Many ordinary individuals gain more knowledge of the law from watching movies and TV dramas than they gain from formal education. For some, it is when they are involved in a court case, that a rapid learning curve takes place. It is never too late to become informed about legal questions. Information is easier than ever to obtain, thanks to the Internet.
Keeping abreast of the debates and controversies that inevitably arise out of interpretations of laws can amount to a fascinating and thought-provoking pursuit. It is more interesting than keeping up with celebrity gossip. A case in point that may make U.S. legal history in 2011, is that of fired worker El’Jai Devoureau. This male employee who had undergone a gender change, lost his job at a drug-treatment center on the grounds that although he was born female, he had been hired to do a gender-specific job at a facility. The outcome of Devoureau’s lawsuit is certain to set a precedent for all such cases.
The pursuit of a law career, whether as a lawyer or paralegal, is a challenging route to take. The aspiring legal wizard has to gain a grounding in the following categories of knowledge: how civil and criminal law differ; what the various divisions of civil law are; the steps in the legal process; how the burden of proof affects outcomes; how liability rules are applied; what punishments are meted out and when; the significance of plea bargaining or settling out of court; the steps in the legal process; the use of precedents to swing cases. Many other areas of study supplement this list. Needless to say, a lawyer never gets to rest on his or her laurels.