The Career Doctor™

by Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez

Looking for a first job? Thinking of changing careers? Facing a lay-off? The Career Doctor™ is a Larchmont psychologist specializing in career counseling. If you'd like to ask a question of your own, use the anonymous , and she might answer you here. Read more about the Career Doctor here. Contact in ation is here.


Dear Career Doctor:

I think I would like to become a lawyer, because I always fight for what I believe in. My problem is that I know a couple people who happen to know lawyers and they say it is really boring. I'm the kind of person who always likes to talk, and hates being bored. Should I become a lawyer?


Dear Kristie:

Just like any profession, there are lawyers who love what they do and lawyers who hate it. Law is a field with a very high dropout rate, so you are wise to consider whether you are the kind of person who would go through the hassle and expense of law school, only to find it boring.

When you see lawyers on television, most are eloquent talkers, battling for good causes, cleverly making their points and destroying witnesses in court. That's because dramas tend to feature somewhat idealized litigators (lawyers who argue cases in courtrooms.) In reality, lawyers rarely appear in court. Most of their work involves as much writing, research -- and listening -- as talking.

Lawyers have to discover the right application of existing laws and this can involve lots of research to find precedents, plus reading and writing legal briefs. (And for the average person, reading legal briefs is about as boring as it gets.) Lawyers who love what they do are not bored by this. They feel very creative in that they look at a case from all angles and then select the laws and precedents that best help their clients.

To find out whether you would feel bored or creative as a lawyer, I suggest two things. First, figure out what area of the law would most interest you. (Criminal lawyers would find tax law boring and vice versa.) Next, get a job as a paralegal in a law firm that specializes in your area of interest. Many firms hire new college grads as paralegals and train them. There are also relatively short training courses to become a paralegal. Working in a law firm will let you know whether to invest in the time and expense of law school, because I agree, you certainly don't want to become one of those bored lawyers!

The Career Doctor



The Career Doctor™ is Larchmont psychologist and career counselor, Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez.

Her office is at 90 Beechtree Drive in Larchmont, 914-834-1982.

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