Lawyer Career Facts

A lawyer career profile including job duties, education, skills, work environments,  job outlook and additional resources. Lawyer career can be very demanding. Some facts about lawyers are not so well known.
Lawyer Career

Lawyer as Career Choice

Lawyers (also called “attorney,” “counselor,” solicitor,” “barrister” or “advocate”) are advisors to clients who need legal counseling. They research, interview witnesses and inform the clients of their legal rights and obligations. They offer their opinion on how to handle legal situations. Lawyers can be trial attorneys representing one of the parties in civil and criminal cases. Trial work requires quick thinking and excellent oral communication skills.

Lawyer Career Facts

A law career is very interesting and can be challenging and demanding, with skills varying by occupation. Most legal jobs require strong written and oral communication skills to handle large amounts of complex reading and writing, as well as the ability to effectively present arguments in a clear and concise manner. Strong research skills are also a critical component of many jobs, requiring individuals to navigate through many sources of information. Other skills usually required include strong analytical, listening, customer service, time management, and organizational skills.

Lawyer Education

In some countries, law is taught by a faculty of law, which is a department of a university's general undergraduate college. Law students in those countries pursue a Master or Bachelor of Laws degree. In other countries lawyer education includes a four-year undergraduate degree and three years of law school (or four years in a part-time law school program). Lawyers must also pass a bar examination.

Work Conditions

Lawyers can work in private practice or in a law firm or solo practice. Lawyers also work in private industry, government, the judiciary, education, as a journalist or in public interest organizations.

Professional Associations and Regulation

A key difference among countries is whether lawyers should be regulated solely by an independent judiciary and its subordinate institutions (a self-regulating legal profession), or whether lawyers should be subject to supervision by the Ministry of Justice in the executive branch.
In most civil law countries, the government has traditionally exercised tight control over the legal profession in order to ensure a steady supply of loyal judges and bureaucrats.
Lawyers are always free to form voluntary associations of their own, apart from any licensing or mandatory membership that may be required by the laws of their jurisdiction. Is the most countries there is some kind of lawyer Bar Association.

Perceptions of Lawyers

Lawyers often have a poor Public Image. Media coverage concentrates on criminal defence lawyers. Lawyers defending unpopular causes creates image lawyers will do anything. Lawyers are portrayed earning high incomes and manipulating the law for the benefit of rich clients.
Lawyers are often privy to personal information of clients. Creates feelings of fear and resentment in clients. Furthermore lawyers are required to be objective and will not empathise nor sympathise.
Even Abraham Lincoln, that paragon of lawyerly virtue, complained of the public’s perception of lawyers when he practiced law.

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