2017 Lawyers
Median Pay: US$115,820
Entry Level: Doctoral or professional degree
Summary
Lawyers advise and represent individuals, businesses, and government agencies on legal issues and disputes.
Duties

Lawyers typically do the following:

  • Advise and represent clients in courts, before government agencies, and in private legal matters
  • Communicate with their clients, colleagues, judges and others involved in the case
  • 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 behalf of their clients
  • Prepare and file legal documents, such as lawsuits, appeals, wills, contracts, and deeds

Lawyers, also called attorneys, act as both advocates and advisors.

As advocates, they represent one of the parties in criminal or civil trials by presenting evidence and arguing in support of their client.

As advisors, lawyers counsel their clients about their legal rights and obligations and suggest courses of action in business and personal matters. All attorneys research the intent of laws and judicial decisions and apply the laws to the specific circumstances that their clients face. 

Lawyers often oversee the work of support staff, such as paralegals and legal assistants

Lawyers may have different titles and different duties, depending on where they work.

While working in a law firm, lawyers, sometimes called associates, perform legal work for individuals or businesses. Some attorneys who work at law firms, such as criminal law attorneys or defense attorneys, represent and defend the accused.

Attorneys also work for federal, state, and local governments. Prosecutors typically work for the government to file a lawsuit, or charge, against an individual or corporation accused of violating the law. Some may also work as public defense attorneys and represent individuals who could not afford to hire their own private attorney.

Others may work as government counsels for administrative bodies of government and executive or legislative branches. They write and interpret laws and regulations and set up procedures to enforce them. Government counsels also write legal reviews on agencies' decisions. They argue civil and criminal cases on behalf of the government.

Corporate counsels, also called in-house counsels, are lawyers who work for corporations. They advise a corporation's executives about legal issues related to the corporation's business activities. These issues may involve patents, government regulations, contracts with other companies, property interests, taxes, or collective-bargaining agreements with unions.

Legal aid lawyers work for private, nonprofit organizations that work to help disadvantaged people. They generally handle civil cases, such as those about leases, job discrimination, and wage disputes, rather than criminal cases.

In addition to working in different industries, lawyers often specialize in a particular area. The following are just some examples of the different types of lawyers that specialize in specific legal areas:

Environmental lawyers deal with issues and regulations that are related to the environment. They may represent advocacy groups, waste disposal companies, and government agencies to make sure they comply with the relevant laws.

Tax lawyers handle a variety of tax-related issues for individuals and corporations. Tax lawyers may help clients navigate complex tax regulations, so that they pay the appropriate tax on items such as income, profits, or property. For example, they may advise a corporation on how much tax it needs to pay from profits made in different states to comply with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules.

Intellectual property lawyers deal with the laws related to inventions, patents, trademarks, and creative works, such as music, books, and movies. An intellectual property lawyer may advise a client about whether it is okay to use published material in the client's forthcoming book.

Family lawyers handle a variety of legal issues that pertain to the family. They may advise clients regarding divorce, child custody, and adoption proceedings.

Securities lawyers work on legal issues arising from the buying and selling of stocks, ensuring that all disclosure requirements are met. They may advise corporations that are interested in listing in the stock exchange through an initial public offering (IPO) or in buying shares in another corporation.

Litigation lawyers handle all lawsuits and disputes between parties. These could be disputes over contracts, personal injuries, or real estate and property. Litigation lawyers may specialize in a certain area, such as personal injury law, or may be a general lawyer for all types of disputes and lawsuits.

Some attorneys become teachers in law schools. For more information on law school professors, see the profile on postsecondary teachers.

Data Scientist I

Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
Data Scientist IAt LexisNexis, we develop the legal profession?s most innovative products for data analysis, visualization, and research - uncovering insights about judges? rulings, revealing critical cases, enabling lawyers to make data-driven decisions, and more. LexisNexis seeks a Data Scientist...
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Client Value Intern

Type: Internship
This part time internship will begin in the spring of 2019 and continue through the 2019 - 2020 school year and pays $10.00 per hour.Firm InformationReed Smith is a global relationship law firm with more than 1,700 lawyers in 28 offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East...
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Pittsburgh, PA

Program & Events Coordinator

Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
Under the supervision of the Executive Director and with direction from other Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI) senior staff, the GBHI Program & Events Coordinator uses skills as an experienced administrator and event planning professional to coordinate, manage, and plan key aspects and...
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2019 Summer Intern: Legal Intern

Type: Internship
At A GlanceYou're a motivated 1st or 2nd year Law School student with 3.0 GPA or higher seeking a degree in Juris Doctor/Law from an accredited four-year universityThis is a learning-intensive program designed to give you essential business insights and hands-on experience in your field of...
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Greenwood Village, CO

