General Question

jaketheripper's avatar

How can I as a soon to be lawyer most effectively change the world for the better?

Asked by jaketheripper (2779points) January 24th, 2011

As in what type of law, field, or employment type should I pursue to make the world a better place. I am not concerned with money but I want to make a difference.

I have thought about adoption law and juvenile law

Can anyone with some experience point me in the right direction?

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11 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

This is a personal opinion, not based on any direct experience in the legal field.

Your first challenge is going to be to get a job. It may not be possible to pick and choose among fields.

That said, I think it’s possible to do something for the world in any capacity in which you work. If you are scrupulous, principled, fair-minded, and honest, you will be doing a service not only to your clients and society but to your profession.

My son’s area of concentration was environmental law, but he is now clerking for a federal magistrate judge and doing everything he can to give a sound and just reading to the cases on which he delivers reports and recommendations to the judge. His long-term goal is to come back to California and work on behalf of environmental protection.

gailcalled's avatar

Changing the world is an enormous goal. Why not aim at something more doable.

Do you want to work behind the scenes, in a courtroom, do research, see clients?

Do you care where you end up? Rural areas offer a different challenge than inner-cities, for example.

What part of law school do you enjoy the most and feel the most competent in?

poisonedantidote's avatar

Remember that you asked this question whenever something suspect shows up.

iamthemob's avatar

Working as a lawyer if you want to make change is a difficult thing if you’re going to practice with clients. If you’re exploring what to do with a JD – check out policy groups and NGOs – groups dealing with topics you’re interested in. Policy affects everyone.

If you want to work with clients, look into ADR. I’m hoping this is the way more and more disputes will be settled as opposed to the adversarial system.

janbb's avatar

NGOs, Legal Aid, human rights organziations…...

josie's avatar

Work for the prosecution and make sure that all murderers, kiddie rapers, terrorists, and corrupt politicians go to jail forever. That would truly make the world a better place.

WasCy's avatar

Just live your life – whatever you decide to “be” or “do” like Joe from Great Expectations.

I was going to make this my father’s epitaph if we ever decided to erect a headstone for him.

”... but ever did his duty in his way of life, with a strong hand, a quiet tongue, and a gentle heart.”

rooeytoo's avatar

Keeping your fees low would be a good place to start. Working for nothing seems fruitless but you don’t have to look at each client as your personal retirement fund.

Arbornaut's avatar

You could represent the polar bears and penguins.. And all the other forms of life on this earth that are having their shit fucked up by all of us.

Ladymia69's avatar

I would say go for Human Rights law, or Animal Rights law. If I were a lawyer, I would feel most gratified fighting for those who had no voice, such as children, animals, minorities, etc.

Jeruba's avatar

Does anyone happen to know if NGOs, human and animal rights organizations, and policy groups are hiring?

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