Lawyer

By: Frank Pizzonia 803

Description of a Lawyer

Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.

Education

A bachelor's degree is required for admission into law school, as well as a competitive score on the law school admission test (LSAT). Attorneys spend at least three years in law school working towards their Juris Doctor (JD) degree. Before they can practice law, students must pass a state's bar exam, which can include both a bar and ethics exam. Advanced law degrees are helpful for those planning to specialize in a certain area, research, or teach law. Some law students pursue joint degree programs, which usually require an additional semester or year.

Required Qualifications

A person shall be admitted to practice law in the courts of the State of New York only by an order of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court upon compliance with its rules.

Payment

Nationally, the average annual wage for this occupation is:

$ 74,880 for entry level workers and $ 168,010 for experienced workers.


In New York State, the average annual wage for this occupation is:

$ 75,550 for entry level workers and $ 187,200 for experienced workers.


In the New York City region, the average annual wage for this occupation is:

$ 86,110 for entry level workers and $ 187,200 for experienced workers.

Advancement

Newly hired attorneys usually start as associates and work with more experienced lawyers and judges. After several years, some lawyers may be admitted to partnership and become partial owners of the firm they work for. Some lawyers go into practice for themselves or move to the legal department of a large corporation.A small number of experienced lawyers are nominated or elected to judgeships. Other lawyers may become full-time law school faculty and administrators. For more information about judges and law school faculty, see the profile on judges, and the profile on postsecondary teachers.