They do not want the money, they expect their work to be stressful and believe the public will respect them when they become lawyers.
A survey of post-graduate law students by The Lawyer found that more than half believe the legal profession is highly regarded by the public.
The survey of 100 students, all studying at the same law school, is timed to coincide with the The Graduate Law Fair at the Barbican on 6 and 7 November. The event, organised by The Lawyer, will be opened by Cherie Booth QC.
The survey shows that over 90 per cent anticipate a stressful or very stressful career. But more than 80 per cent think they will have a rewarding career.
Money is not their main reason for becoming a lawyer (22 per cent), nor is the need to contribute positively to society (16 per cent), but 47 per cent seek an interesting or rewarding job. Around 7 per cent cited family pressure as the reason for studying law.
Most respondents thought the profession was middle-class dominated and were worried about getting a training contract.
Lord Denning was popular when it came to whom in the profession students most admired. Other choices were: "anyone who employs me" and Robert Redford in Legal Eagles.