteristics. It is important for a good lawyer to find an approach to any person — colleague, client, or opponent in court proceedings.
We asked experienced lawyers who have achieved success and built a successful career, what they could recommend to those who are just starting their way in the profession. Professionals highlighted two key points:
A good lawyer can be distinguished from just a lawyer by the presence of professional qualities, such as:
One of the difficulties of the profession is that it is difficult for many graduates to get a job immediately after graduation. The truth is that the labor market, on the one hand, needs lawyers, and on the other hand, it is saturated with university graduates who have no work experience. And here the main conflict arises - the employer needs people with experience, and where to get it? In order to gain work experience, it is recommended to look for internships even in the senior years of higher education institutions.
Send a resume, and agree to a job with minimal pay, the main thing is to gain practical experience and knowledge, and then an entry in the resume. Often, large law firms take students on internships, take a look at this option. At this stage, the salary does not matter, the main thing is experience.
In jurisprudence, there are several branches of law and several areas of activity. How to make the right choice? To get started, learn about each industry. Now you can find quite a lot of information on the Internet about labor, criminal, family, administrative, housing, and other types of law. Decide for yourself whether you would be interested in doing one of them.
Read about such professions as prosecutor, judge, lawyer, legal adviser, and others, research the pros and cons of each activity, what requirements are placed on representatives of the professions and what you will have to do. An internship is a great opportunity to learn more about the profession. Choosing a direction, a specialist can purposefully look for a place to practice, for example, in a law office. So you will be able to study the profession from the inside, and see with your own eyes what a specialist has to face.
At the very beginning of your career, you should not chase after money, it is better to devote more time to developing practical skills.
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A higher education diploma is mandatory for a lawyer. Moreover, the chances of a graduate finding a job in the future depend on the fame and prestige of the university.
The basic subjects for all Ukrainian applicants without exception are the Ukrainian language and literature. Also, it is necessary to successfully pass an exam in the history of Ukraine and mathematics or English to choose from.
The list of the best legal educational institutions includes Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University, and Ostroh Academy.
In addition to specialized education, you will also need knowledge of the state language, the ability to think logically and critically, document handling skills, responsibility, decency, and communication skills.
There are many laws, and human memory is not perfect. It is almost impossible to memorize all the laws, by-laws, and current amendments. The experienced specialist does not cram laws but knows where to look for answers to questions, and knows how to use available databases and up-to-date information.
Many students start working as trainees in law offices or as legal assistants in their last university years.
Getting an internship is quite difficult. The exception is situations when universities develop a base of partners who accept their students for internships. Otherwise, students and graduates are encouraged to send out resumes, apply directly to suitable agencies, and accept job offers even with minimal or no pay. The main thing is to get the necessary experience.
The salary of the specialist depends on many factors: the experience of a lawyer, their specialization in a particular area of law, type of employment, etc. The average salary of a lawyer in Ukraine was 15,000 UAH in 2022.
First, it is the prestige of the field and the opportunity to work in various niches and areas. Lawyers also receive great salaries, can open their own private practice, and grow in the professional field almost without any limits.
A lawyer is a fairly popular profession, and it has an extremely high level of competition. In addition, this job is associated with a lot of paperwork and an irregular work schedule. Also, a lawyer must constantly improve their knowledge and be aware of all changes in legislation.