Career Detail


Lawyer
“Represent”
Also known as attorneys, lawyers give legal advice and represent their clients in criminal and civil trials by presenting evidence and arguing in court.
The Job
As advisors, lawyers counsel their clients about their legal rights and obligations and suggest particular courses of action in business and personal matters. Trail lawyers must be familiar with courtroom rules and must be able to think quickly and speak with ease and authority. Trial lawyers spend the majority of their time outside the courtroom, conducting research, interviewing clients and witnesses, and handling other details in preparation for a trial. In criminal law, lawyers represent individuals who have been charged with crimes and argue their cases in courts of law. Attorneys dealing with civil law assist clients with litigation, wills, trusts, contracts, mortgages, titles, and leases. Some lawyers work for corporations as house couselors and advises the company concerning legal issues related to its business activities. A significant number of attorneys are employed by the government working for State attorneys general, prosecutors, and public defenders in criminal courts.
Work Environment
Lawyers do most of their work in offices, law libraries, and courtrooms. They sometimes meet in clients' homes or places of business and when necessary, in hospitals or prisons.
College Majors
law degree
Minimum Qualifications
Formal requirements to become a lawyer usually include a 4-year college degree, 3 years of law school, and passing a written bar examination
Personality traits helpful for this career
Perseverance, discipline, creativity, and reasoning ability
Quick Facts
  • About 27 percent of lawyers are self-employed, either as partners in law firms or in solo practices.
  • Competition for admission to most law schools is intense.
  • More Info: American Bar Association, Internet: http://www.abanet.org
Compensation and Outlook
In May 2008, the median annual wages of all wage-and-salaried lawyers were $110,590. The middle half of the occupation earned between $74,980 and $163,320.
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