It’s no secret that lawyers are stereotypically imagined sitting behind a desk, wearing suits, and forking out arguments in courthouses. In reality, lawyers have left the courthouse and entered an office environment. The days of one-dimensional law firms are gone; now lawyers wear many hats within their company, wearing as many as four different hats at one time.
Being a lawyer in India is an expensive, tough and stressful career. It’s also one of the most lucrative options available to those with an undergraduate degree, so if you’re thinking of heading into law school you might be wondering what life as a lawyer is like.
It’s not all bad… but it’s not all good either. We’ll lay out some reasons why being a lawyer isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be in Suits and show you how it could hinder your career in other areas of your life.
The Best Lawyers for The Worst Jobs
On paper, being a lawyer is the best job in the world. Of course, that depends on who you ask. If you’re looking to make a lot of money in a short amount of time, law school might be just what you need to do.
If your dream is to be in a constant state of anxiety, battling year after year to pay off massive student loans, we’re afraid we have some bad news for you. After law school, the first few years of your career as an attorney will not be easy. You’ll likely spend most of your time working at a big firm with tons of other people and very little autonomy.
The hours are long and the pay isn’t always great. But don’t worry – once you’ve made it through those first few years there’s light at the end of the tunnel! For real, though… What’s life like on the other side of that first decade?
Lawyers Are Highly Educated, But Not Always Smart
Because they’re highly educated, lawyers are great with written and verbal communication. They are also naturally competitive – so much so that people who wouldn’t normally consider them in leadership positions often hire them to handle things they aren’t good at. This can be problematic for law schools and firms looking for leaders. There’s a growing concern that lawyers don’t have the intelligence to make good decisions for their own companies and clients. Moreover, there’s a growing belief that this is an unintended consequence of law school itself – gone are the days when professors could teach you about business and economics with an objective eye. Instead, the curriculum is filled with classes that teach students how to be lawyers.
“The new breed of lawyers has an overly narrow focus on minutiae.”
This lack of knowledge and understanding leads to issues within the legal industry. The new breed of lawyers has an overly narrow focus on minutiae and they don’t understand the big picture when it comes to their day-to-day work. It’s not just the law schools that are to blame for this problem. Law firms are equally at fault because they hire people who have similar personalities.
Law Firms Are Nothing Like They Used to Be
Law firms used to be more like private businesses. The owners were often hands-on, leading their companies and billing hours of work by hand.
Today, however, law firms operate much more like a corporation than a privately owned business – and employees aren’t exactly happy about it. The firm is no longer a collection of people who communicate directly with clients; instead, they’re being managed by an impersonal HR department which leaves some lawyers feeling like clerical workers rather than actual lawyers.
This may not be a problem for everyone, but it can make the law firm office environment less than pleasant. When most lawyers aren’t able to communicate directly with clients, they’re forced to deal with low-level associates and administrative staff to get things done.
There are tons of other problems that can stem from this constant back-and-forth between lawyers and associates. Relationships between senior partners and associates can be strained because the work is so time-consuming. Lawyers who are used to being able to work independently on projects may find themselves lost within a sea of new employees who don’t know how best to handle their tasks (or even who they should be working for.
All things considered, we can say that “Suits”, while not completely realistic, presents a flawed representation of reality.
But perhaps to enjoy the primetime drama, not allowing these flaws would be a very bad idea. So instead of becoming frustrated with the inaccuracies, we should laugh them off and enjoy the drama of the show.