The legal profession is one of the most lucrative and well-respected professions around the globe. Maybe it’s because the career is full of excellent opportunities for graduates in various fields of specialization. The law court is the main workplace for lawyers, but they can integrate into businesses, public service, media houses, or other areas that require legal administration.
Many students who want to venture into the legal profession recently asked questions about whether the career is still paying as before. If you are among the questioners, know that you have come to the right place. In this article, we will answer the question “Is the legal profession as profitable as it was before?” Let’s move on to the first step in the discussion.
The Lucrative Nature of Legal Profession Nowadays
Historically, the legal profession has been one of Nigeria’s highest-paying jobs. Those who became lawyers in the past displayed great wealth, particularly the ones who have attain the highest level of expertise and live in metropolitan areas. On top of that, lawyers before were well respected to the point that some of the lawyers are viewed as small gods.
Today it is a different story in Nigeria. The lucrative nature of the legal profession has gone down considerably. This is due to factors such as the high unemployment rate, long-time colleagues do not give young people a chance, economic recession, only certain areas of the law prosper, and so forth. Let’s look at these factors so that we understand what’s going on in the low profession these days.
Factors Affecting the Law Profession Nowadays
For the time being, we will elaborate on the factors that make the legal profession less remunerative in recent times, as noted above.
- Highest Rate of Unemployment
It is no longer a new story that Nigeria has millions of graduates wandering the streets searching for work and graduate lawyers are no exception. The few job opportunities available in the legal profession are limited to those with strong connections. This situation has forced many licensed lawyers to advertise their services to potential customers on the streets just to get a meager fee to survive.
There are stories of lawyers waiting outside the courthouse for the police to bring in accused who have nobody to defend them. These lawyers address the accused either directly or through their parents who accompanied them to court and negotiate the fees to defend them. You know that the money will not be encouraging.
Law used to be a lucrative career because there are few practitioners in the field with many cases to deal with. Some layers even select cases to work on. Today, there are few jobs with many lawyers in the field and it is becoming difficult for them to obtain a job that pays enough.
- Economic Recession
The economic downturn is one of the factors that make the legal profession less profitable and it is undeniable that Nigeria is currently in this situation. The legal profession, among others, is currently suffering from the anger of the economic downturn. Lawyers no longer get full compensation for their efforts, because most of the individuals, firms, and businesses they work for are trying to reduce their expenditures.
Other negative effects of the recession on the profession, besides mediocre wages, include layoffs, unemployment, depression, and so on. Lawyers that were able to navigate their way out are those who are savvy and proficient.
- Only Selected Areas of Law Thrive
Apart from the factors mentioned above, the type of law you practice is important in this contemporary era. We have certain areas of law that are highly remunerative than others and if you don’t belong in any of such areas, then your chances of making it high are slim. These areas of Law are becoming very profitable because of the strong demand for expertise.
Highly Remunerative Areas of Law
The following are well-paid areas in the field of law. Once you can venture into one of these areas, you will get the chance to make it great.
- Civil Litigation
One of the reasons this area of law is very lucrative is that, during the economic downturn, the field becomes very popular and demanding. Many individuals and organizations are more likely to seek the services of such practitioners to recoup their financial losses or to avoid repaying mortgages through litigation.
- Bankruptcy Law
Although the legal profession is experiencing a small drawback, Bankruptcy law is among the fastest-growing area. This is due to the slowdown in the country’s economy and the high unemployment rate that is wreaking havoc in the country. As a result, many consumers lack the means to settle their debts.
Additionally, the harsh economy has prompted many business owners to seek assistance from lawyers, paralegals, and other legal practitioners with such qualifications to help them restructure their assets.
Intellectual Property Law
With the advent of science and technology, IP law has become very popular. Experts in this field are needed to protect the interests of capital firms, inventors, authors, musicians, actors, and owners of creative enterprises. When the economy falls apart, this legal profession continues to thrive and experts make money.
- Environmental Law
Some people refer to it as “green law”, but it’s the same thing. This sector of the legal profession is in high demand because of the need to raise awareness of environmental issues like renewable energy, the use of clean technologies, carbon management, and much more. Environmental lawyers will advise clients on green initiatives and their sustainability.
There are several other areas of law that are lucrative despite the downturn in the economy. These include labor and employment law, the right to foreclose, the practice of electronic discovery, and so on.
The profit-making nature of the legal profession has declined considerably. This is a result of the current slowdown in the country’s economy, which has affected almost all sectors. However, certain areas of the law seem to be on the rise despite the downturn in the economy. If you can venture into one of them, you can be sure to gain generously.