People who are not lawyers often ask me why I became a lawyer. They assume the answer is money; it’s not. They assume the answer is that I’m stubborn and like to argue; that’s partially true (just ask my wife). Then they become befuddled. Why on earth, then, would you want to become a lawyer? The answer is easy: people like you.
I have always wanted to help people. Although being a lawyer has always been an option in my mind since about the eighth grade (thank you, John Grisham), in high school I seriously considered being a police officer or a Marine. Those options were ruled out when I realized being shot at might not be the best thing going. Then I realized being a lawyer allows me to still protect and serve the public, I just don’t get to wear a snazzy uniform or a Batman-like utility belt to work (without odd looks from colleagues, that is). The law is one of those unique professions that gives me the ability to further my goal of helping people and at the same time make a difference in society overall.
Many people also point out that it must be frustrating dealing with “the system” all the time and doubt they could do the same. It can be. But, our legal system and constitution bring stability and structure to our society and I am proud to be a part of that. Despite its flaws, we can always work to correct them and its still one of the best systems out there. It’s a privilege and a noble thing to be able to fight for another person’s rights within that system, and to sometimes improve both that person’s life and the system at the same time.
You may dislike attorneys. That’s fine and you are in good company with a good portion of society. Lawyers sometimes don’t even like lawyers. But, while you may not like lawyers, most of us became lawyers because we like people like you; and serving the public is not a privilege we take lightly.