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Alessandra Jones

Judges are lawyers who are either appointed or elected to their positions. Therefore, being a licensed attorney is a pre-requisite. But there are many careers that are in the legal arena. For example, some people prefer working as paralegals or legal assistants. Paralegals are not attorneys and are not licensed to practice law or provide legal advice, among other things.

But, depending on the specialty of law, they can do very complex work that requires superb writing, analytical and logical skills. In many major metropolitan areas, a bachelor's degree is often a requirement for entry-level paralegal jobs. Additionally, some employers require paralegal degrees as well.

I worked as a paralegal for many years, specializing in corporate immigration law. Immigration is not often taught in law schools and many lawyers who practice immigration are actually former immigration paralegals! Because this kind of experience is relatively rare, immigration paralegals who specialize in business immigration are highly prized.

Unfortunately, there is a certain degree of glamor associated with attorneys, but the truth is that most attorneys work incredibly hard, especially as they start out. There are many attorneys who decide to switch careers - in fact, I know quite a few of them.

I would suggest that you explore the opportunity to work in a law firm - as a mail runner or assistant or receptionist - so you can find out for yourself what working as a lawyer or paralegal is really like. It's not 'as seen on TV.' But if you have a passion and aptitude for the legal profession, then - by all means - study hard. If I may give you an extra recommendation, develop skills such as critical thinking, logic, writing and reasoning. Many people in the legal profession are natural cynics - always asking why and how and always questioning sources and authority.

Answered 9 years ago

Alessandra Jones