A GUIDE TO THE ROLE OF A LAWYER FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS HEADING DOWN A LAW CAREER PATH IN THE US

LAW – IS IT FOR ME? 

Law is another one of the most popular and sought-after career pathways for graduates to take after finishing university. Although it is a career that is very rewarding and gives you the opportunity to earn a high salary, it does also require a specific skill set and commitment to be successful. It is also a job that you will need to train and work towards for several years, which may sound discouraging but will be worth it in the end!

WHY A CAREER IN LAW? 

A career in law has many benefits that other jobs may not have. It is a career path that leaves a lot of options and is broad in the various roles available in it. But apart from the career benefits, there are so many great things about doing law! For example, you can make a real difference in other people’s lives, and directly make an impact on issues in society like discrimination and human rights. You’ll be helping other people too, and have your work help those who don’t have your skills.  

LAWYER

Lawyers or attorneys are experts in advocating and speaking on behalf of the client or organisation that they represent in court. They also offer legal advice and guidance when they are hired – usually by solicitors. In terms of employment, if you think you might want to be a barrister, you need to know that most barristers are self-employed. This isn’t always the case however, if you’d rather not, there are also opportunities to work for other agencies, charities, or departments in the government.  

As a lawyer, you can choose to specialise in a specific area and offer legal advice to clients on a range of issues. Your area of specialisation can be employment, immigration, tax, social welfare, human rights, property and several more. As you can imagine, the work you do will hugely impact others and you’ll be able to see the benefits of your work directly. This makes this career path a very rewarding and satisfying one, since you get to see first-hand the results of your efforts.  

Some of your responsibilities will include representing clients, understanding the law, advising clients, meeting solicitors, preparing cases, and presenting arguments in court. 

ULTIMATE EARNING POTENTIAL FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS STUDYING IN THE US

Position in Career  Associated Salary (US)  
Trainee 
To become a lawyer in the US you need to have a law degree, such as a bachelor’s and then follow this up by passing the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). This helps prepare you for working in law and understanding legal education. After that, you have to enrol into a law school.  To become a qualified lawyer, the final step is to successfully pass the bar exam in order to practise law.  
$53,000 
Qualified  
After you are qualified, your salary will increase especially after you gain at least five years of experience. With more than ten years of experience after qualification, you could eventually earn higher salaries.  
$88,000 
Experienced  
An experienced lawyer has several years of working in law and can make quick decisions and equally significant amounts of impact on other people’s lives. Most barristers are self-employed, so you can potentially work at your own schedule too. 
$157,000 

TOP 10 EMPLOYERS

  1. Hall Booth Smith 
  2. Berman & Simmons 
  3. International Rescue Committee 
  4. Law Offices of Robert Tsigler, PLLC 
  5. Braskem 
  6. University of Baltimore 
  7. Appel, Yost & Zee 
  8. Fenwick & West LLP 
  9. Agilon Health 
  10. McGuireWoods LLP 

TOP 10 EMPLOYERS AND WHAT THEY WANT

Top employers in any sector are always looking for similar qualities in their candidates, time management, strong communication skills and problem-solving abilities. However, there are more specific skills that every job requires, that you may not have at first. But remember that everybody else is in the same boat as you, and you’ll learn more about your role once you start and receive training.  

In international graduates – or graduates in general, taking initiative and being bold will always impress your employers. Anyone can have a degree, and most people do nowadays which is why it’s so much more competitive when you’re out looking for jobs. What will make you stand out is all the other factors that make you unique as an individual and as a graduate. So, talk about your previous work experience, your voluntary work, the things you’ve learnt from them and why you’re passionate about them. If you find yourself struggling to fill out your resume, that’s alright because you can still talk about your time in education, like a project at school and the skills you developed during it.  

In conclusion, a career path in law is a popular route to take for many international graduates looking to work in the US. It is a career that implements many qualities and skillsets that you would need to apply for such roles, but also helps you acquire just as many benefits. Any career in law will most likely be hard and challenging at times, but it is a sector that makes real-world differences in many people’s lives all the time, and will undoubtedly bring many rewards your way. 


If you are considering studying abroad why don’t you discuss your prospects and opportunities with experts at Lurnable’s dedicated study abroad counselling division LurnPathways?


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