Guest Post: The Lawyer Philanthropist

Is law school a good way to wait out the recession? Is it still a financially viable career? Idealism may come to the fore for many people. For the altruistic individual, a career in law holds a great potential for both making a positive difference in the lives of others, as well as providing a viable source of income.

Dreams of potential lawyers.

Most people who attend college have a dream that motivates them in their pursuit of education. For some it’s money and/or technological innovation. For many others, it’s to make a career out of helping people. All too often, this dream dies when they enter the job market and realize that the costs of raising a family and saving for retirement aren’t compatible with a non-profit salary. Lawyers who work for non-profits are more financially secure than social workers and program directors.

Government incentives for do-good-er lawyers.

Aside from the obvious bonus of benefiting society, welfare advocates are well provided for when employed by the Canadian government. Several private and federal programs are available to help pay off student loans. While Canadian law students take out significantly less in student loans to fund their college career, the debt taken on by American law students can be onerous. An American’s options are generally limited to either working as a corporate lawyer at a high-end firm, or accepting student loan government loan repayment in exchange for time spent as a state attorney.

A broader reach.

Most professions founded upon philanthropy and community outreach are limited in scope. Social workers and similar professionals are only qualified to work with a very specific subset of the population. Lawyers, on the other hand, have the potential to better the lives of many people of various backgrounds. The same lawyer who serves as an advocate for abused children can also work to change laws regarding unemployment benefits.

Since the recession began, much attention has been directed toward the job market and employment policies. Lawyers will be in a strong position to ensure that workers rights are upheld in the wake of new employment and taxation policies.

Breaking stereotypes.

Lawyers have acquired a reputation for being immoral or opportunistic. In reality, lawyers do more and have more potential to make the world a better place than many other professionals. When combined with a higher-than-average salary potential, law becomes a very attractive option to a philanthropy-minded college student.

Bio: Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at, researching areas of online education programs. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

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Law is Cool
This site is intended to provide a resource for those interested in law. Current law students, graduates preparing for their bar exam, and members of the general public, can all benefit from a deeper understanding of the legal framework that helps shape our society.

1 Comment on "Guest Post: The Lawyer Philanthropist"

  1. It’s very true. Today Attorney’s aren’t seen as philanthropic. Lawyers do have a duty to as said in this fantastic post “make the world a better place.”

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