Some forensic pathologists work for the city, county or federal government, while others work in hospitals, medical schools or with a private or group practice that contracts autopsy services to government agencies. Forensic pathologists spend most of their time in the lab, performing autopsies or examining tissue samples under the microscope. This can involve standing for extended periods and working with small tools. A typical workday can last 10 to 12 hours or longer, particularly if the forensic pathologist must examine a distant death site. Part of the workday also may include writing official reports and making court appearances.