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.

Chief Operating Officer

Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
The Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI) seeks an individual with outstanding organizational and program management skills to administer and manage the daily operations of our two-site, international institute.The Chief Operating Officer (COO) oversees operations of GBHI and reports to the...
Apply Share

Account Executive - Valley Forge Insurance Brokerage

Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
Marketing StatementPhiladelphia Insurance Companies, a member of the Tokio Marine Group, designs, markets and underwrites commercial property/casualty and professional liability insurance products for select industries. We have been in operation since 1962 and are nationally recognized as a member...
Apply Share

7th grade ELA Pre-AP Teacher - IDEA Rundberg College Prep (19-20)

Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
IDEA Public Schools:At IDEA Public Schools, we believe in college for ALL and we are committed to ensuring that all of our students graduate from college. IDEA Public Schools has grown from a small school to the fastest-growing network of tuition-free Pre-K-12 public charter schools in the United...
Apply Share

Intern

Type: Internship
K&L Gates LLP delivers legal services on an integrated and global basis, with more than 2,000 lawyers across five continents. Positioned at strategic intersections of the global economy, K&L Gates has one of the largest contingents of lawyers and offices across the United States of any law...
Apply Share
Washington, DC

Patent Agent Intern

Type: Internship
Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. is one of the leading law firms in the Midwest. We are currently searching for a Patent Agent intern to join our Intellectual Property Group of over 40 professionals, to be based in our Minneapolis office. With the guidance of our attorneys, the intern will have...
Apply Share

Clean Vehicles and Fuels Advocate

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 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

City Engagement Intern, American Cities Climate Challenge

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

Clean Vehicles and Fuels Advocate

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 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

Litigation Reporter

Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
OverviewABOUT THE TEAM: As part of ALM's global newsroom, the litigation team is focused on covering the news, trends and issues involving the most important cases and legal trends in federal and state courts. We put a premium on reporting on trends, problems and anomalies, while also tracking...
Apply Share

Actuarial Analyst

Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
Summary:Crum & Forster (C&F) is looking for an Actuarial Analyst to make an impact as a member of its Commercial Lines division. This division provides valuable risk protections to a diverse and growing portfolio of policyholders that includes contractors, retailers, lawyers, and not-for-...
Apply Share

Intern

Type: Internship
K&L Gates LLP delivers legal services on an integrated and global basis, with more than 2,000 lawyers across five continents. Positioned at strategic intersections of the global economy, K&L Gates has one of the largest contingents of lawyers and offices across the United States of any law...
Apply Share

Legal Intern

Type: Internship
The Shutterfly Summer Intern Program is a paid, 12-week program beginning in June and ending in August. The program offers great experience to current law school students looking to get a head start on their career goals. We like to go above and beyond for our summer interns! In addition to project...
Apply Share
Redwood City, CA

Public Interest Career Counselor, Stanford Law School

Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
Fixed-Term PositionJob Code: 7503Job Grade: IApplications will be reviewed as they are submitted. Interviews are likely to be scheduled the week of April 29. We are hoping to find the right candidate who can start as soon as possible and hopefully by no later than mid-June 2019.The John and Terry...
Apply Share

Law Intern

Type: Internship
Position Overview:H. Barritt Peterson & Associates, (In-house insurance defense law office for State Farm Insurance Company), is seeking 2 Law interns. Law students who have completed their second year of law school are preferred but we will consider law students who have completed their first...
Apply Share
Baltimore, MD

Intern, City Energy Project

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

Associate General Counsel

Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
Position SummaryThe University of Arizona is accepting applications for an Associate General Counsel position in its Office of the General Counsel. This position will focus on international matters, working closely with UA Global (UAG) to advance pillar 4 of the University's Strategic Plan -...
Apply Share

Business Development Representatives (Internships & Part-Time

Type: Internship
Are you looking for an opportunity to have a significant impact on a great company?A Business Development Representative (BDR) role is the most challenging, creative and fun role you will have in your career. This is where you develop foundational skills that will position you for leadership roles...
Apply Share

Associate, Insurance, 4-8 years' experience

Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
Our Insurance team in Birmingham is looking for a Associate to assist with its existing caseload of property risks (including construction matters), product liability and insurance coverage disputes. This is an ideal role for an insurance or commercial disputes resolution lawyer with an interest in...
Apply Share
Levels, WV

Legal Cashier, 12 month FTC

Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
MAIN DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:To work as part of the Cashiering team, to help provide a highly effective and efficient Financial Operations service.General cashiering responsibilities include:Supporting UK (including Scotland and Northern Ireland) and Irish offices, ensuring compliance with firm...
Apply Share
Secretary, MD

Accounts Payable Intern

Type: Internship
This part-time internship will begin in the spring of 2019 and continue through the 2019-2020 school year. The internship pays $10.00 per hour. Full time hours may be available during the summer - with 15 - 20 hours worked per week during the school year.Firm InformationReed Smith is a global...
Apply Share