Choosing law as a career path

PRACTICING law is the most satisfactory profession. It is very satisfactory to be able to help people to protect their rights.

It is probably the most multi-disciplinary profession, because apart from your knowledge of the law, you would also be required to know something about engineering, medicine, psychology, economics, politics, history or whatever law you would be dealing with at any particular point in time or in which you want to specialize.

Many people see the practice of law as going to court only. In fact, the majority of time, lawyers do not go to court, but are dealing with a variety of matters, including researching the facts and law, or providing oral or written legal advice to clients, and drafting of formal documents. The majority of lawyers never go to court. They are working as internal legal advisors of especially large corporations such as banks or insurance companies. Some work in other disciplines where the knowledge and understanding of law is necessary, such as in human resources departments.

Many political leaders were lawyers or studied law. Nelson Mandela, Barrack Obama, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Mahatma Gandhi are but some of them. Closer home, we have many lawyers who occupy or occupied public office such as Monica Geingos, Dr Penda Mushelenga, Pohamba Shifeta, Alfeus Naruseb, Pendukeni Ithana and Sacky Shanghala. Knowledge of the law makes them suitable for public office as they are required to make and administer laws.

Studying law requires a lot of discipline to study hard. There is a lot of reading to be done. But all of the reading is actually interesting and enjoyable. I will encourage anyone to study law – even if it’s just a basic course in law. It is important to have a solid understanding of law so that you can protect your and others’ rights when called upon to do so.    

Norman Tjombe

Human Rights Lawyer

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