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Expected Growth and Demand for Attorney Jobs
The legal system affects almost every part of our society, and attorneys are the foundation of its function. About a quarter of lawyers areself-employed, either as partners or in solo practices. The other three quarters may be corporate attorneys, associates in a privatepractices, or work in any number of other situations. Competition to gain admission into law school is very stiff, and thousands ofstudents graduate from law school every year, leading to increased competition for job openings as well.
Attorneys act both as advisorsand advocates, representingparties in criminal and civil trialsand counseling clients about legalobligations and rights. Lawyersmay argue and present evidencein court in support of their clients,suggest particular courses of action when it comes to personal and business matters, andperform extensive research about laws and legal decisions. Itis the attorney’s job to apply the law to his or her client’sspecific circumstances.
Types of Attorneys and Skills Required
Attorneyjobs can require a variety of specific skills, dependingon the given attorney’s specialization and specific position.While any lawyer is licensed to represent clients in court,some appear in court much more frequently than others. Forinstance, trial lawyers specialize in court appearances. Thismeans that they must have the ability to think on their feet,as well as the ability to speak easily and authoritatively.However, even trial lawyers spend most of their time outsideof courtrooms. That’s because researching, doing interviewswith witnesses and clients, and preparing cases for trial takeup most of their time.In addition to trial lawyers, there are a number of other specialized attorney jobs available. They includeenvironmental, elder, probate, international, bankruptcy,personal injury, and patent lawyer jobs, among others. Eachhas its own specific skills and knowledge required to performthe job.For instance, an environmental lawyer might represent wastedisposal companies, special interest groups, constructionfirms, and other organizations when dealing with the EPA andother government agencies. These lawyers may help defendtheir clients against fines or accusations of wrongdoing, orassist them in applying for licenses and approvals.Intellectual property attorney jobs are one fast growingarea. IP lawyers are involved in helping to protect artwork,copyrights, computer programs, product designs, patents,and more for their clients. Insurance lawyers may workas advisors for their client companies, helping them tofind policies that protect them but also conform to the law.Insurance attorney jobs also involve reviewing claims whenthey’re filed against the companies and representing suchclients in court when necessary.Most attorneys are in private practice and concentrate oncriminal and civil law. Criminal law attorney jobs involverepresenting individuals who’ve been charged with crimes.Attorneys who specialize in civil law are more likely to assistclients with wills, contracts, trusts, leases, titles, mortgages,and litigation. Some lawyers only handle cases they feel arein the public interest. They concentrate on civil or criminalcases relating to a particular cause. There are even lawyersemployed full-time by a single client. When this client is acorporation, the attorney is called an in-house counsel. Theseattorney jobs involve advising the company about legal issuesthat relate to its activities.Many attorneys are also employed by the government. Theseattorney jobs include working for state attorneys general,acting as public defenders or prosecutors in criminal courts,investigating cases for the Department of Justice or othergovernment agencies, developing programs and legislation,and arguing on behalf of the government in court.
Work Environment for Attorney Jobs
Most attorney jobs are located in lawlibraries, courtrooms, and offices.However, lawyers may also need to meetclients in their homes or businesses, oreven in prisons and hospitals. Attorneys
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