INTRODUCTION Formal educational requirements for lawyers include a 4-year college degree, 3 years in law school, and the passing of a written bar examination. Competition for admission to most law schools is intense. Demand for lawyers will be spurred by the growth of legal action in such areas as health care, intellectual property, international law, elder law, environmental law, and sexual harassment.
NATURE OF WORK The law profession is often seen in terms of the popular conception, with TV and film prosecutors and defense attorneys at the front of the mind when people think about what it is that lawyers do. The truth of the matter is that lawyers do work in nearly every sector of business, non-profit work, and government. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nature of work for lawyers can be as varied as nearly any other profession; a Juris Doctor degree and bar exam passage brings many options.Bureau of Labor Statistics
WORKING CONDITIONS Lawyers do most of their work in offices, law libraries, and courtrooms. They sometimes meet in clients' homes or places of business and, when necessary, in hospitals or prisons. They may travel to attend meetings, gather evidence, and appear before courts, legislative bodies, and other authorities.
JOB OUTLOOK/EMPLOYMENT Employment of lawyers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Demand for legal work will continue as individuals, businesses, and all levels of government require legal services in many areas. Despite this need for legal services, more price competition over the next decade may lead law firms to rethink their project staffing, to reduce costs to clients. As clients cut back on legal expenses, demand less expensive rates, and scrutinize invoices, work that was previously assigned to lawyers, such as document review, may now be given to paralegals and legal assistants. Some routine legal work may also be outsourced to other lower-cost legal providers located overseas.
TRAINING, QUALIFICATIONS, ADVANCEMENT Formal requirements to become a lawyer usually include a 4-year college degree, 3 years of law school, and passing a written bar examination; however, some requirements vary by State. Competition for admission to most law schools is intense. Federal courts and agencies set their own qualifications for those practicing before or in them.
EARNINGS Lawyers earned a median salary of $113,530 in 2012, according to the BLS. The best-paid earned more than $187,999, while the lowest- paid made approximately $54,310. The highest earners worked in the metropolitan areas of San Jose, Calif., Dothan, Ala., and San Francisco.
SALARY COMPARISON Prepares and examines contracts involving leases, licenses, purchases, sales, insurance, etc. Provides legal advice to an organization, prepares resolutions and forms, and participates in major legal actions. Responsible for foreseeing and protecting company against legal risks. Must be a graduate of an accredited law school with 0-3 years of experience. Familiar with standard concepts, practices, and procedures within a particular field \. Relies on limited experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. Performs a variety of tasks. Works under general supervision. A certain degree of creativity and latitude is required. View Attorney I job description View Attorney I job description
BACKUP PLAN: My backup plan would be me becoming a foreign service officer, dentist, or I would work in human services.
SUMMARY Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, and manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.