To best understand what different careers are like it is best that we get our information straight from the source, by speaking to someone who actually does it. To find out more about the life of an attorney, I spoke to my good friend Jonathan Levin Philadelphia-based attorney and someone who has worked in the legal profession for almost 20 years. Jonathan is a serial winner and one of the best legal minds that I know, and here is what he had to say about what his job is really like.
The first point the Jonathan makes is about just how challenging the job is and that despite 20 years of experience, there are things which test him to the limit every single day. Jonathan likes to specialize in helping out the poorer corners of society, representing all kinds of people from misfits to the wrongly accused, especially those who do not have the funds to defend themselves. With these kind of cases Jonathan understands only too well that a client can bring with them some real challenges.
The least amount of time that Jonathan spends in the office each day sits at around 12 hours and when there is a case to prepare for this can go up to anywhere around the 15 hour mark. Whilst Jonathan loves what he does, he does concede that it can be difficult on his family and friends when he is dedicating so much time to the office. Jonathan notes that without real passion for the job, the working hours would have killed him long ago!
Occasionally Jonathan will have a highly important case which he must prepare for in more than the usual way, given the presence of TV cameras and the media. For Jonathan to expose himself in this way to the media is not something that he was previously trained for, but it is something which he is now used to. Nonetheless a case which carries with it a great deal of outside forces is something which he does need to prepare for, and must focus even harder on the nuts and bolts of the case.
Jonathan jokes that he spends more time with his team at work than he does with his family back home, but stresses that without them he would not be half as successful as he has been during his career. Jonathan spoke about how the TV shows make it look like attorneys do it all on their own but that this simply isn’t the case and any strong legal team is exactly that, a team. Jonathan will spend much time each day with his paralegal team and his fellow attorneys, working on research, information gathering and of course, case strategy.
Would you like to become an attorney one day? What aspect of the job do you find most attractive? Let us know in the comments section below this post, we’d love to hear from you.