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.

Non-GU Student Teaching Assistant, Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa (LAWA) - Georgetown University Law Center

Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
Located in a historic neighborhood in the nation's capital, Georgetown offers rigorous academic programs, a global perspective, exciting ways to take advantage of Washington, D.C., and a commitment to social justice. Our community is a tight knit group of remarkable individuals interested in...
Apply Share

Lead Driver

Type: Part Time
Come be a leader of people, operations and growth with Waitr- one of the fastest growing restaurant delivery service with an expanding national presence. If you love technology, the food industry and leading teams that deliver a wow customer experience resulting in explosive growth, this is the...
Apply Share
Cape Girardeau, MO

Lead Driver

Type: Part Time
Come be a leader of people, operations and growth with Waitr- one of the fastest growing restaurant delivery service with an expanding national presence. If you love technology, the food industry and leading teams that deliver a wow customer experience resulting in explosive growth, this is the...
Apply Share
Florence, AL

Energy Communications Internship

Type: Internship
OverviewThe Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is the nation's most effective environmental action organization. We use law, science and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure a safe and healthy...
Apply Share

Anti-Trafficking Intern

Type: Internship
BACKGROUND:Founded in 1933, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is a leading non-sectarian, voluntary organization providing relief, protection, and resettlement services for refugees and victims of oppression or violent conflict. The Suburban Washington Refugee Center, where the IRC's...
Apply Share

Fall 2019/ Spring 2020 - National Prison Project Undergraduate Internship

Type: Internship
Fall 2019/ Spring 2020 Undergraduate INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITYNOTICE TO UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTSAmerican Civil Liberties Union FoundationNational Prison Project, DCFor nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation's guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend...
Apply Share

2020 Summer Legal Intern

Type: Internship
OverviewNatural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a national nonprofit public health and environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and ensure a safe and healthy...
Apply Share

Attorney Fellow (Legal Honors Program)

Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
NSA OverviewThe professionals at the National Security Agency (NSA) have one common goal: to protect our nation. The mission requires a strong offense and a steadfast defense. The offense collects, processes and disseminates intelligence information derived from foreign signals for intelligence and...
Apply Share

Fall 2020 Legal Fellowship Sponsorship, National Prison Project

Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
Title: Fall 2020 Legal Fellowship SponsorshipOffice: National OfficesLocation: Washington, DCPosted: June 14 2019For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation's guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties...
Apply Share
Washington, DC

Office of Chief Counsel, IRS Summer Legal Program

Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
DutiesSummaryThe Office of Chief Counsel, IRS, the largest tax law firm in the country, is looking for enthusiastic individuals to join our team and gain valuable experience in a legal environment.ResponsibilitiesOur mission is to serve America's taxpayers fairly and with integrity by...
Apply Share

Human Resources Fall Intern

Type: Internship
OverviewThe Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is the nation's most effective environmental action organization. We use law, science and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure a safe and healthy...
Apply Share

Graphic Design Internship

Type: Internship
Title: Graphic Design InternReports To: Creative DirectorAbout Us: We are an internet marketing agency specializing in website design and development, SEO, PPC, content marketing, and social media marketing for lawyers and law firms across the country.Description: As a Graphic Design Intern at...
Apply Share

Nonprofit Governance Intern, Fall 2019

Type: Internship
About Oceana and the Assistant General CounselOceana is an international organization that focuses solely on oceans and is dedicated to achieving measurable change by conducting scientific, fact-based campaigns with fixed deadlines and articulated goals. These campaigns are primarily national, and...
Apply Share
Washington, DC

Digital Marketing Intern

Type: Internship
Juris Digital is an internet marketing agency specializing in website design and development, SEO, PPC, content marketing, and social media marketing for lawyers and law firms across the country.We are looking for several marketing interns to learn and execute a variety of digital marketing tasks...
Apply Share

Web Content Writing Intern

Type: Internship
Juris Digital is an internet marketing agency specializing in website design and development, SEO, PPC, content marketing, and social media marketing for lawyers and law firms across the country.We are looking for a web content writer intern who will write copy, blog posts, social media posts, and...
Apply Share

Associate Market Analyst

Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
Martindale-Avvo comprises some of the leading players in the online legal space, including brands that have been trusted for generations: Martindale-Hubbell®, Avvo® and Nolo®. We provide comprehensive legal marketing solutions including real-time lead generation, online legal profiles, live chat,...
Apply Share
Los Angeles, CA

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...
Apply Share

mba Search intern

Type: Internship
Start Date: FlexibleTime Commitment: Full-timeLocation: Pittsburgh, PATravel: 10%Compensation: To be negotiatedExperience a career that opens new doorsIf you have the same entrepreneurial soul as us and would love to be the CEO of your own company, please consider joining GTE to explore your full...
Apply Share

Marketing/Communications Specialist

Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
JOB SUMMARYThe Global Brain Health Institute (www.gbhi.org) has a unique opportunity for a talented and passionate communications expert to join our team. In the role of Communications Specialist you will co-manage and implement a comprehensive strategy to recruit for the Atlantic Fellows training...
Apply Share

Legal Internships

Type: Internship
CIEL is deeply committed to developing the next generation of legal professionals. CIEL offers internships to current law students and fellowships to recent law school graduates and members of the Bar who wish to develop or increase their knowledge of the practice of public interest, international...
Apply Share