Survey: Most parents want law careers for children - Business, Government Legal News from throughout WV

Survey: Most parents want law careers for children

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Kids may aspire to be president, doctors or lawyers, but what profession would parents like to see their children grow up to choose?

Well, according to a survey from lawyers.com, 64 percent of parents would love to raise young lawyers.

The survey, collected from TeleNation, conducted both landline and cell phone interviews of 1,001 adults in a four-day period.

The survey also found that income played a role.

According to the survey, 80 percent of parents making $25,000 of year wanted their children to become lawyers as opposed to 54 percent of parents who earned $75,000 a year.

When it came to children marrying a lawyer, 55 percent of mothers wanted to have a lawyer as a son-in-law or daughter-in law as opposed to 38 percent of fathers.

Davin Seamon, an attorney in Steptoe & Johnson's Bridgeport office, and Russell Jessee, an attorney in Steptoe's Charleston office, said legal careers weren't what they always foresaw.

"I was a human resource management major in college. I knew some of the last couple of years of college that I wanted to do something post graduate and I knew that law school was the thing I wanted to do at that point," Seamon said.

Jessee said his family was in the newspaper business, running the Pocahontas Times.

"Someone in every generation became the editor. I initially was the editor from my generation of the family — nine of us total in the fifth generation — to run the newspaper," Jessee said. "After seven years in Pocahontas County working at The Pocahontas Times, I started to think about options to spending the rest of my life as a weekly newspaper editor in a county of 9,000 people."

Both Jessee and Seamon were first-generation lawyers.

"By the time I decided I needed a change from Pocahontas County, I had been an editor, I didn't have the undergraduate courses to go into medicine, and I didn't want to get a teaching certificate," Jessee said. "So, it was seminary or law school— pretty much a coin-flip. I went with law school, but if I could, I'd also like to go to seminary."

Seamon said his family was all for his legal career.

"They supported me. They wanted me to have a good career — to really have that career and not a job. They knew it was something that I could kind of grow into and achieve my goals and if I worked hard and kept my focus that I would end up, hopefully being a partner at a law firm and make a good living for my family."  

So, how would these two lawyers feel about their children following in their footsteps?

Jessee said his daughter is heading to college and will explore several options, with law "in the mix." His 10-year-old son, he says, "still wants to be a fry cook."

"As with any parent, I want them to follow their talents and inclinations," Jessee said. "If that leads them to law, I would be happy with that."

Seamon, who is married to another lawyer, would have a word of caution.

"I don't know if I would tell them no if that's what they wanted to do. If they did, I would say it's going to be a hard road, depending on what practice of law you want to go in," Seamon said, noting he can spend many a night working or thinking about work. "You have some periods of time when you're not thinking about it, but it's a lifestyle. … Laypeople think it's all glamorous, big money and it's a great life. I'm not trying to say it's not, but you have to work very hard for what you achieve."

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