Lawyers: Popular Perceptions and the Reality


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Did you know that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, lawyers earned an average salary of $130,880 as of 2012? Lawyers do pretty well for themselves, and representations on televisions, and in popular culture, largely contribute to an overall negative opinion of those in the legal profession. What is the reality of the situation, and why do many turn to lawyers during some of the most difficult times of their lives?

What Does It Take to Be a Lawyer?

It is no secret that lawyers get a bad rep. Television and movies depict lawyers as dishonest, conniving, and money-hungry. The reality, however, is often far from it. In actuality, becoming a lawyer requires a great deal of education, emotional fortitude, and even a relatively charitable nature.

Although education and bar guidelines vary by state, most require some lawyers to offer at least some free litigation advice. Lawyers in Washington, for example, must work a minimum of 30 hours free of cost. Likewise, working in any legal profession, especially as a lawyer, requires a certain amount of emotional strength and fortitude. Why? According to the ABA Journal, lawyers are much more likely to contend with extreme anxiety, depression, substance abuse, addiction, and sometimes even suicidal thoughts and ideation.

Why Americans Need Lawyers

Americans often find themselves asking how to find the best lawyer in the most trying times. It is completely natural, and even advisable, to seek legal counsel in the event of divorce, child custody battles, auto accidents, crippling on-the-job injuries, and much more. Hiring a lawyer can help protect your interests, and prevent difficult transitions from getting wildly out of hand. Hiring a lawyer to help settle child custody, for example, can make the process much easier.

Need legal help? Struggling with questions about how to find the best lawyer? Although finding the best lawyer can require some research, know that all lawyers have a certain amount of dedication and expertise in their field, and are prepared to help you when you need it most.

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