If you had to pick a profession for your children, what would you choose? Perhaps a doctor? Or a dentist? Or perhaps a lawyer? There is no question, being a lawyer is a prestigious, respected and well-paying profession. But how can you get your kids interested in law?
One of the most important parts of parenthood is teaching your children right from wrong, and eventually being able to make such judgments for themselves. You will soon know if your children have a particular interest in such judgments. A natural progression from this is a career in law or legal services, either as a lawyer, legal secretary or law enforcer.
To inspire your children to consider a career in law, there are many ways that you can stimulate them. It is important not to put too much overt pressure as this can actually be counterproductive, however subtle stimulation of their interest can be positive. For example, by reading books related to legal issues, and encouraging your children to do the same, you can set a positive example. These don’t have to be dry, boring legal books; authors such as John Grisham and Patricia Cornwell make legal dramas into nail-biting thrillers. By providing reading material with exciting characters and plot twists relating to legal matters, you can spark your kids’ interest in law.
Reading is an essential skill for all students, but especially for those who wish to study subjects that are traditionally considered “heavier”, such as law. But there are plenty of other media available that can stimulate interest in young minds. While too much time in front of the television is usually not considered beneficial for children (or adults, for that matter), watching television series that heavily feature lawyers and courtroom drama is another way to get your kids thinking about the law and whether they have an interest in it. Damages and Suits are examples of shows that portray lawyers in a positive light, whereas Ally McBeal and Boston Legal sometimes take a more nuanced, adult approach.
There are also a number of great movies to get your kids thinking about a profession in law. Examples include Erin Brockovich, Miracle On 34th Street, To Kill A Mockingbird, A Few Good Men, The Verdict and 12 Angry Men. The major theme of all of these movies is the fight for justice, which is one of the major motivating factors that many lawyers and legal professionals cite for choosing a career in law. Watching inspirational characters, fictional or not, can make a big difference.
When your kids are older, for example at high school, you may want to take the opportunity to discuss their plans for college with them. With tuition fees so astronomical at top universities, you may want to talk about possible scholarships that are available for students who major in law. It is important not to place any unwelcome pressure on your children as growing up is quite stressful enough, without additional and often unwelcome forces trying to make your decisions for you. Ultimately, a career in law is something that your children must choose for themselves, if they are to enjoy it and thrive.
Don’t be afraid to discuss important topics such as college and careers with your children as they progress through high school, but remember, their choices must be their own. As a parent, part of your responsibility is to guide your kids as best you can, but another part of your responsibility is to let your children make the important decisions about their lives for themselves.
A career in law can be rewarding and enjoyable. The best way to encourage your children to take an interest in law is to do so respectfully, by providing them with relevant motivations and a strong sense of right and wrong. That way, instead of feeling “pushed” towards doing something they are not sure about, your children may feel the “pull” of the legal profession.