Lawyer

Posssible Careers

Lawyers advise and represent individuals, businesses, and government agencies on legal issues and disputes.

Work Space

A majority of lawyers work in private or corporate legal offices. Some are employed in local, state and federal governments.The majority of lawyers work full time, and many work long hours. Lawyers who are in private practice or those who work in large firms often work long hours, conducting research and preparing and reviewing documents.
I Wanna Be a Lawyer

Education/ How to Become One

- 7 years of full-time study after high school—4 years of undergraduate study, followed by 3 years of law school. Most states and jurisdictions require lawyers to complete a juris doctor (J.D.) degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA).


- A bachelor’s degree is required for entry into most law schools, and courses in English, public speaking, government, history, economics, and mathematics are useful.

Almost all law schools, particularly those approved by the ABA, require applicants to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).

- Law students often gain practical experience by participating in school-sponsored legal clinics, in a school’s moot court competitions, in practice trials under the supervision of experienced lawyers and judges, and through research and writing on legal issues for a school’s law journals.

- Part-time or summer jobs in law firms, government agencies, and corporate legal departments also provide valuable experience. These experiences can help law students decide what kind of legal work they want to focus on in their careers. These experiences may also lead directly to a job after graduation.

Pay

Employment of lawyers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2012 to 2022.The median annual wage for lawyers was $113,530 in May 2012.The lowest 10 percent earned less than $54,310, and the top 10 percent earned more than $187,200.


$113,530 per year
$54.58 per hour

What They Do

  • Advise and represent clients in courts, before government agencies, and in private legal matters
  • Communicate with their clients and others
  • Conduct research and analysis of legal problems
  • Interpret laws, rulings, and regulations for individuals and businesses
  • Present facts in writing and verbally to their clients or others and argue on their behalf
  • Prepare and file legal documents, such as lawsuits, appeals, wills, contracts, and deeds
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