Personal Risk Specialist

Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
General Description: The Personal Risk Specialist is an outside sales position focused on serving the unique insurance needs of affluent/high net worth clients. In addition to cross selling, as a primary focus for business development, this role is also expected to establish additional sources of...
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Ann Clark Environmental Fellowship

Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
OverviewThe Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is the nation's most effective environmental action organization. We use law, science and the support of more than 3 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure a safe and healthy...
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Underwriting Intern - Mergers & Acquisitions

Type: Internship
DISCOVER your opportunityAXA XL's Global Mergers & Acquisitions Insurance division focuses on the underwriting of transactional risk insurance solutions for private equity firms and corporate strategic buyers and sellers operating around the globe. These products, namely representation and...
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New York, NY

2019 Summer Intern: Legal Intern

Type: Internship
At A GlanceYou're a motivated 1st or 2nd year Law School student with 3.0 GPA or higher seeking a degree in Juris Doctor/Law from an accredited four-year universityThis is a learning-intensive program designed to give you essential business insights and hands-on experience in your field of...
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Stamford, CT

Litigation Editor

Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
OverviewABOUT THE TEAM: As part of ALM's global newsroom, the litigation team is focused on cutting edge legal issues, consequential court cases, emerging trends in litigation - and the lawyers, judges and other professionals who are part of that world. We cover geographic centers including...
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Administrative Support Assistant

Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
OverviewNelson Mullins is an entrepreneurial firm dedicated to providing the highest quality legal services to our clients. Nelson Mullins encourages its lawyers to approach each client individually, working to understand the needs, goals, and long-term plans of each client. By identifying these...
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Commercial Legal Intern

Type: Internship
We are currently looking for a dynamic individual as a Commercial Legal Intern at our corporate headquarters located in The Woodlands, Texas. The Intern will not only be included in brainstorming sessions and team meetings, but should be an active participant/contributor as well.What will be...
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Houston, TX

Legal Intern

Type: Internship
Job DescriptionLegal Intern-WD300615848What you willdoThe Johnson Controls Global Legal Department provideshigh-quality legal advice, transactional advice and support, regulatory advice,litigation oversight, and advice on compliance and reputational issues. Ourgoal is to help our businesses...
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Intern - Summer

Type: Internship
Our MissionThe PCAOB oversees the audits of public companies and SEC-registered brokers and dealers in order to protect investors and further the public interest in the preparation of informative, accurate, and independent audit reports.Job Description SummaryThe Board's Office of General...
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2019 Summer Intern: Legal Intern

Type: Internship
At A GlanceYou're a motivated 1st or 2nd year Law School student with 3.0 GPA or higher seeking a degree in Juris Doctor/Law from an accredited universityThis is a learning-intensive program designed to give you essential business insights and hands-on experience in your field of choice. It...
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St. Louis, MO

Legal Intern- Equity & Diversity Internship

Type: Internship
About the Equity & Diversity Internship Program:QBP is committed to contributing to a larger culture shift in the bike and outdoor industries ¾ a shift toward inclusivity, embracing new and different ideas, and amplifying diverse perspectives. By working side-by-side with some of the most...
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QBP
Bloomington, MN

Legal Intern- Equity & Diversity Internship

Type: Internship
As our Legal Intern you will be exposed to the general practice of law in the corporate setting. Specific task related duties will include contract review document drafting trademark review and filing and general support of QBP business operations. Other duties may be assigned depending on...
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Legal Services Coordinator - Paralegal

Type: Part Time
Volunteer Lawyers ProgramPart-Time (32 hours weekly)JOB SUMMARYLegal Services of Eastern Missouri, Inc. (Legal Services), a non-profit law firm providing free civil legal assistance to low income/low opportunity individuals in 21 eastern Missouri counties, is seeking a part-time (32 hours per week...
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Legal Summer Intern

Type: Internship
Job Description Summary:Carmody Torrance Sandak Hennessey LLP and Eversource Energy Legal Department2019 Diversity Scholar ProgramJoint Summer Associate ExperienceCarmody Torrance Sandak Hennessey LLP and the Eversource Energy Legal Department will provide a law student of a diverse background a...
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Solicitor, EL/PL, 5 years' experience

Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
This is a great opportunity to work on a high quality caseload for a variety of clients on employers', public and product liability claims involving complex liability issues, contractual issues and multiple defendants across the leisure, manufacturing, construction, healthcare and energy...
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London, OR

U.S. Summer Legal Internship

Type: Internship
U.S. Summer Legal InternshipLocation: Washington, D.C.EarthRights International, a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization that combines the power of law and the power of people in defense of human rights and the environment, is seeking a recent U.S. law graduate for a fellowship in our Washington...
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