There are few degrees that equip you for life like a law degree.
At its core, legal work focuses on untangling the inevitable complexities of life that often arise through everyday human interactions.
But legal training doesn’t commit you to a narrow career pathway – just because you study law does not mean that you are fated to be a lawyer. It’s a degree that opens up limitless career options and that prepares you to negotiate the challenges of life like a champion. Effective communication, strong problem-solving skills, thriving in pressure-cooker scenarios and the ability to engage in automatic risk assessments in any situation are just a handful of the enviable life skills you acquire with a law degree.
Law teaches you to look beyond the surface.
Lawyers can effortlessly identify the motivation behind actions of world leaders, factual deficiencies in news stories as well as the broader social impact in hidden political agendas.
Using methodical logic and reasoning, a law degree helps you think for yourself and dig deeper to uncover real issues. With sharpened analytical thinking, you become no longer happy to accept the status quo or satisfied in taking information fed to you by media, family, friends or colleagues at face value.
The more legal training you possess, the more you come to relish the sound of your own voice.
You may even impress yourself with arguments you dream up on the run.
Since legal work often requires you to think on your feet, make inferences from complex facts and make snap decisions about a person’s character, you draw great comfort and satisfaction from knowing your own mind and trusting your judgement.
Effortless ability to express yourself
A law degree teaches you how to have an opinion about everything.
Nobody argues with a lawyer. Not just because legal opinions are generally informed but also because lawyers know how to express ideas or facts using the correct terminology.
Having an informed opinion on any subject is also an exercise in personal empowerment. An understanding of your everyday rights means that you become unwilling to compromise your best interests under any circumstances. A boss who implements an unfair uniform policy or who turns a blind eye to sexual harassment, for example, can expect a strongly-worded letter from you to the Fair Work Ombudsman, or worse, a civil suit.
There is no problem that is unsolvable with a legal brain.
No matter the circumstances, life is about always having a solid exit strategy. Studying law expands your arsenal of life skills by giving you the ability to adapt to shifting landscapes, to work with available information, and to make watertight backup plans.
Experience an issue with your landlord? Take it to your state or territory rental board. Received an unfair parking fine because the sign was obscured? Appeal it to your local council. In any sticky situation, you can “MacGyver” your way to a solution with your mind.
A law degree is essential if you want to minimise the risk of a legal snafu.
Lawyers have a nose for situations with the potential to escalate out of control.
Humans are awkward, scared and fallible creatures that are prone to acting on impulse or raw emotion and making split-second errors in judgement. Legal training shines a high-intensity spotlight on those frailties, helping you to learn from others’ mistakes when negotiating your own life.
Mental fortitude under pressure
A law degree gives you a thick skin.
Although recent studies show that lawyer jokes have a comparable effect on the body to physical pain, for the most part, casual insults, pointed comments, eye rolls or derogatory comments from friends about “how lawyers are the worst” actually galvanise your emotional armour (and guess how fast those friends change their tune when they find themselves in legal strife?).
The ability to remain calm, focused, objective and controlled is a unique type of emotional intelligence that only comes from years of legal training. It’s a skill that is essential in navigating high-conflict personal or professional situations with ease.
Reading & understanding complex documents is a breeze
Legal training creates an elaborate, almost labyrinthine, neural network that craves any opportunity to skim, analyse, digest and understand the content of a document under pressure.
Say goodbye to the days of being taken advantage of by organisations which slide unfavourable terms into the fine print of contracts.
More dateable than doctors
The law may not always be sexy but, according to a recent study by dating app, Happn, lawyers have managed to work their way onto most people’s “would date” list.
In a study of 2.9 million users, being a lawyer was ranked as the most attractive profession among both sexes, even above doctors and engineers.
Employers look favourably on applicants who have a legal background.
If working overseas is on your bucket list, a law degree can open doors. Australian Volunteers International (AVI) and other government volunteer agencies are always looking to recruit qualified Australians to work in developing countries in a legitimate skill-sharing capacity. It might even be your dream role at an international human rights organisation.
Entrepreneurship and seeing potential in ideas
Law shows you how to stop seeing the world from a single perspective.
Preliminary concepts are not an end point but rather a springboard that can quickly develop into a legion of better ideas, options or more efficient ways of doing things.
It’s a style of strategic thinking that is common among the world’s leading entrepreneurs. Where others only see obstacles, entrepreneurs see solutions, opportunities and the potential to make the world better. If starting your own business is among your list of career goals, studying law is fantastic grounding.
Whatever the reason for studying law – whether for personal or professional development goals – the skills you acquire over the course of your degree are guaranteed to stand you in good stead for the rest of your life.