While public-interest lawyers may not rake in the big bucks, corporate litigators are still making six-figure salaries, even as the economic downturn has made competition for spots at prestigious firms more intense.
"I like helping people think through difficult problems. That's fun," says S. Gregory Boyd, an intellectual property attorney in New York City. "The hours can be longer than you'd like to work, and the time pressure can be intense."
People who want to be a lawyer "should try to be as sure as possible that this is what would make them happy," he adds. "They should not be influenced by anything other than what would make them truly happy. I think people look at the job and think I'd like to make X or have Y social perception. But then there are unhappy attorneys."
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