If you have watched Suits, Better Call Saul, or Law and Order, you probably have a vague idea about what it means to work at a law firm like The Medlin Law Firm. Away from the glitz, the skyscraper with incredible views, and the competition between lawyers that these shows portray, what is it really like working at a law firm? Well, let’s take a look.

Your Price Tag

As of 2020, the average salary of a lawyer was $148,910 per year. It’s, however, important to note that the area of your specialization and the types of clients you work with determine your total salary. For example, a family lawyer with high-value clients will most likely earn more than a general lawyer.

Also, in most law firms, senior partners earn more than junior partners. In such a situation, the higher you are in the professional hierarchy, the more your average salary. Another aspect that determines your price tag is whether you earn your salary based on a retainer, an hourly rate, or contingency fees.

However, all this depends on the type of law firm you work for. Therefore, ensure that you do your research before settling for a particular law firm.

The Culture

Defining culture, especially in a law firm, isn’t easy because every law firm is different. However, the culture of a law firm is comprised of ideas, values, assumptions, and behaviors. This culture is what influences everything about the functioning of the law firm. A positive law firm culture not only creates a perfect working environment but also helps create career development opportunities for the lawyers in the firm.

While law firms are known to be a bit too competitive, some do create a workplace culture that encourages socialization among colleagues. They also offer their lawyers the chance to balance their work and personal life by offering flexible working arrangements.

Therefore, before settling for a particular law firm, try to find out more about their culture, as you wouldn’t want to be thrust into an environment that doesn’t allow you to grow as a lawyer and an individual.

Working Hours

The typical working hours for most lawyers will largely depend on the law firm you work for. Most large law firms will expect their lawyers to work for longer hours and sometimes during unsociable hours for high-paying salaries.

Small law firms may not expect their lawyers to work during the weekends and evenings. Also, your area of specialization determines your working hours. For instance, if you are a criminal defense lawyer, your law firms will expect you to meet your client any time of the day or night.

Also, the growing competition for work and the different expectations clients have are another determinant of how long you work, as you have to be constantly available for your clients. If you work for a firm that offers hourly rates, you will be expected to meet the set chargeable hours target, which sometimes can’t get done by the traditional nine to five.

Working Under Pressure

 A Majority of law firms tend to be high-pressure environments, as you will be working under tight deadlines. There is also the expectation that you will get things right from the word go, and that type of pressure can be too much.

An important skill you need to learn if you want to work in a law firm is how to stay focused and calm under immense pressure. You can acquire this skill by working in a law clinic university. Handling difficult situations will help you learn how to respond during pressure-filled situations.

What Benefits come from Working at a Law Firm?

The benefits of working at a law firm outweigh the pressures and huge workload involved. Some of these benefits include:

Consistent Work Volume: Most law firms, especially huge law firms, take on plenty of cases at one, as they can provide clients with different legal services.

More resources: Law firms offer their employees different types of resources, including network opportunities. They also provide research libraries along with mail and copy centers. These resources are really important, especially if you are preparing material for a case.

Your reality of a law firm experience all depends on where you work. Some lawyers have incredible experiences, while others dread waking up to go to work in the morning. So, make sure you research and carefully consider your area of specialization and the law firm that best suits your area of interest. This guarantees that you will flourish while working for that firm.