As a lawyer you represent a client in legal proceedings. It is your job to try and achieve the best possible outcome for your client. You might represent clients in a court or you might deal with civil matters which are usually settled privately.
What the job looks like
starts at $45,307 up to $110,560+
- Achieving justice
- Helping people
- Potential for promotions
- Working with different types of people
- Possibility to work overseas
The not so good
- Long hours
- Handling emotional cases at times
- Mentally draining
- Not always winning a case
As a lawyer there are many different areas you could work in.
You could represent matters of family law, criminal law, contract law, international, defence or environmental law.
If you have a strong focus on helping people you could also work with an equity organisation like Legal Aid or carry out pro bono work which means no charge. Not all of your cases will take place in court, a lot of time is spent in the office at the law firm where you work. Reading and writing skills are essential to a lawyer as you will be reading large amounts of material across all different areas.
Understanding and interpreting legislation will be a big part of your role. You will also be communicating with clients and colleagues so your writing needs to be clear and concise.
If you are confident and have good analytic and problem solving skills, then this might be the job for you. Lawyers also need excellent communication skills and to enjoy working as a team.
It’s a fast paced environment but extremely rewarding.
Pathways to this career
Subject suggestions for the HSC
Choosing your HSC subjects from this list could really help with your career. Think carefully about what you want to study after school as you might need to choose specific HSC subjects for that course and to count towards your ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank). An ATAR is your academic rank in relation to other HSC students and helps with University admission.
Some subjects will count towards your ATAR, others will not. Check with your career advisor before making subject selections.
- English (Advanced or higher)
- Mathematics (General or higher)
- Legal Studies
What can I do after I have finished school?
Studying one of these degrees can help with your career.
- Bachelor of Laws
Courses and qualifications
Courses and qualifications can give you a great start.
- Practical Legal Training course
- Keep up to date with the news and follow any cases of interest
- Experience will be very important so see if you can get work experience at a local firm
- Some trials are open to the public so ask to go along and observe court proceedings
- Google different types of law to see if there is a particular area that interests you and choose HSC subjects in your area of interest
- Go to career expos and events like university Open Days for information about what you will study